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The US Policy to Remove Landmines
US Department of State
US Foreign Policy Agenda, January 2004
This report covers the many US programs to remove landmines.


Foreword: Striving to Bring an End to this Tragedy

Across the globe, from Afghanistan to Zambia, the United States and several other governments, private organizations, and the United Nations are generously providing humanitarian mine action assistance to many of the over 60 countries that are affected by persistent landmines. Thanks to their efforts over the past decade, reported landmine casualties worldwide have dropped from the generally accepted estimate of 26,000 annually through the year 2000, to less than half of that in 2002; thousands of square kilometers have been cleared one square meter at a time; many thousands of mine survivors are now using prosthetic devices.

Yet, the fact remains that millions of deadly persistent landmines still remain from past conflicts, waiting to kill and maim. Men, women, and children in many countries still cannot go about their daily lives without risk to life and limb. Casualties still occur at a terrible rate and hundreds of thousands of landmine accident survivors still need help.

By engaging civil society and the private sector to reinforce the official efforts of the United States and other donor nations through the creation of mine action partnerships, we can make an even bigger difference in the lives of people all over the world. We can help parents send their children out to play, free from the fear that they will not come home.

We can help villagers put food on their tables by reclaiming their fields for agriculture. We can help the survivors of landmine accidents become fully engaged in their communities. We can help develop new technologies to make demining more effective and less dangerous. We can teach people at risk how to protect themselves and how to protect their families.

We can help heal shattered lives, and help heal torn societies.

In short, we can help to create a secure and stable environment where freedom and opportunity thrive.

I am pleased to welcome you to this issue of U.S. Foreign Policy Agenda, which illustrates the challenges of global mine action, and highlights America's extensive record of cooperation, consensus-building, and leadership in the international effort to end the landmine tragedy.

Colin L. Powell
Secretary of State
January 21, 2004

Full Text (PDF, 34 pages, 777.3 KB)