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Diplomacy in Action

New 8th Edition of "To Walk the Earth in Safety" Shows Continued United States Progress in Clearing Landmines and Destroying Conventional Weapons


Media Note
Bureau of Public Affairs, Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
July 8, 2009

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The Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs (PM/WRA) has released the 8th Edition of “To Walk the Earth in Safety,” a report summarizing the accomplishments of the U.S. Humanitarian Mine Action Program, the world’s largest such operation.

In 2008, the Department of State provided $123.1 million in mine clearance and weapons destruction assistance to 35 countries. Among the report’s success stories is Cambodia, where U.S. humanitarian mine action has contributed to a 72 percent decline in explosives-related casualties, a trend which should continue in the coming years.

PM/WRA recently celebrated the destruction of 1.3 million light weapons since 2001, a major milestone in reinforcing peace and the rule of law, while also destroying since 2003 over 30,000 man-portable air-defense systems (MANPADS) missiles, which pose a threat to global aviation when in the hands of terrorists or insurgents.

This year, PM/WRA’s Public-Private Partnership program has also increased to more than 60 members, in the United States and other countries, primarily non-governmental organizations, foundations, and civic and educational groups, which reinforce global mine action efforts.

This 50-page illustrated report, available at http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/125873.pdf, describes efforts by the Department of State, Department of Defense, and U.S. Agency for International Development’s Leahy War Victims Fund to clear mines and explosive remnants of war (most of which are of non-U.S. origin), teach mine risk education, and assist conflict survivors. The report also chronicles the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement’s (www.state.gov/t/pm/wra) continuing success in destroying at-risk conventional weapons around the world.

To receive a printed copy of “To Walk the Earth in Safety,” send an e-mail with your name and full address, including postal or Zip code, to Stacy Davis in the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement at DavisSB@state.gov. Previous editions of “To Walk the Earth in Safety” are archived at http://www.state.gov/t/pm/rls/rpt/walkearth/.



PRN: 2009/692



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