A child is killed by a land mine every 18 minutes, guests were told at the fifth annual Adopt-a-Minefield benefit gala hosted by Paul McCartney and his wife, Heather Mills McCartney.
On Tuesday, the McCartneys hosted about 1,000 guests, who dined on a vegan dinner and were entertained by special musical performances by Paul McCartney and singing legend Tony Bennett. A silent auction took place as cocktails were served, followed by dinner and a live auction led by talk show host Jay Leno, who served as the master of ceremonies.
Governments should "listen to the voice of the people" and sign a treaty banning the deadly devices, Paul McCartney told AP Television News on the arrivals line for Tuesday night's event at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
"People don't like land mines, especially the survivors and the people who are living in the countries with them," McCartney said. "They think they are cowardly, like we do, so I think it's down to the governments to actually just listen to the people and sign the treaty and get rid of all these things and there would be an end to it."
Adopt-a-Minefield, a leader in addressing the pervasive global problem, holds the annual benefit to raise money for mine clearance and landmine-survivor assistance.
Other guests included actors Pam Anderson, Alex Baldwin and Andy Garcia.
Heather Mills McCartney said 135 countries have signed the Mine Ban Treaty, but the U.S., Russia and China have not.
"We've cleared 21 million meters of square land at Adopt-A-Minefield," she said. "It only takes $30 to make a child walk again, so you can make a difference."