Britain backs US plan for global ban on landmines
Tuesday 21 January 1997
The Government said it supported the US proposal, which was made public only days after the Princess of Wales came under fire from Tory politicians for denouncing landmines as "hideous weapons" during a visit to Angola on behalf of the British Red Cross.
The Government, perhaps sensing public support for the princess's remarks, quickly distanced itself from the criticism of her and made clear that it advocated a ban on most anti- personnel mines. Government officials point out that Britain has not manufactured such mines for years and that China and Russia are the world's largest producers and exporters of landmines.
The Clinton administration put forward its initiative at the United Nations- sponsored Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, but without much expectation that it would achieve rapid results. Diplomats said the 61-nation conference was likely to get bogged down in the next few weeks over the demands of non-aligned and developing countries for total nuclear disarmament before there was any progress on landmines.
However, the US approach, which is supported by France as well as Britain, may produce results in the longer term. This is because Russia and China, whose support would be essential to the effectiveness of a world-wide ban, have indicated that they are at least prepared to discuss the issue in Geneva.
US officials said it made more sense to push for a landmines ban at a conference where the Russians and Chinese were taking part. The US ban would cover mines designed to kill or injure people, but would exclude anti-tank mines.
The International Committee of the Red Cross, one of several humanitarian groups pressing for a world-wide ban, estimates there are more than 100 million landmines in 64 countries.
- 1 Tourist films plane's descent just metres above packed Caribbean beach
- 2 Kate Moss: Previously unpublished nude photo revealed by Mert and Marcus
- 3 Indian woman creates 'Marriage CV' after parents put her on dating site: 'Definitely not marriage material. Won’t grow long hair, ever'
- 4 World Book Day: Boy 'excluded' from school after dressing up as Fifty Shades' Christian Grey
- 5 Bad Jews poster 'censored' on London Tube
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Elif Shafak: Turkish author warns against rise of British nationalism
Most people think legal tax avoidance is just as wrong as illegal tax evasion, poll suggests
Nigel Farage promises Ukip will not 'stigmatise' would-be migrants – and says he wants 'everyone to speak the same language'
£65000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Engineer - central London ...
£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Physiotherapist / Sports Ther...
£8 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives / Advisors are required...
£14000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...