01 December 2013

ICBL Campaign Manager Firoz Alizada and ICBL-CMC Operations Manager Elsa Berseth joined mine ban advocates from all over Mozambique recently in a planning workshop for the Third Review Conference of the Mine Ban Treaty, taking place 23 to 27 June 2014 in Maputo.

The two-day Maputo workshop was organized by Mozambican campaign members Rede Para Assistência as Vitimas de Minas (Network for Assistance to Mine Victims or RAVIM by its Portugues acronym), FOMICRES (Mozambican Force for Crime Investigation and Social Reintegration) and Handicap International, and focused on Treaty status in Mozambique and beyond and what needs to be done in the lead up to the Review Conference.

Civil society participants included a range of mine action and victim assistance operators and advocates who shared their views, expectations and preparations for the review conference. Additional participants included the UNDP Country Director, the Representative of the Norwegian Embassy, the Director of the National Demining Institute, and Representatives of the Ministries of Women and Social Action and Labour.

The ICBL delegation shared with workshop participants, activities to be undertaken in the run up to the Review Conference and encouraged national campaign members and partners to focus on achieving objectives outlined in the 2009 Cartagena Action Plan.A national committee was established to follow up recommendations from the workshop and develop a campaign action plan focusing on victim assistance and clearance in the run up to the Review Conference. The ICBL delegation also met with Mozambican government representatives including the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The representatives reiterated plans for completion of mine clearance as well as the destruction of some 900 landmines currently retained, by the end 2014.

Mozambican victim assistance authorities shared their concerns regarding the limited resources allocated for these activities and acknowledged the need for the government to step up efforts to address the needs of victims, including developing a victim assistance action plan prior to the Review Conference.

ICBL members and government delegates from Mozambique will participate in the Thirteenth Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty and Third Review Conference planning meeting, taking place this week (2-6 Dec) in Geneva.