"International Organization in the International Campaign to Ban Landmines"

Julian Bond: Next, it is my great pleasure to introduce Jody Williams: "International Organization in the International Campaign to Ban Landmines."

Jody Williams: I'd like to ask the people in the back if they'd raise the lights in the back a bit. A little bit more. Thank you. I happen to like to see the people I am talking to. I don't want to talk to the lights. Thank you. Well, it's nice to see your eyes and see if you're asleep or paying attention. Thank you. That's very helpful.

I hope it seems that I've been paying attention to my esteemed colleagues, because I have learned a lot in these past two days. Part of what fascinates me is common themes running through what we're all saying about our own contributions to the building of peace, which is a very long-term process. The one that's resonated most, which Bobby just said, is that most of us are just ordinary people. I remember Betty Williams starting her comments with "people considered me to be an ordinary housewife." Then she did go on to say, "What's an ordinary housewife?" But we are ordinary people. Bobby, very powerfully, explained one part of the campaign. What I am going to do, briefly, is try to put it in the international context. I am going to try to explain how a bunch of ordinary people around the world came together to take the challenge of the U.S. president to eventually eliminate landmines, and make it a reality. And also, in so doing, to create a new model of diplomacy in the post-Cold War world. One which threatens the status quo about how things are done and has created a new model of diplomacy in the post-Cold War world that makes smaller and mid-size countries working together with civil society a potential new super-power. That's what I am going to talk about for a minute: ordinary citizens. Bobby powerfully told you what brought him and the Vietnam Veterans to the conclusion that they had to go to the source of the problem, and ban the weapon. I am going to ask two of my colleagues-and I don't see them-to stand up. Steve Goose and Susan Walker, please stand up. More ordinary people who have come together to create extraordinary moments in history. Steve Goose works for Human Rights Watch, another founding member of the organization. Human Rights Watch, in 1985, was the first organization to begin the systematic documentation of the impact of anti-personnel landmines. Very important, when we went up against governments and militaries, to tell them that the weapon was already illegal, to explain to them the disproportionate consequences of its use on civilians. Without that documentation we would not have been able to argue with conviction. Susan Walker is currently one of the co-coordinators of this campaign. She works for the organization Handicap International, which works in 20 or 30 countries-37? 39-countries around the world, putting limbs on mine victims. Another organization that came to the belief that it had to join a political movement to ban this weapon because its consequences were too great. There were many like us around the world. It was the people in the field, the organizations doing the work in the middle of the minefields, who came to the conclusion that the cost of the use of this weapon, the cost to civilians, for decades after the end of the war, was so severe that it had to be outlawed. And they were willing to do things-which many of them, like Handicap International, had never launched a campaign or participated in one. Human Rights Watch was great at documentation, but was not real excited about coalition work and being political. But the consequences of this weapon were so grave that they believed it was time to take action.

So it was these people with field expertise who came together and, in 1992, we formally launched the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. Bobby described really well what happened in the United States. He very clearly showed the early leadership of Senator Leahy in the United States, which galvanized much of the world. Both the campaign side, and governments, who believe that if the United States-the sole remaining super-power-was willing, on its own, to stop the export of what was still considered to be a legal weapon, then maybe we could really do something. It made us all believe that maybe we could really do something. It might take two decades, as Bobby said, but maybe we could really do something. So our campaign started working at the international level and the national level. With our various national campaigns, as we grew, NGOs in the different countries-we're now 1200 non-governmental organizations in seventy-five countries-formed in their own national campaigns, all of us united with the goal of banning the weapon. But each campaign worked independently because each society is different. Each NGO in each campaign works differently. Some are lobbyists. Some are field workers. There was never the intention of this campaign to dictate from the United States how our Mozambiquan colleagues, for example, were going to approach their government, or how our colleagues in Cambodia were going to approach their government. So, we each worked independently, but coordinating and communicating constantly toward a common goal.

On the international side, we challenged governments to come together to look at the one existing treaty which Bobby mentioned, the Convention on Conventional Weapons-a product of the mid-seventies-a result, in part, of the Vietnam War. People had been horrified by the impact of landmines, by the impact of napalm and other such delightful weapons, in the Vietnam War, and they came together, resulting in the Convention on Conventional Weapons. It was weak, it didn't do too much to stop the use of landmines, to stop the proliferation, but it was an existing vehicle that we could use as a focal point. And we challenged governments to come together, because they could, and amend it. And we thought that if we pressed them enough, maybe we could get them to amend it-not to ban the weapon, because we knew there wasn't that much political will yet, but at least we could get some movement. We achieved that very rapidly. So we were already working on the international level.

And then, as the national campaigns developed their own relationships with their political people, we had governments begin to recognize that this was an issue that was growing in concern around the world. We had governments that wanted to be seen as the good guy in this issue, and they began to compete for leadership on this issue of global, humanitarian concern. I've said it before: governments have egos just like individuals. Obviously, they are more complex egos, but they do have egos. When Leahy shocked the world with the moratorium on export, it incensed the French, for example. Considering themselves to be the guardians of human rights, they immediately responded to the challenge and launched their own moratorium. It worked. And then we were able to get our campaigns, for example, in Germany, to say, "O.K., France has done it, the U.S. has done it, why can't you do it?" And then, Denmark, and then Norway, and we kept building and building and building and building, and finally we got one country to unilaterally ban completely the use, production, trade and stockpiling of anti-personnel landmines: Belgium, in March of 1995, the new leader. It was amazing. And then that people made other people irritated. So, then Austria did the same thing. And then The Netherlands. All the while, we had the United States still claiming leadership as the other countries of the world are moving forward, being the new leaders.

Words are cheap. "Tears," as Betty said, "without action are irrelevant." The words of leadership became hollow when other countries took the real lead by action. I can say I'm going to do a million things; it's what I do that matters. And unfortunately, leadership remained on the Hill, and not in the rest of the administration in this country. But because other countries were willing to do it differently, because they were willing to show leadership, and we worked with them continuously through the process, we were developing a new partnership between governments and non-governmental organizations in the areas of arms control, disarmament, and humanitarian law. Which is also a very novel thing to happen. Governments are relatively comfortable with civil society talking about tear-jerking issues like children, tear-jerking issues like women, like trees, the environment. Right? These are soft, easy issues and you guys can talk about 'em. But in the manly issues of war and peace and armament, tree-hugging liberals have no place.

Because we were the experts from the field, we were the experts with the documentation, we knew what we were talking about, and they could not disregard us. And because we were always there, dialoguing with them, pushing them, proving time and time again that what we said was right, and doing everything we said we would do. The most important thing, in many instances in the campaign, was follow-up. Every time we said, "We are going to X, Y or Z," we did it. Whether it was with our campaign colleagues or it was governments, we did it, did it, did it. That builds trust. You do what you say you are going to do, so people know that when you say it, you mean it. And when this campaign said it, it meant it, and we proved it. And it broke through, a little bit, the barriers of distrust between government and civil society which is so odd, because we elect governments, and they should be open to what we have to say. But they are not, generally, especially on issues of arms control and laws of war.

We were able to build that trust to such a degree that we worked very closely with the Canadians in paving the groundwork for, as Bobby has already mentioned, the tremendous leadership of Lloyd Axworthy when, in October of 1996, he challenged the world. We had been in a three-day meeting, there were 50 governments that called themselves "pro-ban," there was the campaign; and we had worked hard to set up an agenda for action which might ultimately lead to the eventual elimination of landmines. As Bobby said, the U.S. thought they would run the show, in normal diplomatic channels, and it would happen in twenty years-maybe. So, at the end of three difficult days of very difficult work, because we actually made the diplomats work, which is unusual in a conference, Lloyd Axworthy stood up to give the closing address, and to congratulate everybody, as politicians are expected to do. "Thank you for all coming, and thank you for this wonderful action plan, and now we have maybe a road map"-and then he paused, and he said, "But this road map is not enough. It is no longer enough to say that we are eventually going to eliminate anti-personnel landmines. We have been hearing that now for years. The Canadian government challenges you to come back on one year's time, having negotiated a total ban on the use, production, trade and stockpiling of anti-personnel landmines based on this Austrian Draft Treaty. And Canada is so determined to set a new international norm that if we are sitting here alone with the International Campaign next year, we are going to sign this treaty to prove that at least one government, two or ten are committed to setting a new norm to get rid of this horrific weapon."

That freaked out the diplomats horribly, because they had not consulted with anyone, they hadn't consulted with the other leaders like Belgium, like Austria, The Netherlands. Normally, you chat with your colleagues, and you discuss whether or not this is a good thing to do. Canadians knew that if they chatted with their colleagues they would have been shot down, and nothing would happen, so they just did it. And then, to further horrify the diplomatic community, they said, "Not only are we going to do this, we are going to do it in open, complete partnership with the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, and they are going to be inside the negotiations. They are going to hear you when you negotiate,"-he didn't say this, but the implication was, "so you're not going to be able to stand outside the negotiating doors and pretend you're doing the right thing, go inside and shut the doors, and keep civil society out-the same civil society without which this never would have happened-and non-negotiate the ban." So we were in the room.

That is leadership. That is huge risk-taking. It was such a huge risk that it almost collapsed. Quite seriously. Canada so enraged its partners in the ban movement by grandstanding, by taking the lead, that they could have lost their allies. But they, again, put action behind their words. They didn't just sit back and let it collapse. They went out and lobbied and pushed and put their money where their mouth was, and made them stay. And then, when we went to negotiations, since the most mined countries in the world are the developing world, they paid to bring those diplomats to every single negotiating session so they were part of the treaty. That never happens. Treaties are negotiated in Geneva, where the rich countries have their missions. And they send their people who are always stationed in Geneva at the Mission. The developing world has not enough money to be there, so they're not involved. And then, they are expected to become party to something that they had nothing to do with. Canada said, "Nuh-uh, not this one. These are the guys that are living with the landmines, they are going to be with us." And they were at every meeting. We even held meetings in Africa to make sure.

So, when the world came together a year later to sign the treaty, there were 122 governments that signed in two days. It was incredible! Despite the opposition of the United States, despite end-runs by the U.S. during the negotiations to derail it, it did not happen because the commitment was there-it had been publicly made, we were there with them-and they could not turn back. So we achieved a total-ban treaty in one year. Five years, as Bobby says, from the launch of the campaign. It is for this that the campaign received the Nobel Peace Prize.

The first words of the announcement were "For making a utopian dream"-another word you talked about, utopia. We were called "utopian" in the early days. It's absurd. Militaries have had these weapons since the U.S. Civil War, since the Crimean War; every single military in the world has this weapon. Do you think you are going to get them to give it up? Military has never met a weapon it doesn't like. "You are Utopian fools." Well, we took this utopian dream of ordinary fools and we made it reality.

The other reason that the Nobel Committee chose to recognize the work of the International Campaign was the new model in the post-Cold War period, this model being civil society working with smaller and mid-size governments to bring about rapid change to critical issues of concern to the international community. And they said that they hoped this model would be used over and over again to deal with critical issues of arms control and peace in the next century.

Those of us who have worked diligently on this campaign, and still do-as Bobby said, the treaty was the first step; there's an awful lot of work to be done, and we're still doing it. It's very, very critical that this treaty succeed. As I mentioned, it will become international law more quickly than any treaty ever in history. The campaign is working to monitor the implementation by governments in a project called "Landmine Monitor" to make sure the governments do what they say they are going to do. Just as we did to get them to do the treaty, we are doing the same thing to make sure they obey their own treaty. Impunity. We do not want to create another piece of paper that is not adhered to, thus fostering the increasing sense of impunity in this world. If those governments come together and create this law themselves, and they sign and they ratify, they will adhere. Because we will be there making sure that they adhere. Impunity is a horrific problem, obviously. And we do not want to contribute to impunity. So, we are committed to continuing our work for the treaty itself, but equally for the model.

Diplomats around the world are concerned that this model has succeeded. It disrupts the way things are done. It disrupts their process, it disrupts their job, it disrupts the way governments do things. If we succeed, and others are able to use this model, it is threatening to this whole process. So, others are already trying to use this model. The International Criminal Court was another major example of the U.S. not understanding that in the post-Cold War period, civil society and governments are coming together to do it differently. The U.S. tried to get its interests inserted into the International Criminal Court at the cost of everybody else's beliefs, and the world said "no"-two times. First, the Ban Treaty; then, the International Criminal Court. People are now trying to do it to stop child soldiers. The U.S. is against that. People are now trying to do it to limit light arms and small weapons.

We were just with President Arias and José Ramos-Horta in Belgium a couple of weeks ago on a very interesting initiative. Trying to use parts of our campaign that were successful. It's a harder job. President Arias' Code of Conduct is a harder job. As he said, seven categories of weapons. But I believe that if the model we've developed is applied, and we force governments to continue to accept us as partners, we will succeed. But if we step back, and let it become business as usual, diplomacy as usual, power-politics as usual, we will be crying. And it will be sentiment without action, which is irrelevant to changing the world.

We didn't set out to change the world. We were ordinary people who saw a problem and believed we could do something to make it better. We never expected that we'd be sitting here with these eminent people because of what we did. We saw a problem, we knew it had to be resolved, we came together to do it. Action, not crying. It was ordinary people who have achieved an extraordinary thing and given activists all over the world the belief that activists anywhere can and do make a difference. So don't sit back and worry, don't sit back and cry, and don't sit back and wait for the other guy to make it better. Join in, and help make it better yourself.

Thank you.


Julian Bond: Thank you, Ms. Williams. Colleagues? One thing that struck me about your description of the campaign is the pulling together of this coalition of many different organizations, not all of which are prepared to do the same thing at the same time in the same way. I imagine that's a difficult process for each of the people sitting around the table. Tell us a bit about how it was done; how did you do it?

Jody Williams: The idea of dealing with the problem of landmines is not new. As I mentioned earlier, people were trying to deal with the problem of indiscriminate and excessively injurious weapons as a result of the Vietnam War in the mid-seventies. So there were initial steps then. But it wasn't until the end of the Cold War, when people were no longer totally obsessed with the possibility of complete nuclear destruction, that we started to look at how wars had actually been fought on the ground, and the weapons that had been used, and the impact of those weapons.

By the end of the Cold War, the collapse of the Soviet Union, there were lots of groups in the world that were working in heavily mined countries where they had not access before, such as Afghanistan, Cambodia, beginning to go into Angola, Mozambique, as democracy was emerging in these countries, and they just saw the amazing devastation of landmines. Not just the immediate devastation of the victims, but the devastation caused by millions of landmines. Cambodia has millions of landmines scattered throughout 50% of its national territory. How do you repatriate refugees to create a new life when half of your national territory is full of landmines? Laos is full of unexploded munitions from the Vietnam War. There were a variety of organizations that were affected, so they were starting to talk about it. Field people would send reports back to H.I.-Handicap International. The field people kept saying, "God, everywhere we go, we have mine victims, mine victims. We can't just keep putting limbs on them, we have to take political action." And we had a group of people in Australia in 1992 who first petitioned-they got 2500 people to petition the Australian government to try to do something about landmines. So you had people starting to deal with it. And Human Rights Watch and Physicians for Human Rights had done this fabulous work to stop the coward's war: landmines in Cambodia. They called for a ban. Prince Sihanouk spoke at the U.N., calling for a ban. So you had the beginnings of people really recognizing something had to be done, and it just took a couple of organizations, Bobby Muller at VVAF and Medico International of Germany, to say "O.K., seems to be something going on here, let's bring it together and create a political movement." And the only thing that joined us was the common goal of banning the weapon. Every organization that joined then or joins now is free to do whatever they want to contribute to that process. So it doesn't impinge on their own mandate, it doesn't try to dictate to them the form they should take in so doing, but because there is the freedom to do it the way they want, they voluntarily come together all the time.

And every time we have a meeting, we develop an action plan. This campaign has never had a "talking head" meeting, ever. Every single campaign meeting, whether it's been 450 people from 50 countries in Mozambique during the Ottawa process, or 70 people in London in May of 1993, we came out with an action plan so that our people knew what they should do next. They could choose to either do it in a big way or in a little way, but we always were clear about the next steps. It's a combination of letting them be free and giving them a little guidance.

Bobby Muller: Can I give a reinforcing comment there? It was just a year ago when the Nobel Committee called. I'll certainly never forget that morning. And this guy Geir Lundestad called, and he said, "Ah, congratulations, Mr. Muller. The International Campaign to Ban Landmines has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, along with Jody Williams." And I said, "Oh, that's great Mr. Lundestad, but we've got a problem." And he said, "Oh, what's that?" And I said, "There's no there there." And he said, "What do you mean?" And I said, "Well, there really isn't an International Campaign to Ban Landmines." My generational marker is "follow the money"-you remember the old Woodward-Bernstein "Deep Throat?" He said, "There's a check. There's no entity to give a check to." I said the International Campaign to Ban Landmines is a name given to the collective action of a lot of organizations. It doesn't exist as an organization. There is no president, vice president, secretary, treasurer; there's no board of directors. We never had these budget meetings, you know? So, what are ya gonna do? And it turned out to be quite a dilemma-but that's another story! But I think the idea of setting a goal line and saying, "look, all of you out there, in whatever way you can-if you agree that this is a deserving goal line to cross-you are a supporter of the campaign, and do whatever you can in your community, in your country, to collaboratively support this collective effort to move it down field." And in that sense, I think that really is a refreshing way of organizing a movement compared to what I think a lot of us have struggled through in collaborative efforts.

Julian Bond: Perhaps that is the secret of your success.

Jody Williams: Another thing. I would really stress what I said at the podium: follow up. Follow up, follow up, follow up, follow up. People so often ask, "God, how could you organize all this?" It's drudgery. The real nuts-and-bolts work of this campaign is drudgery. It was getting up at 3:30 in the morning, every day, and faxing people all over the world to say, "This is what the French accomplished today. So when you meet with your government, use it. You know what they're going to be doing." It's making sure, even though everybody was independent to do it their own way, they cared enough to keep us all informed so that we all had the power of the smoke-and-mirrors illusion of this huge machinery. It was the information. It was the information. We got so good at the information that governments called us, rather than other governments, to find out what was happening next. Because we usually knew before they did. And it was, again, the follow up, the constant communication, the building of trust. Trust, trust, trust. The most important element in political work. Once you blow trust, you've blown it all. It's hard to rebuild. Just as in relationships. You do what you say you're going to do. And if you say you're going to do something, and you don't do anything...sentiment without action is irrelevant.

Julian Bond: Professor Hopkins, have we questions from the audience? Excuse me. His Holiness.

The Dalai Lama: [Through interpreter:] Given the tremendous success of your and Bob's work in getting together this treaty on banning the anti-personnel landmines, and the speed with which you were able to achieve this, to mobilize all these forces, His Holiness was wondering whether you could envision something like this happening in the case of banning nuclear weapons. Can this be repeated? For example, if you look at public opinion, there seems to be tremendous disapproval of the very idea of nuclear weapons. So there seems to be a tremendous public support for this. [His Holiness speaking:] Is there any possibility that, like you have done, someone could start some kind of movement [to ban nuclear weapons]?

Jody Williams: It is certainly a different issue. If a country gives up anti-personnel landmines, it doesn't put its entire existence at threat. And there is still the mentality in the handful of nations that have nuclear weapons that, if they give them up, they're putting themselves at risk, threatening their entire existence. However, I am increasingly of the belief that more could be done now in the post-Cold War period. Part of it was the nuclear standoff between the two blocs of power. I am not unconvinced that if there were a new approach in this new period, more concerted than before, something might be done. It wouldn't be as quick as landmines.

Bobby Muller: Can I jump in on that one, very briefly? I think leadership counts. And having people come to the fore and be the catalytic agent, and spark movements, counts. And, in that sense, I am very inspired by what I am seeing happening right now. The general who was the commanding general for all the United States' nuclear capabilities, General Lee Butler, has, just within the last year, spoken out, on the basis of his career and his responsibilities in dispatching America's nuclear capabilities, to advocate the abolition of nuclear weapons. When he was in charge of nuclear weapons, he went over to the then-Soviet Union and met his counterpart. And they got to be good friends. And his counterpart shares a lot of his beliefs. That counterpart is now the Minister of Defense within Russia. There are very serious negotiations going on right now about not only the reduction, but working towards the elimination of nuclear weapons. And I'll just tell you that I found it to be an extraordinary factor to bring the retired military leadership that we were able to recruit into the landmine campaign in undercutting the military's opposition to this campaign when some of their most illustrious and reputable leaders joined our side. When you have somebody who is a four-star retired general officer, who had for years been responsible for the dispatch of our entire nuclear capability, saying "You unleash forces which are too dangerous to unleash. You run risks which are too great to tolerate, and we have to walk the nuclear cat back," that is a powerful spark for this movement. And I think that kind of leadership and the dynamic of what is going on around the world community, including the inability of the Russians to manage their nuclear arsenal, provide extraordinary opportunities that, hopefully, we will see movement on.


Jeffrey Hopkins: The first question is in the same line, and it is for President Arias. Landmines and nuclear weapons share many similarities, especially their indiscriminate destruction of civilians. Therefore, can a non-governmental campaign be effective in ending the use of nuclear weapons?

Oscar Arias Sánchez: Yes, I believe so. It is very obvious. Civil society is becoming more and more important every day. Civil society is far ahead of governments in pushing issues. This has been shown in Rio, in the case of the environment. This has been shown in Cairo, in Beijing, with women's issues, etc. What we need is commitment, political will, leadership, and, as it has been said, "words are cheap; tears without actions are irrelevant." I know General Lee Butler; I think this is wonderful. This is the minority view though in this country, as it is the minority view concerning the seven categories of the International Code of Conduct on Arms Transfers. We are dealing here with the most powerful interest groups on earth, much more powerful than the tobacco industry, than the pharmaceutical industry, whatever you can think of. As I said before, it is not jobs that are behind the sale of weapons. It is profits. It is a very strong force against peace and humanity. But action is what is needed. If we all become activists, perhaps this goal of controlling weapons or destroying nuclear arsenals could become a reality, and the dream could come true in twenty years' time, thirty years' time. So, it is a great challenge for the future generations: to have ideals, to understand that the idealists of today are the realists of tomorrow, and that tears become irrelevant if there is no action and commitment.

Jeffrey Hopkins: The next question is for Betty Williams. Yesterday, several of you brought up how emotion without action is nothing. So, how can I, as a college student with very little money, move beyond being emotional about people, justice and reconciliation, and act in such a way that will help to make a difference?

Betty Williams: I'd like to quote for you now one of my favorite people in the whole world. She's an anthropologist called Margaret Mead. She said, and we have it in all of our literature, "Never doubt that a committed group of people, however small they may be, can change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has." So, being afraid of just being the one person that would take that step will keep you forever from taking the step. I sometimes get out there, even when I get a punch in the jaw, which happens quite frequently. I'll get knocked over. You know that song, "I Get Knocked Down, But I Get Up Again?" Well, that happens to me at least forty times a week. Boom, boom, boom. It's really-this work is really very like that. One of the things that we have to know, too, is that there are no quick fixes. Our world did not get into this condition overnight. We, as human beings, are not capable of pulling it out of this condition overnight. It's going to take hard work, dedication, courage and commitment to do it. Over lunch today, I was asked a question about the peace movement in Northern Ireland. Mairead and I thought it would take fifty years, at least, to deal with 300 years of bad history. It took much less than that. But, if you go out there and think you're going to have an immediate solution then you're absolutely crazy. The campaign that I am running to create safe havens for children-I know that I may never see that in my lifetime-and that's O.K. Because if I do the job right, the job goes on when I'm not here. And I think each one of us at this table would feel that we all would love to see a non-violent, beautiful, just, and peaceful world. But until we are willing to work for it, as individuals and not just people around this table, it's never going to happen. So, don't be afraid, and don't think that your voice doesn't make a difference. Your voice makes a huge difference.

Jeffrey Hopkins: The next question is for Dr. Menchú Tum. What place has prayer in achieving individual and world peace?

Dr. Rigoberta Menchú Tum: I think it is very important to pray for peace, but to pray for peace just to pray for peace really doesn't contribute very much. Prayer and action are both things that are important together. Also, an individual struggle for peace has many limits; It is a lot better to struggle together with others-especially to do so with people who have a great desire and a great need for peace and especially to work with those people who also have a proposal about what to do for the future, because a lot of people struggle for peace just to get a title and an award. It may very well be that he or she will get the award and nothing changes, and it may very well be that he will be waiting and waiting for the award and it never arrives. So, I think it is more than a struggle of individuals, it is a struggle of peoples, of citizens, of young people and of old people, and of institutions of educators. I sometimes pray an Our Father for humanity, but it is the easiest thing that one can do.

Jeffrey Hopkins: The next question is for Bobby Muller. What is your position on the new landmines, which can be deactivated when the military action is finished?

Bobby Muller: The military has tried to argue that, since we have the technology, and the money for that technology, to have created a new generation of landmine-one that the landmines will, after a certain period of time, blow themselves up; or, if they malfunction and don't blow themselves up, they will essentially run themselves down so that they will be neutralized, and will not represent a continuing humanitarian threat around the world-that we should be allowed to keep our landmines. Well, think about it; this is International Diplomacy 101. You're sitting at a table, you've got representatives of ninety countries there-and the United States actually tried to present that position: "Since we have the money and technology for this new generation of landmines, we want all of you out there to give up your landmines. We're going to keep ours, and if you want, you can buy them from us." It didn't go very well. And I think it's kind of obvious that if we want everybody out there to get rid of their landmines, we have to give up our landmines.

Jeffrey Hopkins: And the final question is for Jody Williams. About the landmine campaign, where do students, who are people at a relatively young and green age, fit in? How can we help?

Jody Williams: Well, you could join the U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines. That would be a good start. As Bobby has made very clear, there's still a lot of work to be done here. It's coordinated out of Vietnam Veterans in Washington. Start a student chapter. Take leadership here. Educate people here. Invite speakers on the issue here. Write to the president. Write to your representative. Write to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in particular. They're not used to getting fan mail.

Julian Bond: Before we thank the first session's speakers, let me ask the audience if you would allow the Laureates to vacate the stage before you move. Thanks to both of you.