The Mine Ban Treaty

By Burkhalter, Holly | Foreign Policy in Focus, July 10, 2000 | Go to article overview

The Mine Ban Treaty


Burkhalter, Holly, Foreign Policy in Focus


The signing of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Antipersonnel Mines and on Their Destruction in Ottawa, Canada, in December 1997, represents a great arms control and human rights triumph. The Mine Ban Treaty was the product of an unprecedented collaboration between over 1,000 nongovernmental groups (NGOs) and governments committed to outlawing a weapon whose principal victims are unarmed men, women, and children. The founding organizations of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) and its coordinator, Jody Williams, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997.

Antipersonnel landmines lie scattered by the millions in Cambodia, Angola, Mozambique, Vietnam, Somalia, Afghanistan, and dozens of other countries. In the mid-1990s, the State Department estimated that landmines were killing or maiming over 26,000 victims a year. These small, cheap explosives (costing as little as $5 apiece) are detonated not by command but by contact, making them uniquely indiscriminate. And, unlike any other weapon, landmines go on killing for decades after peace treaties have been signed and soldiers demobilized.

Initially, landmine activists lobbied governments to ban the weapon at the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) in April 1996. But standard UN diplomatic rules governing the CCW treaty process, including the requirement that states reach a consensus, permitted ban opponents such as India and China to water down the protocol to a lowest common denominator that imposed virtually no effective constraints on the weapon's use.

When ban activists came away empty-handed from the CCW, it became clear that following the UN's conventional rules for arms control treaties was not working. With Canada taking the lead, antimine governments called for a radically different approach. At an October 1996 meeting of governments and NGOs in Ottawa, the Canadians invited like-minded states to create a treaty that actually banned landmines and to return in December 1997 to sign a comprehensive mine ban treaty. This strategy required governments to publicly commit to a clear choice.

And choose they did, with every subsequent preparatory meeting throughout the year attracting dozens of new participants. The United States, however, largely ignored these deliberations. Not until the final treaty-drafting session in September 1997 in Oslo did Clinton administration officials attempt to enter the negotiations by peddling five treaty-weakening amendments, insisting that their entire package be accepted as the price of an American signature. The treaty participants summarily rejected the U.S. proposal, which included: 1) a geographic exception for Korea, 2) a waiver for American "mixed mine" systems, 3) an optional nine-year delay period, 4) a treaty opt-out clause, and 5) a provision permitting countries to sign with reservations. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Mine Ban Treaty
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.