Landmine Update #13, June 2004
- Ban Treaty News
- Campaign Action
- Mine Action Activities
- Landmine-related events by country February- June 2004
- Landmine Resources
As of 15 June 2004, 142 countries have ratified the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, and an additional 9 have signed it. The most recent accession was Estonia (12 May 2004).
Substantive and logistical preparations for the Nairobi Summit on a Mine-Free World, the First Review Conference of the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, began in earnest. Regional preparatory meetings were held in Burkina Faso (West Africa), Romania (South Eastern Europe), Kenya (East Africa), Jordan (Middle East) and Lithuania (Northern and Eastern Europe). Additional meetings will be held in Thailand (South East Asia) and Ecuador (Americas) later in the year. This series of meetings aims to promote national and regional preparations for the Nairobi Summit. ICBL members participated in each meeting. The first preparatory meeting was held in Geneva 13 February.
ICBL Working Group Co-Chairs and other campaigners provided input on discussion papers prepared by the Friends of the President and the President Designate for the Preparatory Meetings and consideration at the Summit.
Campaigners continued planning side events to be held in Nairobi in conjunction with the Summit. Activities will include a Survivors Summit, International Youth Symposium, marathon, Dance Without Fear, exhibitions, briefings and much more.
Updates have been made to the ICBL?s Nairobi Summit web page. It now includes logistical and other information to help facilitate planning. Visit: www.icbl.org/nairobisummit
The first meetings of the Intersessional Standing Committee were held 9-12 February in Geneva, Switzerland. Over 500 participants representing more than 110 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 93 States Parties, 21 non-States Parties, UN and Regional Organizations and over 55 ICBL members from 30 countries. Landmine survivor-advocates from Albania, Azerbaijan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Chechnya, Croatia, Georgia, Russia and Ukraine participated in the meetings as part of the Raising the Voices landmine survivor-advocate training program (see Campaign Action). Visit: www.icbl.org/news/2004/449.php
The first Preparatory Meeting for the Nairobi Summit was held in Geneva on 13 February, where discussions were held on all the draft documents. It was reiterated that "participation at the highest level" by States Parties is desired and that the purpose of the Nairobi Summit is to review the progress during the first five years of the Mine Ban Treaty and, most importantly, to chart the course and develop a concrete Action Plan for the next five years.
The ICBL?s goal is to encourage both mine-affected and other States Parties to recommit their political will and resources to implement the treaty and increase progress in creating a mine-free world in the 2005-2009 period.
The series of regional and global meetings to prepare the 2004 Landmine Monitor report concluded in May. Regional meetings were held in February in Geneva for Europe (see Switzerland) and in Bujumbura for Francophone Africa (see Burundi). The Asia-Pacific meeting was held in March in Kabul (see Afghanistan) and Central Asian researchers met in April in Dushanbe (see Tajikistan). The Global Researchers Meeting was held in May in Sarajevo (see Bosnia-Herzegovina). Visit: www.icbl.org/lm/research/
Ambassador Petritsch and Mereso Agina of KCAL at the Starehe Boys Centre in Nairobi, Kenya. This event was held to mark the fifth anniversary of the Convention's entry-into-force. Photo: Kerry Brinkert, ISU.
The Bush Administration released the results of its mine ban policy review on 26 February. Under the new policy the use of self-destructing mines will be permitted without geographical restrictions and long-lived mines may be used until 2010. The previous promise to join the Mine Ban Treaty by 2006 has been broken. Visit: www.icbl.org/tools/databases/country/united_states
Civil society mobilized and took action in the wake of the announcement. Campaign members issued press releases denouncing the administration?s decision and generated considerable media coverage around the world. Member organizations sent letters to and met with US diplomatic officials in their countries.
The campaign celebrated the fifth anniversary of the entry-into-force of the Mine Ban Treaty on 1 March with events held worldwide. Actions focused on reacting to the US decision to abandon hopes of joining the treaty. The US Campaign to Ban Landmines reviews the Bush's landmine policy: http://www.banminesusa.org/archives/newsletters/50_Mar_05_04.html
Campaigners were also urged to take action in advance of this historic anniversary and encouraged countries in the Baltics (Estonia and Latvia) and the Gulf States (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates) that remain outside the Mine Ban Treaty to accede as soon as possible. Estonia joined the treaty in May. Visit: www.icbl.org/news/2004/460.php
Raising the Voices, a landmine survivor-advocate training project coordinated by Landmine Survivors Network on behalf of the ICBL Working Group on Victim Assistance, recruited six participants from the Middle East and North Africa for its upcoming training program, to be held from 16-25 June in Geneva, Switzerland. Participants will address the Intersessional Standing Committee Meetings in June and participate in the Nairobi Summit. Contact: a.capelle(replace with at sign)skynet.be
Next Step Productions continued filming on location in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Burundi and Iraq for the documentary ?Disarm: A Film About Landmines?. The 52-minute documentary sets out to objectively document the international effort to rid the world of landmines. It will be released at the Nairobi Summit. Visit: www.nspfilms.org
Ambassador Martin Dahinden, Director of the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD), resigned in order to return to the Swiss diplomatic service. Ambassador Stephan Nellen, Switzerland?s former Ambassador to Slovenia, was appointed as new Director of the Centre.
GICHD released ?International Mine Action Standards: A Guide? in March. The guide summarizes and explains the International Mine Action Standards (IMAS). Visit: www.gichd.ch
Data collection continued for Afghanistan?s Landmine Impact Survey and plans began for how to use this data post-survey.
The Survey Action Centre trained new staff in Angola and began preparing the final survey reports for Azerbaijan, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Somalia. Data validation was completed in Eritrea, and Ethiopia submitted its final report to the Ethiopian Mine Action Office.
In May, the Survey Action Centre hosted the Survey Working Group meeting in Lyon, France.
On 11 June, the Sudan People?s Liberation Movement (SPLM) and Sudanese government signed a memorandum of understanding, agreeing to launch a joint mine clearance program. Visit: www.mineaction.org/countries/_refdocs.cfm?doc_ID=1952
The United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution A/RES/58/127 on ?Assistance in Mine Action? in February.
Opening plenary of the 2004 Landmine Monitor regional meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kabul, Afghanistan. Photo, Rob Myers.
Afghanistan- The ICBL and Landmine Monitor Regional Meeting for Asia-Pacific took place from 27-29 March in Kabul. Researchers participated in a series of events which included a meeting with King Zahir Shah, a visit to an ICRC rehabilitation clinic, mine action exhibition and bicycle rally. Visit: www.icbl.org/lm/archives/000063.html
Australia- Landmine Action Week, a series of awareness-raising activities held in cities across Australia, was held from 14-23 May. Co-sponsored by the ICBL Australia Network and AUSTCARE, the week included a series of concerts, workshops, information tables, prayer services, photo exhibitions and other events. Visit: www.landmine-action-week.org
The ICBL Australia Network launched its updated website at http://australia.icbl.org/. Campaigners worked with advertising company DDB to produce a series of television and print advertisements raising awareness of the mines issue.
Australian campaigners co-hosted a workshop on landmines in China with the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. See China. Contact: australia(replace with at sign)icbl.org
Austria- Campaigners participated in the OSC Joint PC/ FSC Workshop on Antipersonnel Mines and Explosive Remnants of War, held on 8 March in Vienna. The seminar, organized by Bulgaria and Andorra, was the first such seminar convened by the OSCE. The workshop?s goal was to raise awareness of the mine issue and the role OSCE could play to complement initiatives by other regional organizations. Contact:brigot(replace with at sign)icbl.org
Five Austrian journalists accompanied Ambassador Petritsch to Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina for the Landmine Monitor global researchers meeting. Their interviews and coverage of the Ambassador?s field trip to a mine-affected part of Sarajevo generated considerable media coverage. Contact: wixley(replace with at sign)icbl.org
Campaigners from India and Lebanon participated in the World Health Organization and Centre for Disease Control conference held 3-9 June in Vienna (see India).
Azerbaijan- Members of the Azerbaijan Campaign to Ban Landmines (AzCBL) met on several occasions with district and central government officials to urge Azerbaijan?s accession to the Mine Ban Treaty.
The AzCBL held a seminar on 27 February in Baku on ?current world tendencies after signing the Ottawa Convention,? with representatives from government ministries, parliamentarians and members of international and non-governmental organizations. Contact: Azerbaijan(replace with at sign)icbl.org
Belgium- The European Parliament passed a resolution in April urging states to universalise and implement the Mine Ban Treaty in advance of the Nairobi Summit and encouraging the engagement of non-state actors in the mine ban.
Handicap International Belgium held a gala event to raise funds in support of its mine action projects on 18 March in Brussels. Contact: stan.brabant(replace with at sign)handicap.be
Bosnia-Herzegovina- The 2004 Landmine Monitor Global Researchers Meeting was held from 3-5 May in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina. Over 70 researchers and campaigners from 70 countries came together to discuss and prepare their research for the 2004 Landmine Monitor report, participate in field visits to mine action projects in the Sarajevo area and take part in campaign advocacy workshops. Visit: www.icbl.org/lm/archives/000064.html
Parents of three children killed in a mine incident in 2000 in Sarajevo took legal action against the director of the Bosnian Mine Action Centre to seek damages. In April, criminal prosecution ended and the director, Mr. Ahdin Orahovac, was cleared of all charges.
Botswana- Zambian campaigner Dr. Robert Mtonga represented the ICBL at the CIVICUS World Assembly, held from 21-26 March in Gaborone. Dr. Mtonga gave a presentation on the ?Role of Civil Society Advocacy in the creation of International Law and Policy.? Visit: www.icbl.org/news/2004/489.php
Brazil- The Campanha Brasileira Contra Minas Terrestres held a 20-hour advocacy training course and awareness-raising workshops with Brazilian students. Contact: brasil(replace with at sign)icbl.org
Burkina Faso- The ICBL participated in the ?Workshop on the Implementation of the Ottawa Convention on the Prohibition of Anti-personnel Mines in West Africa? hosted by the ICRC and held from 28-29 January in Ouagadougou. Contact: boubine(replace with at sign)syfed.refer.sn
Burma- In April, the ICBL launched a campaign focusing on halting landmine use in Burma as soon as possible. The campaign aims to bring all combatants in Burma into informal talks on cessation of landmine use for humanitarian reasons. Neighbouring States Parties, UN Agencies and international organizations with operations in Burma have been asked to take action to encourage all mine using parties within the country to agree to a halt on mine use, and to support the goals and activities of this campaign. Non-Violence International South East Asia is coordinating the campaign.
Burundi- The ICBL and LM Regional Meeting for Francophone Africa was held from 18-20 February in Bujumbura. Researchers from five countries engaged in closed meetings to prepare their research for the 2004 Landmine Monitor Report. Participants visited the national rehabilitation centre in Gitega, met with government officials and then CNDD-FDD to discuss treaty implementation issues. They also participated in a roundtable discussion on landmines organized by the Centre d'Alerte et de Pr?vention de Conflits (CENAP).
Cambodia- The Cambodian Campaign to Ban Landmines sent letters to all embassies in Phnom Penh and the Cambodian government, urging them to send the highest level of representation possible to the Nairobi Summit. Campaigners also participated in the mine action workshop in Kunming, China (See China). Contact: jrscam(replace with at sign)forum.org.kh
The Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA) organized a National Conference on Mine Action Achievements on 19 February in Phnom Penh. The conference was to recognize the efforts of mine action practitioners in Cambodia. Contact: samsotha(replace with at sign)camnet.com.kh
Canada- Mines Action Canada (MAC), in conjunction with the Youth Mine Action Ambassador Program (YMAAP), held its fifth annual Canadian Landmine Awareness Week from 1-7 March. Events included a cross-country speaking tour with youth and adult campaigners from Burundi, Cambodia, Georgia, Nepal and Sri Lanka and a ?Turning Words into Action? butterfly ribbon campaign. Canadians were asked to wear butterfly ribbons to show their commitment to working towards a mine-free world.
The Youth Professionals in Mine Action Program (YPIMAP) sent young Canadians to Washington DC, Geneva and Brisbane to support mine action projects and preparations for the Nairobi Summit. Contact: nancy(replace with at sign)minesactioncanada.org
?International Forum on Antipersonnel Mines, Non-State Actors and Humanitarian Accords? in Bogot?, Colombia on 4 June.
China- The ?Humanitarian Mine/UXO Clearance Technology and Cooperation Workshop,? the first landmine-related meeting hosted by the Government of China, was held from 26-28 April in Kunming. The ICBL Australia Network and China Arms Control and Disarmament Association (CACDA) co-sponsored the event, which brought together government officials, mine clearance experts, donors and representatives from international and non-governmental organizations. Workshops focused on the humanitarian consequences of landmines. The Chair?s Summary notes the meeting ?encourages further regional co-operation between the countries in the Asian region, international organisations and NGOs on common issues such as technical matters, operating procedures and development of standards.?
Colombia- The Campa?a Colombiana contra Minas (CCCM), Geneva Call and the Colombian Congress hosted an ?International Forum on Antipersonnel Mines, Non-State Actors and Humanitarian Accords? at the Colombian Senate in Bogot?. Participants included government officials, international organizations and civil society representatives. Francisco Gal?n, spokesperson for the National Liberation Army (ELN) was released from prison to address the forum. He read a statement expressing the ELN?s willingness, as part of peace talks facilitated by Mexico, to, among other issues, discuss limiting the use of antipersonnel mines.
CCCM members participated in destructions of antipersonnel mines organized by the Colombian government on 15 April in Huila and on 31 May in Caqueta. Campaigners also held mine risk education workshops and campaign meetings throughout the country. Contact: info(replace with at sign)colombiasinminas.org
UNICEF, the Organization for American States, Grupo de Sobrevivientes de las Am?ricas and the Colombian Vice-Presidency launched "La otra Vuelta a Colombia," a media campaign and cross country tour of disabled cyclists, including landmine survivor Edgar Moreno Moreno. Contact: natalmore(replace with at sign)hotmail.com
Croatia- The Croatian Mine Victim Association joined the ICBL. Contact: martina.belosevic(replace with at sign)huzm.hr
Czech Republic- The Second Standing Amputee Ice Hockey World Championship was held from 25-30 April in Prague and included the participation of mine survivors. Contact: MPitkin(replace with at sign)tufts-nemc.org
Denmark- DanChurchAid hosted ?Cluster Bombs: Effective Weapon or Humanitarian Foe,? an international conference held from 18-19 March in Copenhagen. Visit http://www.stopclustermunitions.org/ or http://www.icbl.org/content/download/25544/447153/file/DCA%20CM%20Conference.pdf.Denmark Against Landmines became a member of the ICBL. Contact: info(replace with at sign)landminer.dk
Ecuador- The 34th General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) convened in Quito, Ecuador from 6-8 June. A break from previous years, the declaration made no mention of the mine ban. Visit: www.oas.org/xxxivga/english/
Egypt- Landmine Survivors Network co-organized a conference held from 26-27 April on the "Egyptian Perspective on the Convention of the Rights of People with Disabilities." The conference was held in Cairo, under the auspices of the First Lady, Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak. Visit: www.landminesurvivors.org/news_article.php?id=319
Estonia- Estonia became the 142nd State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty after its 14 May accession. The ICBL commended Estonia, a new European Union member, for adhering to the global norm against mines. With Estonia?s accession, Latvia remains the only Baltic State not party to the treaty. Visit: www.icbl.org/news/2004/486.php
Ethiopia- Long-time campaigner Tilahun Kidan passed away in June. Visit: www.vvaf.org/proactive/newsroom/release.vtml?id=2001141
Finland- In March, Finnish President Halonen stated that Finland?s policy of retaining landmines for national security reasons has weakened its international reputation. Finland will be addressing mine ban policy in its defence and security policy report due out later this year.
The Finnish Campaign to Ban Landmines sent a travelling photo exhibition around the country to increase awareness and support for its efforts to encourage Finland to join the Treaty. Contact: rummakko(replace with at sign)mail.kaapeli.fi
France- In March, the French National Commission for the Elimination of Antipersonnel Mines (CNEMA) held an international symposium in Paris. The symposium provided an opportunity for government officials working on the mines issue to learn more about setting up national structures to monitor and implement the Mine Ban Treaty that include government ministries, parliamentarians, international organizations and civil society. Contact: avilleneuve(replace with at sign)handicap-international.org
Georgia- Azeri and Georgian campaigners participated in a seminar on the ?Integration of the Refugee and Internally Displaced Journalists in Southern Caucasus Countries into the Peace Building Process? in January in Tbilisi. Contact: Azerbaijan(replace with at sign)icbl.org
Greece- Two influential Greek dailies - Ta Nea and Eleftherotypia, ran articles in February about the plight of asylum seekers injured by mines along the Greek- Turkish border. Visit: www.icbl.org/news/2004/444.php
The International Humanitarian Action and Development joined the ICBL. Contact: thatha(replace with at sign)otenet.gr
India- Dr. Kurvey of the Indian Campaign to Ban Landmines participated in the World Health Organization and Centre for Disease Control conference on the ?Role of Public Health in Preventing War-related Injuries and Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion,? held from 3-9 June in Vienna, Austria. Dr. Kurvey gave a presentation on mobilizing the medical community on the health effects of small arms, light weapons and landmines and advocacy for mine ban policy change in non-States Parties. Contact: iidep_ngp(replace with at sign)sancharnet.in
On 1 March, the ICBL sent letters to both India and Pakistan, urging them to include the landmines issue in confidence building measures.
Indonesia- Campaigners in Indonesia made a presentation to the NGO community in Jakarta on Indonesia?s landmine situation and campaign activities. The Indonesian Campaign to Ban Landmines is in the process of creating its website. Government advocacy is on hold until after Indonesia?s upcoming presidential election. Contact: solvang(replace with at sign)jrs.or.id
Italy- Campaigning activities focused on the Nairobi summit and action to secure adequate funding for mine action activities after last year's serious budget cuts. On 1 March the Italian Campaign distributed a special issue of its newsletter highlighting these issues and launching a petition (also available on-line) to support a request for increased humanitarian mine action funding. As a result, in late March the Italian House of Representative's Foreign Affairs Commission passed a resolution urging the government to commit more funding as well as renew its diplomatic efforts for universalization of the mine ban treaty prior to the Nairobi Summit.
In May, representatives from the Italian Campaign also raised these issues in a meeting with the Senate?s Human Rights Commission. The Commission then wrote a letter to the Polish government urging them to promptly join the Mine Ban Treaty, and pledged to support the request for increased funding to be allocated to mine action activities.
Youth campaigning activities halted for the vacation period on 16 June with the representation of a mine-themed play entitled "Fake flowers". Activities will resume in September with special mine-related peace education programmes to be carried out in schools. Contact: info(replace with at sign)campagnamine.org email@example.com
Japan- Association for Aid and Relief Japan (AAR Japan) participated in the Tokyo Seminar on Landmines organized by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Conventional Weapons Division), held from 4-5 March in Tokyo. The seminar aimed to bring together donors, mine-affected countries and civil society organizations engaged in mine action to review current mine action activities and explore ways to better make use of resources. Contact: yukieosa(replace with at sign)tkc.att.ne.jp
Jordan- The Refugees, Displaced Persons and Forced Migration Studies Centre (RDFSC) at Yarmouk University, in cooperation with the Jordanian Armed Forces, National Committee for Demining and Rehabilitation and Landmine Survivors Network, organized a weeklong series of awareness-raising activities from 21-25 March. Activities included a photo exhibition and awareness-raising presentations. Contact: ibrahim46(replace with at sign)yahoo.com
The ?Amman Seminar on military and humanitarian issues surrounding the Ottawa Convention? was held from 19-21 April in Amman. ICBL members participated and made interventions on regional goals and priorities for universalization and implementation of the treaty in the region. Contact: lsce98(replace with at sign)hotmail.com
Kazakhstan- On 12 April, an ICBL delegation met with Kazakhstan?s First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs in Astana to encourage Kazakhstan?s accession to the Mine Ban Treaty. The Kazakh researcher participated in the Landmine Monitor Meeting for Central Asia and regional government seminar in Tajikistan (see Tajikistan).
Kenya- The Kenya Campaign Against Landmines (KCAL) organized an event in Nairobi for Swiss cyclist Armin K?hli as he passed through Kenya en route to South Africa. See Switzerland.
ICBL campaigners and researchers participated in the ICRC Workshop on Landmines in East Africa, held in March in Nairobi. Contact: stan.brabant(replace with at sign)handicap.be
On 1 March, Ambassador Petritsch, President-Designate for the Nairobi Summit, participated in an event in Nairobi to launch Nairobi Summit preparations. Austria, Canada, Kenya, KCAL and the ICRC jointly organized and spoke at the launch, which took place at a local school.
Government and civil society preparations for the Nairobi Summit were ongoing. Contact: kcal((replace with at sign)africaonline.co.ke
Kyrgyzstan- In May, medical students at the Kyrgyz-Russian (Slavic) University held a conference titled ?for the world without mines, without wars, without the nuclear weapons.? They called on the governments of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan to accede to the Mine Ban Treaty.
Kyrgyz campaigners participated in Turkmenistan?s stockpile destruction ceremony, the ICBL delegation trip to treaty non-signatory Kazakhstan and the regional government seminar in Tajikistan, in addition to the Landmine Monitor Regional Meeting for Central Asia, also held in Tajikistan (see Tajikistan). Contact: Kyrgyzstan(replace with at sign)icbl.org
On 7 June, Lithuania destroyed its last 340 PMN antipersonnel mines at a military base in Pabrade, 40 km from the capital Vilnius. Photo: Sylvie Brigot.
Lithuania- The first ever regional conferenc