Blumenauer Letter to Powell Urges Cleanup of Landmines and Cluster Bombs

July 11, 2002
Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC-Today, Congressman Blumenauer (D-OR), together with 16 of his House colleagues, sent a bipartisan letter to Secretary Colin Powell about the U.S. role in the upcoming meeting of the Convention on Conventional Weapons, which will be held July 15-26 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Last December, the Convention on Conventional Weapons added Explosive Remnants of War to its agenda. Blumenauer's letter encourages the U.S. to play a positive role in the discussions on Explosive Remnants of War, which include indiscriminate weapons such as landmines and cluster bombs.

The letter states, "These explosive remnants of war create serious environmental, economic, humanitarian and security concerns both domestically and in the international arena…The Convention on Conventional Weapons cannot change the sad history of suffering caused by Explosive Remnants of War, but courageous action now can help create a world where human security and life-giving environments are no longer hostage to failed technology of war."

Blumenauer's letter urges the United States to promote the following approaches on Explosive Remnants of War:

· Create clear responsibility for cleanup of explosive remnants
· Focus on the use of weapons systems that leave behind explosive remnants
· Diminish the amount of explosive remnants by addressing failure rates of munitions
· Maximize sharing of improved cleanup technologies among nations

The following Members of Congress signed the letter: Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Sue W. Kelly (R-NY), Tom Lantos (D-CA), Donald A. Manzullo (R-IL), Eni F.H. Faleomavaega (D-AS), Wayne T. Gilchrest (R-MD), Sam Farr (D-CA), Sherwood L. Boehlert (R-NY), Lane Evans (D-IL), Ellen O. Tauscher (D-CA), Robert A.Underwood (D-GU), James P. McGovern (D-MA), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Jane Harman (D-CA), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Bob Filner (D-CA), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX).