The United States will send an interagency delegation of humanitarian mine action experts to observe the Second Review Conference of the 1997 "Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction," also known as the Ottawa Convention, which is taking place in Cartagena, Colombia, from November 30 to December 4, 2009. We congratulate Colombia for hosting this conference and are proud of our partnership with Colombia to mitigate the threat of landmines to its people.
Although the United States is not a State Party to this Convention, we are the world leader in humanitarian mine action. Since 1993, the United States has delivered more than $1.5 billion in aid to nearly 50 countries, contributing to significant reductions in casualties from mines and other explosive remnants of war, and helping communities set the stage for post-conflict recovery. We share common cause with all who seek to protect innocent civilians from indiscriminately-used landmines, both anti-personnel and anti-vehicle, and we consider our participation in this conference an opportunity to engage on the future of mine action.