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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement

To Walk the Earth in Safety: The U.S. Commitment to Humanitarian Mine Action
Bureau of Political-Military Affairs
August 2004

Logo:  Office of Weapons Removal and AbatementThe Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (PM/WRA) in the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, creates local, regional and international conditions conducive to peace, stability and prosperity by curbing the illicit proliferation of conventional weapons of war such as light automatic weapons and rocket propelled grenades and removing and Secretary of State Colin L. Powell meets delegates of Roots of Peace destroying others, such as persistent landmines and abandoned stocks of munitions, that remain and pose hazards after the cessation of armed conflict.

The Office develops, implements and monitors policy, programs and public engagement efforts that contribute to the prevention and mitigation of conflict, as well as post-conflict social and economic recovery. The focus is three-fold: to curb the illicit trafficking, availability and indiscriminate use of conventional weapons of war that fuel regional and internal instability; to pursue and help manage post-conflict cleanup of such weapons in areas needed for civilian use; and to engage civil society to broaden support for our efforts and enhance U.S. influence.

Richard Kidd, Director of the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement, congratulates a mine detecting dog handler, trained under PM/WRA's extensive humanitarian mine action program in Iraq. In 2003 alone, the U.S. Department of State invested more than $15 million in humanitarian mine action in Iraq. U.S. humanitarian mine action assistance to Iraq has increased even more since that time.  (Photo courtesy of the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement)Conventional weapons and munitions addressed by the Office include but are not limited to landmines, unexploded ordnance (UXO), abandoned ordnance (AO), man portable air defense systems (MANPADS) and other small arms and light weapons (SA/LW). The office strives to limit the access of terrorist and criminal groups to such weapons and munitions. By addressing acute humanitarian needs, this office also demonstrates the United States commitment to a set of values that respects human life. The Office works closely with other U.S. Government agencies as well as non-governmental organizations, international organizations and private enterprises.

Formed in October 2003, the Office incorporated the functions and responsibilities of the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs' former Office of Humanitarian Demining Programs, the former Office of Mine Action Initiatives and Partnerships, and the small arms/light weapons and MANPADS duties formerly managed by the Bureau's Office of Plans, Policy, and Analysis. To learn more about the Office's activities and its efforts to encourage civil society participation in these issues, visit

Telephone: 202-736-7132 (in October 2004: 202-663-0100)
Fax: 202-647-2465 (in October 2004: 202-663-0090)
Web site:

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