Deputy Secretary William J. Burns today said United States supports Marshall Legacy Institute’s humanitarian efforts to remove landmines around the world.
In his remarks at the Marshall Legacy Institute’s Anniversary Gala, Mr. Burns stressed that cooperation with the people and governments of mine-affected countries is critical to the success of our shared work, and your presence here highlights the strength of our international partnerships.
“We at the State Department have been proud to partner with the Marshall Legacy Institute and support its humanitarian efforts to remove landmines from the beginning.” -Mr. Burns
He said the United States helped launch the MLI’s first Mine Detection Dog partnership programs in the late 1990s, and we later provided funding to get the Children Against Mines Program off the ground.
“Now, 14 years later, the Marshall Legacy Institute has become a premier example of how much we can accomplish when government and private organizations work together in common cause.” -Mr. Burns
According to Mr. Burns, the MLI’s success has also generated tens of millions of dollars in private sector support for land mine action. He said he was impressed to learn that General Dynamics has sponsored 10 Mine Detection Dogs – thank you so much for that contribution.
“No matter how large or how small your donation, whether you held bake sales or dog walks or went through your corporate social responsibility office, your contribution is important.” -Mr. Burns
He noted that the work is critical, and it is expensive. He said each of MLI’s 155 Mine Detection Dogs working in mine-affected countries is actively saving lives. He pointed out that it takes a great deal of time and money to train and deploy each individual dog. He added that prosthetic limbs that fit comfortably and work correctly can cost thousands of dollars, often much more than survivors and their families can afford.
“None of us can achieve the results we want to see on our own. It is only through ventures that unite the resources of the private sector with the passion of the non-profit sector and the reach of the U.S. Government that we can make a concrete difference. And when we cooperate effectively, as we do through MLI’s programs, we change lives.” -Mr. Burns