Landmine Update #11, September 2003
- Ban Treaty News
- Campaign Action
- Mine Action Activities
- Landmine-related events by country April-September 2003
- Landmine Calendar of Events As of September 2003
To date, 136 countries have ratified the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, and an additional 12 have signed it. The most recent accessions are Belarus (3 September) and Timor Leste (7 May) and the most recent ratifications are Guyana (5 August) and Lithuania (12 May).
The second session of the 2002-2003 Intersessional Standing Committee meetings was held from 12-16 May in Geneva, Switzerland. Approximately 458 participants representing 109 countries took part in this very important series of informal meetings, which have been a crucial tool to ?mark, measure and ensure progress in implementation of the Convention? since September 1999. Participants included 86 States Parties, 23 non-States Parties, UN and Regional Organizations and over 60 ICBL members from 25 countries. Ten landmine survivors from Afghanistan, Cambodia, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka participated in the meetings as part of the Raising the Voices landmine survivor advocate training program (see Campaign Action).
The meeting agreed that the 2004 Mine Ban Treaty Review Conference will be held from 29 November- 3 December 2004 in Nairobi, Kenya. Austrian Ambassador Wolfgang Petritsch has been named President-Designate. It was agreed that participation in the Review Conference should be at ?the highest possible level.? Review Conference preparatory meetings will be held after the 2004 Standing Committee meetings (9-12 February and 14-18 June 2004).
Discussions were held throughout the week on all the key Articles in the Mine Ban Treaty (Articles 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9), as well as ongoing preparations for the 5MSP in Bangkok. The Contact Groups on Universalization, Article 7 & 9 and the Resource Mobilization Contact Group also reported on their activities and meetings during the week.
The following countries were proposed as Standing Committee Co-Rapporteurs for 2003-2004, to be presented to the 5MSP for approval:
- General Status and Operation of the Convention: South Africa and New Zealand;
- Victim Assistance and Socio-Economic Reintegration: Nicaragua and Norway;
- Mine Action, Mine Risk Education and Mine Action Technologies: Algeria and Sweden; and,
- Stockpile Destruction: Bangladesh and Canada.
Landmine Survivors Network and the Geneva Forum hosted ?Rights not Charity,? a panel to discuss the need for and process to achieve a convention on the rights of persons with disabilities. The Permanent Mission of Spain hosted a workshop for Spanish-speaking delegations on implementing Article 9 legislation. Visit: www.icbl.org/sc or contact: walker(replace with at sign)icbl.org
Much of this period focused on preparations for the Fifth Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty (5MSP) being held from 15-19 September in Bangkok, Thailand. Throughout the week campaigners will participate in the official 5MSP meetings, side events, lobby meetings, press events and much more. ICBL side events include art and photography exhibits, an interfaith service and a field trip to mine-affected communities along the Thai-Cambodian border. Contact: banemnow(replace with at sign)icbl.org. The ICBL Non-State Actors Working group organized ?Looking Back, Looking Forward,? a one-day workshop on NSA engaged in a mine ban, to be held 13 September ( http://www.icbl.org/news/2003/367.php). Contact: twsc(replace with at sign)kssp.upd.edu.ph. Campaigners will remain in Bangkok after the 5MSP to participate in the Third Biennial ICBL General Meeting being held from 20-21 September, also in Bangkok. General Meetings are held once every two years and provide an opportunity for the entire campaign membership to meet to determine the future course and work of the organization. Over 280 ICBL campaigners and researchers from 72 countries will participate in this important series of events. Contact: banemnow(replace with at sign)icbl.org
Landmine Monitor, the ICBL?s civil society-based reporting initiative, compiled its annual report,
The 2003 Landmine Monitor Global Researchers meeting was held from 7-9 April in Rome, Italy. Over 70 researchers from 65 countries met to discuss their finalized country updates for
Campaign advocacy initiatives in this period were focused on preparing for the 5MSP and working to engage Asian universalization targets. On 1 July the ICBL issued ?Hold Hands Against Mines in Asia,? an action alert urging China, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Singapore and Sri Lanka to join the Mine Ban Treaty ( http://www.icbl.org/news/2003/355.php). Contact: wixley(replace with at sign)icbl.org. The ICBL also issued a lobbying action alert in July to encourage campaigners to meet with their governments and engage in lobbying activities in advance of the 5MSP ( http://www.icbl.org/news/2003/366.php). Contact: brigot(replace with at sign)icbl.org. The ICBL sent letters to all foreign ministers in August urging full and meaningful participation in the 5MSP. Contact: banemnow(replace with at sign)icbl.org
The Raising the Voices survivor advocate program brought 10 landmine survivors from South and South East Asia to Geneva, Switzerland in May to participate in the Intersessional Standing Committee meetings. Participants were introduced to human rights and disability law, the ICBL, and received training in advocacy skills. Contact: becky(replace with at sign)landminesurvivors.org
Young people from around the world collected over 100,000 petition signatures through the Youth Against War Treaty initiative, urging India and Pakistan to join the Mine Ban Treaty. The petition handover, scheduled for 9 September, has been postponed ( http://www.icbl.org/youth/news/00000065.html). Contact: yaw(replace with at sign)icbl.org
The ICBL 2002 Annual Report was released in August along with the 2002 Independent Audit. Both reports are available online at: http://www.icbl.org/news/2003/371.php. Contact: banemnow(replace with at sign)icbl.org
The 108th Inter-parliamentary Union Conference was held from 6-12 April in Santiago, Chile. The ICBL worked with IPU members to encourage parliamentarian action in support of the Mine Ban Treaty. Contact: brigot(replace with at sign)icbl.org
A new National Mine Action Authority and Iraq Mine Action Center opened in Baghdad, Iraq on 4 August. The institutions mark the beginning of renewed Iraqi institutional capacity in mine action. The United Nations inter-agency mission in Baghdad was holding a press conference on the landmine situation in Iraq on 22 August when a bomb exploded, injuring several mine action staff ( http://www.icbl.org/news/2003/383.php). Contact: lawp(replace with at sign)un.org
On 4 September two employees from Mines Advisory Group (MAG) were ambushed and shot at as they drove their vehicle along a main road towards Mosul, northern Iraq. MAG?s bomb disposal expert, Ian Rimell, from Kidderminster, UK, was shot dead and his colleague, Salem Ahmed Mohammed, a local employee from the MAG demining team, is currently in a critical condition in northern Iraq ( http://www.icbl.org/news/2003/395.php). Contact: irena.k(replace with at sign)mag.org.uk
The Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) released ?Landmines and Unexploded Ordnance: A Guide to Mine Action,? on 4 September at an event hosted by the Geneva Forum in Geneva, Switzerland. This handbook provides basic information for diplomats, donors, lawyers, practitioners, scholars and the media on the key aspects of mine action and is intended to assist in decision-making, program planning and research. All five core components of mine action are included: mine risk education, humanitarian demining, victim assistance, stockpile destruction and advocacy against the use of antipersonnel mines. Visit: www.gichd.ch or contact: d.orifici(replace with at sign)gichd.ch
The Survey Action Center (SAC) and Mine Clearance Planning Agency (MCPA) conducted senior staff training in Kabul, Afghanistan from 3-22 August. SAC submitted its survey final draft report to the Azerbaijan National Agency for Mine Action (ANAMA) for review and the UN Certification Committee will review this draft in September. The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) contributed significant funds to SAC to complete its final survey report for Somalia. The UN Certification Committee will review the survey in September. Scanteam completed field visits to Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cambodia, Chad, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Thailand and Yemen. They will present their findings and recommendations at the Survey Working Group meeting on 15-16 October in Copenhagen, Denmark. Contact: bob(replace with at sign)sac-na.org
Access the Landmine Update online for event links and contacts: www.icbl.org/update/landmines
Afghanistan- The Afghan Campaign to Ban Landmines (ACBL) organized a youth letter writing campaign in July in response to the ICBL?s Asia Action Alert. Contact: mdcafghan(replace with at sign)hotmail.com
Australia- The ICBL Australian Network has commenced a postcard campaign seeking public support for the government to provide $150 million (AUD) for mine action over the next ten years. The Australian Network, in cooperation with UXO Lao produced ?Claiming the Future,? a book that shows the impact of UXO and landmines on Lao PDR. The book is designed to help keep the problems and the need for mine action before the international community. Funding for the project came from AusAID and Caritas Australia. A video has been prepared on John Rodsted's tour of Afghanistan highlighting UXO problems. Contact: ppakpoy(replace with at sign)chariot.net.au
Austria- On 4 May violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter and pianist Lambert Orkis performed in ?2003 World Without Mines,? a charity benefit concert in Vienna organized by the Austrian Foreign Ministry to raise funds to support UNICEF and Red Cross mine action activities. Contact: wernfried.koeffler(replace with at sign)bmaa.gv.at
Azerbaijan- Members of the Azerbaijan Campaign to Ban Landmines (AzCBL) met with the Public Union of Garabagh War Invalids, Veterans and Victims' Families on 9 June to encourage involvement in the mine ban movement. The AzCBL translated the Mine Ban Treaty text into Azeri with support from Canada. Representatives from the AzCBL visited several communities in June and July to inform authorities about the importance of joining the Mine Ban Treaty and to collect data about mine victims for a national database project. The AzCBL's Annual Meeting was held on 10 June in Baku. It was agreed that campaign members will promote the mine ban issue with candidates in the upcoming Presidential election. The AzCBL held a press conference on 17 July to discuss their campaign successes for the first half of 2003 and to announce upcoming activities including the Landmine Monitor launch. Contact: Azerbaijan(replace with at sign)icbl.org
Bangladesh- Nonviolence International Bangladesh held a Landmine Monitor release event on 9 September at the Reporters Unity Club in Dhaka. Speakers included the Director General of the UN wing of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Contact. mudita(replace with at sign)gshakti.com
Belarus- Belarus acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 September, following a decree signed by Head of the Belarus State Alexander Lukashenko on 28 July. The Belarus CBL noted ?the decree on accession to the Ottawa Convention is to a large extent the result of the efforts of the Belarus and International Campaigns to Ban Landmines that have managed to build trust among the stake holders, establish a constructive dialogue with the Belarus authorities and develop a step-by-step strategy that is beneficial for all.? Belarus currently has the world's seventh largest landmine stockpile, with 4,5 millions mines. Contact: izaglm(replace with at sign)yahoo.com
Belgium- Handicap International Belgium organized a Landmine Monitor release event on 9 September at De Markten in Brussels with Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofftadt. Contact: koen.baetens(replace with at sign)handicap.be
Brazil- The Brazilian Campaign to Ban Landmines (BCBL) collected signatures for the Youth Against War Treaty at school presentations, public events and other activities throughout the country. Campaigners also did presentations about the landmines issue at an ?Educators for Peace? workshop and collaborated with Desarme to publish media articles about landmines. Contact: brasil(replace with at sign)icbl.org
Cambodia- The Cambodian Campaign to Ban Landmines (CCBL) reissued its call for 10 out of 10 ASEAN countries to join the Mine Ban Treaty by the 5MSP ( http://www.icbl.org/news/2003/353.php). This call was released on the eve of the 36th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting, held from 16-17 June and the 10th ASEAN Regional Forum held from 18-20 June in Phnom Penh. The CCBL send letters to all diplomatic missions in Cambodia in preparation for these events and enclosed a copy of the report ?ASEAN and the Banning of Antipersonnel Mines.? The CCBL also held a Landmine Monitor release event on 9 September at the National Centre of Disabled Persons in Phnom Penh. Contact: jrscam(replace with at sign)forum.org.kh
The Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority organized ?The Way Forward,? a national workshop on mine and UXO risk reduction in Cambodia, held on 12 June in Battambang. Contact: samsotha(replace with at sign)cmaa.gov.kh Cambodian landmine survivors participated in Exchange for Peace, a two-week education program started by Swiss MP Roland Wiederkehr. The theme of the this year?s program was landmines and the ICBL conducted workshops with participants in Geneva, Switzerland. Contact: walker(replace with at sign)icbl.org.
In July ICBL Ambassador Tun Channareth and Thai survivor and campaigner Wiboonrat Chancho sent letters to Foreign Ministers of non States Parties encouraging them to take steps towards joining the treaty and participate in the Fifth Meeting of States Parties in Bangkok.
CCBL members participated in a regional seminar organized by the Thailand Campaign to Ban Landmines in Bangkok and Pak Chong 20-21 August (see Thailand).
CCBL organized a delegation of 16 landmine survivors to travel via van from Cambodia to Thailand, where they joined 20 Thai landmine survivors to participate in opening ceremonies of the Fifth Meeting of States Parties in Bangkok 15 September.
Cameroon- The International Club for Peace Research (ICPR) released the Landmine Monitor Report on 9 September at an event at the Hilton Hotel in Yaound?. Speakers included representatives from ICPR, the ICRC and the Canadian High Commission. Contact: mjonascirp(replace with at sign)hotmail.com
Chile- The XXXIII OAS General Assembly was held in Santiago from 1-3 June. The final declaration included language promoting the Mine Ban Treaty. Contact: Charlie(replace with at sign)icbl.org. GSMAA, a Latin American survivor?s organization, created an online course to teach children about the dangers of mines. Contact: jose.larenas(replace with at sign)gsmma.org. Chile completed destruction of its 59,192 stockpiled mines on 25 August in Santa Cruz, Calama. Chilean Minister of Defense Michelle Bachelet, the Bolivian Consul General, members of the diplomatic community and NGOs participated in the final destruction event. Contact: holahan(replace with at sign)w.cl
Colombia- From 3-7 May the Campa?a Colombiana contra Minas (CCCM) and Geneva Call held meetings with the National Liberation Army (ELN) to assess the possibility of engaging this non-state actor in adhering to the Mine Ban Treaty. Meetings were held with the Vice-President of Colombia, Colombian Armed Forces and Observatorio de Minas Antipersonal, ICRC, UN agencies, NGOs and indigenous groups. The delegation was able to meet with ELN Central Command in Havana, Cuba on 7 May. The ELN did not agree to cease its mine use but supported the idea of setting up a mine-free zone in an area under their control. On 26 June the Government of Colombia destroyed 496 mines at an event at the Battalion of the High Mountain of Sumapag in La Finca de Australia ( http://www.icbl.org/news/2003/365.php). The Colombian Vice-President, Minister of Defence, diplomatic community, OAS, ICRC, UNICEF and CCCM members participated in the destruction event. Contact: cccminas(replace with at sign)cccminas.org.co
CIREC held a training workshop for young mine survivors in June and July as part of the ?Semillas de Esperanza? project. Twenty-two young people traveled to Bogota to participate in workshops on rehabilitation issues. Two publications on victim assistance in Colombia were released during the seminar. Contact: fcirec(replace with at sign)colomsat.net.co
Denmark- DanChurchAid held a Landmine Monitor release event on 9 September, which included distribution of Landmine Monitor postcards to cafes throughout Copenhagen. Contact: lih(replace with at sign)dca.dk
Finland- In June, Finland?s new Minister of Defense noted in a media interview that Finland?s objective of joining the Mine Ban Treaty by 2006, as outlined in a 2001 report on Finnish Security and Defense Policy, was not binding on the new government. This announcement, issued shortly after an ICBL visit to Helsinki, galvanized members of the Finnish Campaign to Ban Landmines FCBL) into action. From 9-10 September the FCBL organized two mine action days. Events included information sharing roundtable meetings and Landmine Monitor release events with Members of Parliament in Helsinki and a presentation of the Landmine Monitor report to parliamentary groups, NGOs and the media at Finnish Parliament. ICBL members, including Bosnian landmine survivor Zlatko Vezilic participated in these events. The Finnish Minister of Foreign Affairs attended the inauguration of John Rodsted?s ?Aftermath? photo exhibition. Contact: sanna.rummakko(replace with at sign)kaapeli.fi
France- In June, Handicap International (HI) sent a letter signed by scientists to the heads of state of Mine Ban Treaty States Parties and non-States Parties and their diplomatic missions in France, encouraging them to join the Mine Ban Treaty. In August, HI sent a letter encouraging Mine Ban Treaty universalization to several diplomatic representatives of non-States Parties based in France. HI launched the Landmine Monitor report at an event on 9 September in Paris. Contact: clefort(replace with at sign)handicap-international.org
Greece- On 6 May the Governments of Greece and Turkey released a joint statement after a meeting of their Prime Ministers in Kas, Turkey, stating that the two countries will now proceed to submit their instruments of ratification/ accession to the United Nations and become full States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty ( http://www.icbl.org/news/2003/328.php).
Guyana- Ratified the Mine Ban Treaty on 5 August.
India- The Indian Campaign to Ban Landmines and Global Green Peace organized a workshop in Srinagar on 20 April. The event?s objective was to raise awareness of the landmine situation in India and mobilize civil society to act against mine use. Contact: ggpkash(replace with at sign)sancharnet.in. The Indian Campaign to Ban Landmines launched the Landmine Monitor report at an event at Rainbow Higher Secondary School in New Delhi. Speakers including a representative from the Canadian High Commission. Contact: iipdep_ngp(replace with at sign)sancharnet.in
Indonesia- On 29 May a seminar on the Mine Ban Treaty was held at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Jakarta. Participants included Canadian Mine Action Ambassador Ross Hynes, ICBL Ambassador Tun Channareth, representatives from the Indonesian government, diplomatic community, UN, academia, media and national and international NGOs. The seminar was held to raise awareness of the mines issue and encourage ratification of the Mine Ban Treaty. The Government established a working group made up of relevant government bodies including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Industry, to define the route towards ratification.
On 26 June the Canadian and Dutch Embassies in Jakarta co-hosted a dinner at the Canadian Ambassador's residence for the Indonesian government, UN, diplomatic community, NGOs and media. Approximately 70 people participated in this event including ICBL Ambassador Tun Channareth. The dinner was organized in celebration of the establishment of an inter-departmental working group, whose mandate is to address issues surrounding Indonesia's ratification of the Mine Ban Treaty. The Canadian and Dutch Ambassadors appealed to the government to ratify the Mine Ban Treaty. ICBL Ambassador Tun Channareth reminded guests of the importance of the Treaty.
UNICEF hosted a meeting of the Coordinating Working Group for the Indonesian Campaign to Ban Landmines (IndoCBL) to provide information about the mines issue in Indonesia, allow the government to provide an update on the ratification process, allow LAPASIP to provide information about campaign experiences, discuss campaign strategies and develop a clear idea of who will be interested in supporting IndoCBL activities. Participants included members of the NGO and diplomatic communities and the UN.
IndoCBL campaigners also urged EU Commissioner Chris Patten to include the issue of landmines in his discussions with the Government of Indonesia. In preparation for the 5MSP campaigners sent letters to the editors of newspaper and participated in a regional mine action seminar in Bangkok in August. Contact: solvang(replace with at sign)jrs.or.id
Ireland- Pax Christi Ireland organized a conference on Explosive Remnants of War from 23-25 April in Dublin, hosted by the Irish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Conference participants created the Cluster Munitions Coalition, a group of NGOs to work on the issues of explosive remnants of war and cluster munitions. Contact: paxtdc(replace with at sign)indigo.ie
Italy- The Italian government took over the Presidency of the European Union in July. The Italian Campaign to Ban Landmines (ItCBL) and many of its international counterparts urged the Italian government to use this position to take an active role in promoting actions toward creating a mine-free world ( http://www.icbl.org/news/2003/363.php). Italian NGO INTERSOS started a rapid reaction mine and UXO clearance project in Southern Iraq in July ( http://www.icbl.org/news/2003/343.php). The ItCBL launched the Landmine Monitor report on 9 September at the European Parliament Office in Rome. Contact: coordinamento(replace with at sign)campagnamine.org
Japan- The Japan Campaign to Ban Landmines (JCBL) launched the 2003 Landmine Monitor report at a press conference on 9 September in Tokyo. Contact: banmines(replace with at sign)jca.apc.org
Jordan- Representatives from Landmine Survivors Network participated in Jordan?s final stockpile destruction events held on 23 April ( http://www.icbl.org/news/2003/324.php). Contact: Mona(replace with at sign)lsnmena.org. Campaigners in Jordan completed production of a 30 minute documentary film about landmines and mine victims in Jordan. Contact: kamelsaadi(replace with at sign)joinnet.com.jo
Kenya- The Kenya Coalition Against Landmines released the Landmine Monitor report at an event at the Grand Regency Hotel in Nairobi on 9 September. Contact: kcal(replace with at sign)africaonline.co.ke. A workshop on engaging Non-State Actors in a mine ban organized by Geneva Call was held from 1-2 September in Nairobi. Contact: geneva.call(replace with at sign)worldcom.ch
Korea- The Korean Campaign to Ban Landmines (KCBL) drafted legislation to present to the Korean Government, urging mine clearance and compensation for landmine survivors. To highlight this activity the KCBL created an exhibition of cartoons depicting how landmines affect Korean civilians. Contact: kcbl(replace with at sign)netian.com
Kyrgyzstan- The IPPNW- Kyzgyz Committee (IPPNW-K) created a photo exhibition highlighting the mine situation in southern Kyrgyzstan. This project received support from the Rotary Club of Bishkek. Public showings of the exhibition were held from 2-9 May at the Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University and from 1-8 June at the Ganci Airbase. Contact: astma(replace with at sign)kyrnet.kg
Lithuania- Ratified the Mine Ban Treaty on 12 May.
Nepal- The ICBL Working Group on Non-State Actors conducted a mission to Nepal from 8-14 June to assess th