07 May 2018

From 2-4 May 2018, 8 campaigners from country campaigns or member organizations met in Taipei to discuss mine ban campaigning in the current context within the region. The meeting was titled 2018 Asia Platform to Ban Landmines. Regarding recent positive developments between North and South Korea, the campaigners issued the following statement, which was subsequently endorsed by other campaigns in the region.

2018 Asia Platform to Ban Landmines 599x350

Participants to the 2018 Asia Platform to Ban Landmines, Taipei, May 2018 © Eden Social Welfare Foundation

Recent positive developments in the Korean Peninsula have surprised and shown the world that peace is possible. Asia campaigners to ban landmines applaud the political will to end the war in the peninsula, although much hard work remains to be done. The declaration of peace between South and North Korea will greatly contribute to the peacebuilding efforts in the region and will usher in a great confidence in non-military approaches to achieving peace.

This tremendous development has shown that when people will it, it will happen. If the leaders act, it will happen. It is this same political will that the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and the Cluster Munition Coalition have shown. Countries can come together to make things happen when we collectively agree on the principles of peace and humanity we stand for.

The work does not stop with a declaration of peace - the work to achieve a lasting peace has just begun.

While we support the gestures and approaches towards a peaceful united Korea, we would like to highlight that it should also be free from landmines and cluster munitions. It is now time to clear the contaminated areas of all landmines and explosive remnants of war, assist victims and survivors of these weapons and commit to a ban and destruction of the stockpiles. We call on both parties to join the Mine Ban Treaty and the Convention on Cluster Munitions as an immediate peace dividend.

This statement is endorsed by:

Asia Platform to Ban Landmines

Japan Campaign to Ban Landmines

Korean Campaign to Ban Landmines / Peace Sharing Association

Ban Landmines Campaign Nepal

Philippines Campaign to Ban Landmines

Sri Lanka Campaign to Ban Landmines

and the following ICBL member organizations:

In Afghanistan, Afghan Landmine Survivors Organization

In Lao PDR, Humanity and Inclusion Lao PDR

In Pakistan, Sustainable Peace & Development Organization

In Taiwan, Eden Social Welfare Foundation

In Thailand, Self-Help Group of People with disabilities in Aranyaprathet, Nonviolence International Southeast Asia

In Vietnam, Association for Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities