Support for the Landmine Treaty
Antipersonnel landmines are weapons that claim life or limb of another innocent victim every 20 minutes. Peacekeepers, humanitarian workers, and missionaries daily risk death and injury from landmines. As of now, 151 countries have signed the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, an international agreement that bans antipersonnel landmines. In March 1999 the treaty became binding under international law. The United States and 39 other countries have not ratified the treaty. Religious leaders, physicians, veterans, humanitarian activists, environmentalists, and human-rights advocates have called upon the United States to sign and ratify the Mine Ban Treaty.
Antipersonnel landmines are a growing threat to human community and the environment, kill or maim hundreds of people every week, bring untold suffering and casualties to mostly innocent and defenseless civilians and especially children, obstruct economic development and reconstruction, inhibit the repatriation of refugees and internally displaced persons, and have other severe consequences for years after emplacement. The United States is one of only 13 countries that refuse to halt production of antipersonnel landmines.
We firmly believe that the world needs a vision of peace rooted in justice and a world bound together under the umbrella of God's love for all humankind.
It is in this spirit that we celebrate the worth and dignity of all races and peoples and call for the end of development and deployment of landmines. Micah 4:3 ". . . They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks" further reveals God's will for humankind.
The General Conference of The United Methodist Church, calls upon:
- the President of the United States to sign and the US Senate to ratify the "Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction," commonly called the Mine Ban Treaty;
- all countries that have not done so to ratify the Mine Ban Treaty;
- the General Board of Global Ministries, nongovernmental organizations, and governments to increase resources for humanitarian de-mining, mine awareness programs, and increased resources for landmine victim rehabilitation and assistance; and
- the General Board of Church and Society to advocate against the deployment of landmines and advocate for de-mining and caring for persons who have been wounded by landmines.
We ask that the secretary of the General Conference send this resolution to the President of the United States Senate and to the Speaker of the US House of Representatives as soon as possible after the adjournment of the 2008 General Conference.
revised and readopted 2008
Resolution #335, 2004 Book of Resolutions
Resolution #316, 2000 Book of Resolutions
See Social Principles, ¶ 165B and C.
From The Book of Resolutions of The United Methodist Church - 2008. Copyright © 2008 by The United Methodist Publishing House. Used by permission.