April 4th – UN International Day of Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action

Since the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction, commonly known as the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention opened for signature in 1997, 156 countries have ratified or acceded to it. More than 41 million stockpiled anti-personnel mines have been destroyed, and their production, sale and transfer have in essence stopped.On December 8, 1997 the then eight US Units of the Sisters of Notre Dame took a Corporate Stance on the banning of landmines. This was endorsed by many SND Units worldwide.

The United States has not yet signed on to this Convention.

Attached is a letter to President Obama which I signed on from the SND J&P Office along with other organizations.

Below is a copy of the 1997 USA Corporate Stance on Banning Landmines.

SISTERS OF NOTRE DAME DE NAMUR
CORPORATE STANCE ON BAN OF LANDMINES WORLDWIDE 12/08/97

We, the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur in the United States, support the call of Pope John Paul II and the Bishops of the United States to ban the use of landmines worldwide.
We oppose the development, production and distribution of these weapons as immoral because their capacity to maim and kill civilians is indiscriminate and uncontrollable. More than 100 million anti-personnel landmines are in the ground in over 60 countries, including zones where our sisters work. Among the estimated 26,000 people killed or maimed by landmines each year, most are civilians.

These weapons wherever they have been laid continue to be a scourge long after peace has been declared. Their removal is risky and expensive, using up resources better applied to the reconstruction and development of the affected countries.
We regret that our President declined to sign on to the Ottowa Accord holding out for certain exceptions which weaken the global initiative. We pledge to make every effort through prayer, education and advocacy to move our country to acceptance of this ban. When the people move, the leaders follow.