U.S. Global Leadership in Landmine Clearance and Conventional Weapons Destruction

Fact Sheet
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
April 3, 2015

As we observe UN International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action on April 4, the United States is proud to be the world’s single largest financial supporter of efforts to address humanitarian hazards from landmines and unexploded ordnance in post-conflict countries through the U.S. Conventional Weapons Destruction program.

  • Since 1993, the United States has invested more than $2.4 billion for the safe disposal of small arms, light weapons, and munitions, as well as for removal of landmines and explosive remnants of war in more than 90 countries through more than 60 partner organizations, making it the world’s single largest financial supporter of conventional weapons destruction.
  • Around the world, Conventional Weapons Destruction and other mine-related efforts are saving lives. In 1999, experts estimated there were approximately 9,100 landmine casualties per year. According to the Landmine Monitor, new reported casualties from landmines and explosive remnants of war dropped to 3,308 in 2013, the lowest since the group started recording casualties in 1999.
  • Proactive community outreach through our Mine Risk Education programs have prevented countless injuries while U.S.-funded Survivor Assistance has provided essential medical and rehabilitation services to more than 250,000 people injured by landmines and unexploded ordnance.

Our efforts to address the humanitarian impacts of landmines extend to our own weapons stockpiles as well. In 2014, President Obama announced that the United States will no longer use anti-personnel landmines outside of the unique circumstances of the Korean Peninsula and that we will begin destroying our anti-personnel landmine stockpiles not required for the defense of the Republic of Korea. The United States also announced that we will not produce or acquire any antipersonnel landmines in the future.

For more information, see To Walk the Earth in Safety, our annual report on the U.S. Conventional Weapons Destruction program, or contact the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs Office of Congressional and Public Affairs, at pm-cpa@state.gov, and follow us on Twitter @StateDeptPM.