Banning Landmines

Four countries are now land mine free, Albania, Greece, Rwanda and Zambia. That is no small accomplishment, but many more need to join the list. Landmines destroy many lives and show a lack of respect for human rights. The 1997 International Mine Ban Treaty was ratified by 156 nations. And yet key players on the world stage have not yet ratified it, countries such as the United States, Russia, India and Pakistan. It was hoped President Obama would take the opportunity to have the treaty signed since the agreement is up for renewal, but so far the administration has let the status quo stand, refusing to take steps to have it signed and ratified. No doubt there are political considerations for the lack of action. Sometimes, though, humanitarian grounds should prevail. Banning landmines is one of those instances.