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Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
June 3, 2008


Seventh Edition of "To Walk the Earth in Safety" Shows United States Progress in Clearing Landmines and Destroying Conventional Weapons

The Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs has released the Seventh Edition of “To Walk the Earth in Safety,” summarizing the 2006-2007 accomplishments of the U.S. Humanitarian Mine Action Program, the world’s largest such operation.

2007 To Walk the Earth in Safety report coverThis 56-page illustrated report, available at http://www.state.gov/t/pm/rls/rpt/walkearth/2008/, describes efforts by the Department of State, Department of Defense, and U.S. Agency for International Development’s Leahy War Victims Fund to clear mines and explosive remnants of war (most of which are of non-U.S. origin), teach mine risk education, and assist conflict survivors. The report also chronicles the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement’s (http://www.state.gov/t/pm/wra) continuing success in destroying at-risk conventional weapons.

Milestones in 2007 include the reduction in annual reported casualties from landmines and explosive remnants of war worldwide to 5,751, down from about 26,000 just four years before, the destruction of a symbolic millionth light weapon, a major milestone in reinforcing peace and the rule of law, and destroying more than 24,000 Man-Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS) since the United States first began targeting these threats to global aviation. Also, 2007 marked the 10th Anniversary of the Department of State’s Public-Private Partnership program, which encourages civil society participation in humanitarian mine action.

Notable accomplishments in 2006 included helping Macedonia to become free from the humanitarian impact of landmines and explosive remnants of war, and clearing the last “hidden killers” from Mozambique’s vital Sena Railway. Also in 2006, progress was made with the NATO Partnership for Peace destruction initiative in Ukraine, including the elimination of 1,000 MANPADS that were excess to Ukraine’s defense needs.

To receive a printed copy of “To Walk the Earth in Safety,” send an e-mail with your name and full address, including postal or Zip code, to John Stevens in the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement at SteveJE@state.gov. Previous editions of “To Walk the Earth in Safety” are archived at http://www.state.gov/t/pm/rls/rpt/walkearth/.

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Released on June 3, 2008

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