Say NO to the renewed deployment of landmines under Trump!

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US President Donald Trump has lifted the ban on the unrestricted use of landmines by the US military imposed by his predecessor Barack Obama in 2014.

Anti-personnel mines, however, are considered internationally banned weapons for good reason as they constitute an on-going deadly danger to the civilian population trapped in conflict zones!

Furthermore, clearing minefields is an extremely lengthy and costly process, which many people pay for with their lives even years after the end of a conflict! Civilian casualties amount to thousands each year. In more than half of the cases, the victims of these inhumane weapons are children! The US President’s decision is therefore a worrying step backward.

Recently, UN Secretary-General António Guterres emphasized Austria’s role as the “voice of reason” in a world which increasingly follows the notion of might is right. Similarly, Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg underlined his country’s intention to “spearhead disarmament” all over the world.

Austria is one of the initiators of the Mine Ban Treaty, which entered into force in 1999 and is based on a draft by an Austrian diplomat. It is essential to continue this tradition, both within the framework of international cooperation at UN level and in intergovernmental relations with the United States!

We therefore call upon you, Minister Schallenberg:

Put your words into action now! Send a strong message against landmines and stand by the side of those affected.

Voice your concerns at the highest diplomatic levels! Oppose the worldwide use of anti-personnel mines by the US military and demand that the 2014 ban be restored!

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