Leahy Blasts Pres. Obama on Refusal to Sign Landmine Ban Treaty | News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice
Pin It

Leahy Blasts Pres. Obama on Refusal to Sign Landmine Ban Treaty 

UPDATED AT 4:45 PM — Obama administration backs away from statement that it won't sign international landmine treaty (see below).

U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy is blasting Pres. Barack Obama's decision to refuse to sign a 10-year-old international treaty banning land mines.

The decision, which supports the position of the previous administration, comes as representatives of nations around the world meet this coming week in Cartagena, Colombia, to assesscompliance with the decade-old treaty.

“This is a default of U.S. leadership and a detour from the clear path of history,” Leahy said in a statement.  “The United States is the most powerful nation on earth. We don't need these weapons and most of our allies have long ago abandoned them."

For two decades Leahy has been a leading voice in Congress advocating an international ban on the use of anti-personnel landmines. Leahy-backed legislation, which included the world’s first export ban on landmines, was a catalyst in launching the treaty effort.

In 1997, the year the international treaty was signed in Ottawa, Canada, Vermonter Jody Williams won the Nobel Peace Prize along with the International Campaign to Ban Land Mines. The treaty went into effect two years later.

"It is a lost opportunity for the United States to show leadershipinstead of joining with China and Russia and impeding progress," Leahy said. "TheUnited States took some of the earliest and most effective steps torestrict the use of landmines. We should be leading this effort, notsitting on the sidelines.”

Leahy said the Obama administration’s review “can only be described as cursory and half-hearted.”

Did you appreciate this story?

Show us your ❤️ by becoming a Seven Days Super Reader.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

Tags: ,

Pin It

More by Shay Totten

About The Author

Shay Totten

Shay Totten

Shay Totten wrote "Fair Game," a weekly political column, from April 2008-December 2011.

Comments (3)

Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

Seven Days moderates comments in order to ensure a civil environment. Please treat the comments section as you would a town meeting, dinner party or classroom discussion. In other words, keep commenting classy! Read our guidelines...

Note: Comments are limited to 300 words.

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative

All content © 2019 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Website powered by Foundation