Landmine Update #5, September 2001
The Landmine Update is the International Campaign to Ban Landmines' quarterly newsletter. This edition is followed by a calendar of upcoming events and list of available new resources. To date, 141 countries have signed the Mine Ban Treaty, and 120 have ratified it. The most recent accessions are Eritrea (27 August) and Congo Brazzaville (4 May) while recent ratifications include Chile (10 September), Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (1 August), Uruguay (7 June), Guinea Bissau (22 May), Cape Verde (14 May), Malta (7 May) and Sierra Leone (25 April).
Much of this period has included preparations worldwide for the Third Meeting of States Parties (3MSP) in Managua, Nicaragua 18-21 September. Upon careful consideration after the tragic events in the US unfolded, the Nicaraguan government decided to proceed with the Meeting as planned. An expected 500 diplomats, landmine survivors, deminers and activists will gather in Managua to gauge progress and discuss challenges in universalization and implementation of the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty. Nicaragua?s Foreign Minister, Francisco Aguirre Sacasa will chair the third annual meeting of States Parties. This gathering is significant because it marks the halfway point between the Convention?s entry into force in 1999 and the First Review Conference in 2004. A team in Managua has made preparations for the participation of 150 ICBL delegates from around the world, including exhibits, briefings and media events. Campaigns have contacted their governments regarding their participation, urged ratification and accession as well as urged governments to come to Managua with information on steps undertaken to implement commitments to the treaty.
In addition, ICBL will present its
Other landmine-related events were also held worldwide. This update is a summary of some of them:
Afghanistan - The Afghan Campaign to Ban Landmines (ACBL) established a documentary information resource center on the landmines problem in Afghanistan in the library of Kabul University on May 16, 2001. The main purpose of the center is to serve as a reliable source of information for researchers and national and international organizations involved in landmines issues. Contact: email@example.com
Albania ? Initiation of stockpile destruction 10 September.
Angola ? According to wire service stories, a landmine explosion on the railroad in the central western province of Kwanza-Norte killed approximately 150 people and injured 150 others. The Angolan official news agency Angop reported that there were some 500 passengers in the train when it triggered the landmine and then fell into fires on its way from Luanda to the interior city of Dondo. The train included two fuel tank cars and after the landmine explosion a part of the train jumped the track and one of the oil tank cars caught fire which overran the other coaches. See
Australia - The Australian network hosted a speaking tour by Tun Channareth and John Rodsted throughout the country from 22 April through16 May. They toured through all states, including North and South Queensland, Sydney, Melbourne and Hobart. Every state campaign and their members participated in the public talks, meetings, school visits, media visits and fundraising dinners that comprised the tour. It also included visits to several politicians, including the Minister for Foreign Affairs. The events were all deemed very successful in awareness- raising and generating support for the Australian Mine Action Program. Media coverage was extensive and AUD$11,000 was raised. In addition, the Australian network signed an agreement with the Australian government to develop a program on moving towards universalization of the Mine Ban Treaty with a concentration in Southeast Asia (the Southeast Asia Program). A committee of three members of the Australian network and representatives of various Government departments is working on agreed projects. Two members of the network participated in the Forum on Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam in June. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Belgium - A demonstration was held in front of the US embassy, on the occasion of President George W. Bush's visit to Brussels (12 June 2001). 2000 participants joined. For more information and photos see www.handicapinternational.be, click "presse/pers". Another visit to the US embassy was held on 10 July, and included 3 representatives of the demonstration organizers (HI, Greenpeace and Amnesty International). In addition, letters were sent to states that have not ratified, sent their Article. 7 reports, or complied with Article 9. Several representatives of the European Union participated in the
Brazil - Letters to Heads of State of members of MERCOSUR were sent prior to their Summit in Paraguay in June. Contact: email@example.com. 13 August an opening of a photograph exhibit and public talk was held in Porto Alegre. An internet petition was launched in preparation for the Third Meeting of States Parties, ?Chamada Nacional pelo Banimento de Minas Terrestres?. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cambodia - ICBL Ambasador Tun Channareth traveled to ROC Taiwan to participate in events with Taiwan campaigners. He participated in numerous activities, including the ?Second Wheelchair Relay Race Taipei?to support the global ban on landmines, a tour of Kinmen island and other media events. He also met with the Taiwanese President Mr. Chen Sui-Beng, representatives of Ministries of Defense and Foreign Affairs, and several legislators (see Taiwan). Contact: email@example.com ICBL Youth Ambassador Song Kosal traveled to Saskatoon, Canada in May at the invitation of the Saskatoon Children?s Choir, which honored her as the special guest of concert ?Seeds of the Spirit ? Songs of Freedom?(see Canada). On 4 September Cambodian CBL members held a briefing in Battambang in preparation for the
Cameroon ? A
Cape Verde ? Ratified the Mine Ban Treaty 14 May.
Canada - In May, Mines Action Canada (MAC) participated in a field visit to Bosnia-Herzegovina with representatives from the ILX Landmines Team at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. Organizations visited included SFOR and NPA. Also in May, the Saskatoon Children?s Choir hosted and honored ICBL Youth Ambassador Song Kosal as the special guest of concert ?Seeds of the Spirit ? Songs of Freedom?. The visit was part of the Choir?s ?For Sake of Life? project, which is a two-year project which brings together artistic experience, choral experience and international awareness. Proceeds from tickets sold were donated to Mines Action Canada. For more information see http://www.saskatoonchildrenschoir.org/forsakeoflife.html or www.minesactioncanada.org
In June MAC held a display and information booth at CIDA's International Cooperation Days (June 18-20) in Ottawa. Also in June, MAC published its first edition of MAC Alert! an internal e-bulletin for MAC members. The launch of 4th Youth Mine Action Ambassador Program (YMAAP) was held in July. For the 2001-02 academic year there are seven Youth Ambassadors across Canada. Regions include: Montreal, Ottawa, Calgary, Vancouver, Halifax, Toronto and St. John`s. YMAAP interns conducted a field visit to Cambodia. For more information on YMAAP visit http://www.redcross.ca/article.asp?id=002094&tid=011
Throughout the reporting period, MAC engaged in an advocacy and outreach campaign with Americas states regarding ratification, Article 7 reporting and domestic legislation, including writing letters to Heads of State of MERCOSUR, the Rio Group and OAS members prior to Summits and meetings. See http://www.icbl.org/news/2001/55.php In July the winner of MAC's 3rd Annual Appropriate Technology Competition was announced, and awards ceremonies will follow in September-October in Trois Rivieres, Waterloo and Vancouver. 12 September MAC was to hold a press briefing for the release of the
Chile ? Ratified the Mine Ban Treaty 10 September. Further stockpile destruction was undertaken and a ceremony held in Calama on 13 September.
Croatia ? Croatian CBL members Dalibor and Marijana Prevendar, ICBL Ambassador Jody Williams and Heidi Kuhn (Roots of Peace) participated in a series of events in Croatia with Dr. Dijana Plestina, Advisor and Special Representative for Mine-Action to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and wife of Croatia's Prime Minister. Jody Williams addressed the 4th International Dubrovnik Conference- "Health Insurance in Transition" in Dubrovnik 30-31 August. 400 participants from 30 countries attended. In addition to speaking at the Conference in Dubrovnik, they met with the President and had dinner with the Prime Minister and Dr. Plestina and the Croatian Ambassador to the U.S. and his wife. On 30 August they also participated in a pre-Conference Round Table Discussion on landmines in Croatia. The event took place at ?Andrija Stampar?, the School of Public Health in Zagreb. The Minister of Health and the Ministers of Labor and Social Welfare participated, as well as government representatives from the diplomatic community including those of Austria, Iran and France. Dr. Stjepan Oreskovic, director of School of Public Health, hosted the Roundtable and Dr. Dijana Plestina moderated. The group was also invited to participate in a press conference where the Ministry of Agriculture and CROMAC (the Croatian Mine Action Center) signed an agreement by which the Ministry would focus on post-demining use of land to support farmers? planting of organic crops. On 1 September the group including Jody Williams, Heidi Kuhn, Dijana Plestina and Dalibor and Marijana Prevendar of the Croatian Campaign went by helicopter to visit two different mined areas of the country, Bibinje (Zadadar County) and a demining site in Marin Brod, near Petrinja. That evening they spoke a few words at a "Musicians Against Landmines" pop rock concert in Petrinja, the first such humanitarian concert in Croatia. There was significant media coverage -- print, radio, television (including live interview) -- of the trip and the various activities they took part in. For more information firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.rootsofpeace.org/home.htm
DR Congo - 3 August the technical mine-clearance adviser for Handicap International Belgium in Kisangani was the victim of an accident caused when a grenade detonator exploded while preparing a training session intended for the team of Congolese mine-clearance personnel. Contact: email@example.com
Denmark - The International Federation of Medical Students' Associations (IFMSA) hosted the International Training Congress for Medical Students in Allborg, Denmark 7-8 August. It included sessions on children affected by landmines and the ICBL. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ecuador ? Undertook an accelerated stockpile destruction program during this period.
Egypt - Cairo organized a seminar on landmines where a documentary movie entitled "Hell beyond Earth" was broadcasted. The seminar was attended by Dr. Samir Farag the President of the Opera House in Egypt, The Artist Samir Sabri - hero of the movie, and Mr. Nader Jalal, the director. ICBL member Landmine Struggle Centre issued a press release and sent letters to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of urging Egypt to participate in the Third Meeting of States Parties as an observer. Contact: email@example.com
Eritrea ? Acceded to 1997 Mine Ban Treaty 27 August.
France ? The Handicap International Mines Department published its "Mines Risk Education. Implementation Guide" in English and French. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or www.handicap-international.org A press briefing was scheduled in Paris for the release of the
Georgia - The Georgia Committee of the ICBL published two editions of its new newsletter, Mine War, one for April-May and one for June-July. The newsletters detail incidents in Georgia and activities of the Georgian Committee. In addition, the Committee joined the ?Say yes for Children? campaign and began work in summer camps. They also began preparing an awareness program for children. Contact: email@example.com
Germany - At a press conference 26 June Klaus Kinkel (FDP Liberal Party) announced a parliamentarian initiative of his party to ban anti-vehicle mines without self-destruction or self-deactivation features. The GIBL, in a press release, noted that this initiative did not go far enough, noting, ?Anti-vehicle mines with self-destruction or self-deactivation features do not guarantee the security of civilians, as no one knows when those mines have been self-deactivated/self-destructed. Moreover, self-deactivation and self-destruction features are reported to have failure rates of up to 10 per cent, which is not acceptable from a humanitarian point of view.? Contact: GIBL.Haake@t-online.de
Guinea-Bissau ? Ratified the Mine Ban Treaty 22 May.
India - The 4th National Conference, "Landmines: Challenges to Humanity and Environment", was held in New Delhi 3-4 May. The Indian Campaign to Ban Landmines organized the conference, hosted by the Society for All Round Development (SARD), New Delhi and Indian Institute for Peace, disarmament and Environmental Protection (IIPDEP), Nagpur. 150 delegates from throughout India participated. Dr Balkrishna Kurvey of the Indian Campaign opened the conference. Jody Williams addressed the conference as part of a panel including speakers from the ICRC, UNICEF, the Canadian High Commissioner, Norwegian Ambassador, and ICBL Coordinator Liz Bernstein. Later Dr Sheel Kant Sharma, Joint Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs Disarmament Division addressed the conference. A press conference by ICBL and Canada was held, as well as a reception hosted by the Canadian High Commissioner. Williams? visit to in New Delhi also included public talks and media interviews. For information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Prior to participating in the Delhi National conference, Jody Williams led a PeaceJam Youth conference at Tibetan Children's Village in Dharamsala, India. His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet opened the conference, consecrated the new auditorium where the event was held, addressed the 800 Tibetan youth participants and introduced his fellow Nobel Peace Laureate to the audience. Jody Williams addressed the theme of the conference "An Individual Can Make a Difference" and shared her experiences in the International Campaign to Ban Landmines as an example of a group of individuals making a difference. For more information see www.peacejam.org
Guinea-Bissau ? Ratified the Mine Ban Treaty 22 May.
Italy ?President Carlo Azelio Ciampi of Italy officially named Ms.Franca Faita, a trade unionist who worked for 27 years with Valsella, one of Italy?s most notorious former landmine producers in Castenedolo, Brescia, Italy, ?CAVALIERE?. Ms Faita fought tirelessly for the national and international ban on landmines and the conversion of the factory from military to civil production. 1 June President Ciampi signed the "Motu proprio" awarding 93 people various honourable titles on the occasion of the 55th anniversary of the Italian Republic, celebrated the 2nd of June Their names were widely published in the Italian media . The presidential "Motu proprio" refers to Mrs. Franca Faita as "the woman who volunteered in the Campaign against antipersonnel landmines". Recently, the Italian Television RAI TRE broadcast a programme entitled "Franca e le altre Donne" (?Franca and the other ladies?) which tells the story of the Valsella women fighting for conversion to civil production and the elimination of landmines. For further information see http://www.icbl.org/news/2001/jun06.php3 or contact Marcello Storgato email@example.com or visit www.campagnamine.org A planned release of the
In addition, Italian photographer Giovanni Diffidenti ( www.theperfectsoldier.com) developed a media campaign of
Japan ? Japan Campaign to Ban Landmines (JCBL) together with the KCBL (Korean CBL: see Korea) organized a joint seminar on the Present Status of Landmines in Korea 28 and 29 June in Tokyo and Osaka. Approximately 150 people participated in the event. JCBL has been supporting KCBL's efforts to investigate the landmines situation in Korea for some time now. In June, KCBL prepared their first report on the present status of landmines in Korea. Shortly thereafter JCBL, as a part of JCBL?s effort towards universalization of the Ottawa Treaty, invited KCBL members and landmine victims from Korea to Japan for a meeting on the report?s findings in Japan. In Tokyo they also held a meeting with member of the Diet (Japanese parliament) to inform them about the landmines problem in Korea. JCBL reports that the events were very effective in terms of information dissemination regarding landmine problems in a neighboring country. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org In addition, JCBL has recently renewed work with their website and updates it frequently with information in Japanese, such as including information about the Third Meeting of States Parties. If you understand Japanese, visit http://www.jcbl-ngo.org/
In addition, commemorating the 50 years' anniversary of TBS (Tokyo Broadcasting Company),
TBS, Warner Music Japan and Association for Aid and Relief (AAR) jointly organized a Zero Landmine Campaign and a music CD entitled "Zero Landmine/N.M.L. no more landmines" which was released in April 2001. All of the musicians participated as volunteers and all of the proceeds of the CD and donations to this project have been used for Halo Trust?s mine clearance operations in Cambodia, Mozambique, Georgia and Angola. More than 600,000 copies have been sold. A "BAN Small Arms and Antipersonnel Landmines" exhibition was held at the UN Gallery, United Nations University in Tokyo from June18 to August 31, organized by the UN information Center in cooperation with AAR Japan.
A "Cartoon and Photos to Ban Landmines" exhibition was also held at the Dentsu Gallery, Ginza, Tokyo from July 23 to August 31, 2001 jointly organized by Dentsu Inc., Cambodia Mines-Remove Campaign (a Japanese NGO) and AAR Japan. More than 300 cartoons from 34 countries were exhibited. During the exhibition, three children?s events were organized at the Gallery. 2,149 people, including many school children, participated in the exhibit and related activities. A "Teddy Bear Exhibition--The Charity Event to assist Mine Action" was also held, jointly organized by NHK Kosei Bunka Jigyoudan and AAR Japan. Celebrities drew pictures and messages to ban landmines on 500 bears, which are on exhibit in Tokyo and part of the admission fee is to be used to support AAR Japan. In addition, a "Not Mines But Flowers" original pictures exhibition organized by AAR and local partners, which includes photos of APMs and Mine Action, was held in various bookstores and department stores in Tokyo. AAR?s mine action coordinator also visited 20 schools throughout Japan from May to September for advocacy purposes. All proceeds from the various events will be used for AAR?s Mine Action projects including: Vocational Training Centers for the Disabled in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and in Yangon, Burma (Myammar) and AAR/TBS/HALO Mine Clearance Operations in Afghanistan, Angola, Cambodia, Georgia and Mozambique. A release planned for the 12 September release of the
Kenya ? 150 people attended a
Korea ? KCBL and JCBL organized a joint seminar on the Present Status of Landmines in Korea 28 and 29 June in Tokyo and Osaka, Japan (see Japan.) Contact: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Laos ? Campaigners from Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam and Australia participated in the 10th Conference of the Forum on Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam organized by the Fund for Reconciliation and Development ( email@example.com). Participants in the sectoral group on landmines, UXO's and agent orange produced a set of recommendations and a press release. Contact: jrscam@ forum.org.kh or see http://www.icbl.org/news/2001/54.php
Lebanon - On May 21 at the UNESCO Palace in Beirut, the Lebanese Government, sponsored by the Italian Government, and in collaboration with all of the UN agencies in Lebanon held a workshop entitled "International High Level Workshop to demine Lebanon starting from the South". In that workshop, the National Demining Office of the Lebanese Army presented a five-year strategic plan for demining and mine action in Lebanon where they showed their needs in equipment and they pledged funds from donors. More than 19 governments intervened. NGOs also participated and intervened, in addition to organizing an exhibition supported by UNICEF. NGOs have also begun preparations landmines awareness-raising activities during the 9th Summit of the Francophonie in Beirut in October. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Malawi ? A Landmine Monitor release event 12 September was organized by the Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation, member of the Malawi Campaign to Ban Landmines. Contact: email@example.com
Malaysia - A Regional Meeting on Stockpile Destruction of Anti-Personnel Mines and other munitions was held 8-9 August in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia hosted by the governments of Malaysia and Canada. Attendees included delegates from 20 countries. States parties and signatories in attendance included: Australia, Cambodia, Canada, Croatia, France, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Switzerland and Thailand. Non-Signatories who participated included: China, India, Laos, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation and Vietnam. Representatives of UNMAS, the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD), and the NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency (NAMSA) and ICBL members from the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand also participated.
The Seminar was opened by remarks from representatives of the Government of Malaysia, Canada and the ICBL. Most of the seminar was devoted to highly technical and professional presentations from experts in the field of mine/ordinance destruction. Each presentation was followed by a few questions and answers. Presentations included International Mine Action Standards (IMAS), in particular those IMAS guidelines related to Destruction of Stockpiled Anti-personnel mines and open burning/detonation operations (OBOD); Case Studies of the Malaysian, Australian, Japanese and Thai experiences in A-P mine stockpile destruction, Transportation, Storage and Security issues (Albanian experience); Environmental considerations; Cost/Benefit analysis; Monitoring and Verification and resources available for Stockpile destructions. A summary of the Co-chairs was issued. See
http://www.icbl.org/news/2001/78.php and http://www.icbl.org/news/2001/76.php ICBL delegates also used the opportunity to hold their own adhoc regional networking meeting. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mali - Handicap International Bamako, together with Malian campaign supporters and HI Paris, organized an exhibit on antipersonnel mines during the Twenty-eighth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers (ICFM) which took place in Bamako, Mali 25-28 June. http://www.oic-un.org/ The theme of the conference was ?Peace and Development?, and it included about 600 delegates, most of w