Landmine Update #7, April 2002

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, 142 countries have signed the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, and 122 have ratified it.
The first session of the 2001-2002 Intersessional Standing Committee was held 28 January- 1 February in Geneva, Switzerland. The Intersessional Work Programme continues to provide the key forum for discussions of treaty implementation and compliance and bring together most of the relevant players in mine ban and related issues. More than 450 delegates from 101 countries participated in the Standing Committee Meetings, including 28 non-States Parties and 13 UN, regional and other organizations. Over 90 ICBL members from 45 countries traveled to Geneva for these important meetings. The Landmine Monitor Regional Meetings for Europe and the Middle East and North Africa were held during the Standing Committees (see Intersessional Work Programme). In addition, seven landmine survivor advocates from Africa participated in Landmine Survivors Network?s ?Raising the Voices? program (see Raising the Voices). Contact:
In December 2001, as tensions increased between India and Pakistan, both countries placed landmines along their shared border. The newly planted mines have caused numerous civilian and military casualties on both sides of the border. The ICBL immediately condemned the use of mines by India and Pakistan. In an Action Alert issued 7 January the ICBL urged India and Pakistan to immediately halt their use of mines and declare this publicly, and to join the Mine Ban Treaty. A similar Action Alert was issued on 1 March. The ICBL has done some media work surrounding the recent use of mines, and has encouraged States Parties to pressure India and Pakistan on this issue. As well, the ICBL encouraged campaigns around the world to take action at all local and international events, including the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, held 2-5 March in Coolum, Queensland, Australia (see Australia). Contact:
1 March marked the third anniversary of the entry-into-force of the Mine Ban Treaty. The ICBL issued a press release and action alert themed around the recent use of mines in India and Pakistan. Campaigns around the world, from Australia to the UK, marked this occasion by holding awareness-raising events and lobbying against the use of mines in India and Pakistan. On the occasion of the ICBL also sent letters to the Foreign Ministers of members of the treaty and enclosed a copy of the ICBL report on the Third Meeting of States Parties. Contact: or
During this quarter military veterans, landmine survivors and citizens from the U.S. and around the world have increased the pressure on the Bush Administration, which is set to announce the results of its review on antipersonnel landmines policy. Eighty major U.S-based organizations issued a strong call to President Bush to renounce AP mines. Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation, a member organization of the US Campaign to Ban Landmines (USCBL), is running a hard-hitting ad campaign that asks if it is smart for the U.S. to stand alone on landmines. Campaigners worldwide are also lobbying the White House directly and through U.S. embassies and their own governments are being urged to use their influence. So, when the policy review announcement is made the world will be watching. See and USA below.
Other landmine-related events were also held worldwide. This update is a summary of some of them:
Afghanistan- The International Conference on Reconstruction Assistance to Afghanistan took place 20-21 January in Tokyo, Japan. In preparation for these meetings, the ICBL sent an open letter to conference delegates, which included the Afghan Interim Administration and members of the international community. The ICBL urged the Afghan Interim Administration to support the Mine Ban Treaty both in letter and spirit and to immediately begin destroying stockpiled mines. Donors were encouraged to follow through on their commitments to increase resources to mine action and assist the Afghan Interim Administration in supporting the Mine Ban Treaty and its associated obligations. Approximately $1.8 US billion in financial support for Afghan reconstruction was pledged for 2002 and with pledges for future years, the total amount of funding pledged for all areas of reconstruction in Afghanistan totaled $4.5 US billion. The conference Co-chairs summary of conclusions is available at:
For ICBL contact: and for Afghan CBL
United Nations Mine Action Program in Afghanistan, UNICEF, ACBL and ICBL colleagues began preparations, together with Afghan Interim Administration, for a meeting on landmines to be held in Kabul in July 2002. Contact:
Albania- Albania destroyed 1,607,420 antipersonnel mines, completing destruction of its entire stockpile on 4 April. Contact:
Angola- Campaigners held three days of pro-ban activities in Lubango in early March and are working on several projects to engage mine survivors as advocates of the mines issue and disability rights. In addition, Angolan campaigners prepared documents for the soon-to-be launched ICBL Lusophone website. On 4 April the FAA (Government Armed Forces) and UNITA signed a cease-fire agreement. Contact:
Armenia- Armenia and the United States signed an agreement on 16 March establishing the Armenian Center for Humanitarian Mine-Clearance.
Australia- The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) was held 2-5 March in Coolum, Queensland. The ICBL sent letters to the Foreign Ministers of all Commonwealth states before the meeting, encouraging them to raise the mines issue in their public addresses and interventions, draft and support strongly worded text on mines in the final declaration, and raise the issue in their bilateral meetings, particularly with signatories and non-signatories. The ICBL also urged member states to condemn India and Pakistan for their recent use of mines and encourage them to join the Mine Ban Treaty. The ICBL Australia Network sent a letter and package including the ?Report Card: Commonwealth Countries and Landmines? prepared by Landmine Action UK and a copy of the relevant Landmine Monitor country report to Commonwealth countries? High Commissions in Australia. They also sent letters to India and Pakistan and asked the Australian Prime Minister to include landmines in his opening remarks to the conference. The Coolum Communique adopted at the end of the meeting included a short paragraph on landmines. Contact: or for ICBL contact:
On 5 February the Australian Broadcasting Commission aired a short segment on landmines and campaign issues. The ICBL Australia Network held a photo exhibition as part of the Shop Art Project at the Adelaide Fringe Festival in February. The event included a fundraising tea. Contact:
Belgium- Handicap International visited the Indian and Pakistani High Commissions on 1 March and sent lobby letters to all Mine Ban Treaty States Parties. They issued a press release and a statement on progress in the movement to eliminate mines was made by the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Ministry is also asked the EU for a demarche asking the US to attend the 4th Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty as an observer state. Contact: The Geneva Call and Handicap International participated in an information meeting on cooperation with non-state actors in banning antipersonnel mines, held 7 March at the European Parliament. Contact: or or
Brazil- The Brazilian Campaign to Ban Landmines participated in the World Social Forum, held 23-28 January in Porto Alegre. Campaign members hosted a photo exhibition, information table and collected signatures for the Youth Against War Treaty. Campaign members also delivered a presentation during the ?for a society without arms? seminar. Contact:, for the declaration or
Cambodia- The Cambodian Campaign to Ban Landmines (CCBL) produced two leaflets to distribute at events. A CCBL study on demined land in Banteay Meanchey and Along Veng Oddar Meanchey was completed in January. The research showed that cleared land was mostly distributed to poor people and problems were not encountered with post-clearance land distribution. On 24 February, the CCBL celebrated 10 years of mine action in Cambodia with activities in Rattanak Mondol and Trapeang Prasat, two severely mine-affected areas.
ICBL Youth Ambassador Song Kosal traveled to Canada in late February to participate in Canadian Landmines Awareness Week events (see Canada).
From 2-20 March ICBL Ambassador Tun Channareth and Denise Coghlan visited Germany to participate in Misereor?s Lenten campaign on landmines, child soldiers and peace issues. 10,000 children participate in the streets of Munich. While there, the CCBL representatives also lobbied for increased and sustained victim assistance projects in mine-affected countries. (see Germany) Contact: or
On 25 February British mine clearance organization Mines Advisory Group (MAG) launched a week-long, live reporting link, as MAG?s award-winning photographer Sean Sutton sent photographs and stories directly from the field to the website to show how people living in one of Cambodia's most heavily mined provinces, Pursat, are working to rebuild their lives and livelihoods (see United Kingdom). Contact: or
Canada- Every year to mark the 1 March treaty anniversary, Mines Action Canada (MAC) coordinates a series of local and national events in Canada. From 25 February- 3 March, Canadian Landmine Awareness Week (CLAW) events were held throughout the country, in conjunction with the Youth Mine Action Ambassador Program and the Mine Action Team at the Department of Foreign Affairs. Special guests included deminers, landmine survivors and youth activists from Pakistan, Cambodia, Kosovo, Colombia and Peru. The young guests traveled to various regions to Canada to participate in public and media events, we well as participating in a youth forum in Ottawa. Contact: or
MAC solicited letters to the editor in response to a 14 January article in the National Post newspaper. MAC also welcomed new Foreign Minister William Graham and encouraged campaign members to send letters to the new Minister encouraging continued support for the mines issue. Contact: The Manitoba Campaign to Ban Landmines (MBCBL) was launched 1 March in Winnipeg at a series of public events. Contact: or
China- United Nations Department of Disarmament Affairs and the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs co-hosted a conference entitled "A Disarmament Agenda for the 21st century?. ICBL Ambassador Jody Williams addressed the conference. Her speech is available at: or
France- On 1 March Handicap International France (HI France) launched a campaign asking presidential candidates what they will do to universalize the Mine Ban Treaty and increase French assistance for mine action and victim assistance should they be elected in France?s upcoming national election. HI France also held meetings with the Indian and Pakistani High Commissions and sent letters to the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, urging the French government and French Embassies in India and Pakistan to take a stand on the recent use of mines in India and Pakistan. Contact: French parliamentarians working with African and European countries were encouraged to urge their colleagues to adopt national legislation banning landmines. Letters were also sent to the US government and the Myanmar Embassy in Paris. Contact: or
Germany- The German Initiative to Ban Landmines (GIBL) held a press conference in Berlin on 1 March to re-launch its public campaign for a ban on all mines (including anti-vehicle mines). Popular German persons posed as mine victims in event advertising and were present at the press conference. The campaign has received widespread television, radio and newspaper coverage, and campaign ads were placed in German newspapers. Contact: or
From 2-20 March ICBL Ambassador Tun Channareth and Denise Coghlan visited Germany to participate in Misereor?s Lenten campaign on landmines, child soldiers and peace issues. On 15 March, 10,000 youth gathered in the streets of Munich with them and campaigners to protest against the use of landmines and child soldiers. City officials addressed the gathering of youth in Munich?s main square. Contact: or
Georgia- The ICBL Georgian Committee (ICBL GC) met with the Georgian government on 25 December to discuss a variety of issues related to the landmines problem in Georgia and its solutions. The ICBL GC also wrote to the Georgian Minister of Education asking for mine awareness to be included in the school curriculum in mine-affected communities. The Ministry responded that such training is already in place. Contact:
Greece- On 20 March the Greek Parliament voted unanimously to ratify the Mine Ban Treaty. Contact:
India- The Indian Campaign to Ban Landmines (Indian CBL) held a youth-organized regional workshop, ?Landmines Challenges to Humanity and Environment? in Imphal, Manipur, on 11 January. A similar seminar was held 1 February in Jaislmer, Rajasthan, a community situated along the India-Pakistan border. On 30 March a workshop about the effects landmines have on society was held in Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh, near the Chinese and Burmese borders. Governments, NGOs, community members and youth participated in all the seminars. A workshop on the humanitarian aspects of the proliferation of small arms in North East India was held from 30-31 March and included a discussion about landmines. Contact:
The Youth Against War Treaty was re-launched in February. Youth around the world are encouraged to collect signatures, showing that the young people of the world are against landmine use in India and Pakistan. The collected signatures will be handed over to the Indian and Pakistani governments. Contact:
On the occasion of the third anniversary of the entry-into-force of the Mine Ban Treaty on 1 March the ICBL issued an action alert urging India and Pakistan to halt their use of mines and join the Mine Ban Treaty. Contact: wixley@icbl.orgor
Italy- The Italian Campaign Against Mines held an event at the Opera House of Rome on 27 March to remind the public that the landmines problem still exists and needs solutions (treaty universalization, funds for mine action and victim assistance, etc.). The President of the Republic, the President of the Government, Ministries and local authorities endorsed the event and diplomatic representatives of States Parties and treaty non-signatories were invited. Contact:
Japan- The International Conference on Reconstruction Assistance to Afghanistan took place 20-21 January in Tokyo, Japan (see Afghanistan). Contact:
Kyrgyzstan- IPPNW Kyrgyzstan held a fundraising Night of a Thousand Dinners event on 24 December at the Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University. On 1 March IPPNW collected almost 600 signatures from doctors at clinics and hospitals in Bishkek, asking the governments of Central Asia to join the Mine Ban Treaty. An awareness-raising student conference was held at the Kyrgyz Medical Academyin Bishkek on 2 March. From 17-20 March, IPPNW members led mine awareness sessions with youth in schools and hospitals in mined communities in the Batken region. Contact:
Nepal- The Nepal Campaign to Ban Landmines (NCBL) held a national seminar on Emergency and Landmines on 7 February. Contact:
New Zealand- On 23 January the New Zealand Campaign Against Landmines (CALM) sent a letter to the High Commissioner for India in Wellington, urging that his government cease laying landmines along India?s border with Pakistan and start mine clearance immediately. Liaison between CALM and the New Zealand government continued, with particular emphasis placed on ways of encouraging universalization amongst Pacific and Commonwealth countries, attention to mine action and participation in the Intersessional Standing Committees and the CCW Experts Group on the Unexploded Remnants of War. Contact:
Pakistan- The Pakistan Campaign to Ban Landmines (PCBL) held a press conference on 1 March to highlight the importance of the Mine Ban Treaty and the role of the ICBL in achieving a total ban on landmines, including information about the ICBL?s recent actions urging India and Pakistan to halt their use of mines. The PCBL also held awareness-raising school presentations. Contact: PCBL youth activist Sehrish Shaban traveled to Canada to participate in Canadian Landmine Awareness Week (CLAW) events, where she toured the country raising awareness of the landmines situation in Pakistan and what young people like her are doing to take action. Contact:
Youth around the world are encouraged to collect signatures, showing that the young people of the world are against landmine use in India and Pakistan. The collected signatures will be handed over to the Indian and Pakistani governments. Contact:
On the occasion of the third anniversary of the entry-into-force of the Mine Ban Treaty on 1 March the ICBL issued an action alert urging India and Pakistan to halt their use of mines and join the Mine Ban Treaty. Contact:
Sri Lanka- The Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tigers signed a ceasefire agreement on 22 February. Visit: for the ceasefire agreement text. The Mine Action Resource Center (MARC) was established. On 4 January the Inter Religious Peace Foundation launched its second signature campaign. The goal was to collect 2 million signatures in Sri Lanka, urging the government and LTTE to stop using antipersonnel mines and join the Mine Ban Treaty. The campaign was launched at an event where several religious dignitaries representing all faiths in Sri Lanka and members of the diplomatic community and international organizations signed the petition. The signatures will be submitted to the Sri Lankan government, LTTE and the UN by mid-April. Contact:
On 26 March the World Bank announcement a decision between the Bank, the UNDP and the Government of Sri Lanka, dedicating $1 million US ?to strengthen capacity to survey, map and address landmines and train de-miners in the civil administration under the UNDP-implemented Landmine Action Project. The Project will be part of broader efforts to revive agricultural production in safe areas, restore basic community-level services and re-establish poor communities affected by conflict.? Contact:
Sudan- The Sudan Campaign to Ban Landmines (SCBL) held a press conference at Sudan News Agency (SUNA) on 28 February. On 1 March the SCBL, Sudanese Athletic Union, Sudanese Association of the Disabled and National Olympic Committee organized a marathon focusing on landmine survivors. Landmine survivors, famous Sudanese athletes and others joined the marathon to highlight the problem of landmine victims and the problem of landmines in Sudan. The Governor of Khartoum State and the Minister of Presidential Affairs addressed the end point gathering. SCBL delivered a speech to the event urging the government to ratify the Mine Ban Treaty and support landmine survivors. Contact:
Switzerland- The Swiss Campaign to Ban Landmines hosted a Responsibility and Compensation conference, from 8-9 February in Geneva. The conference addressed the financial and legal accountability of war actors as a means to help war-torn societies and victims suffering from post-conflict problems such as mines and UXOs. Contact:
The first session of the 2001-2002 Intersessional Standing Committee was held 28 January- 1 February in Geneva, Switzerland. Continued progress in the implementation and consolidation of the Mine Ban Treaty, as well as issues of concern, were noted and discussed throughout the week. For more information see Intersessional Programme below and visit or
The Landmine Monitor Regional Meetings for Europe and the Middle East and North Africa were both held in Geneva during the Standing Committees in January. From 28-29 January, 24 researchers representing 32 countries of research participated in the meetings, where they discussed the 2002 Landmine Monitor Report and participated in workshops about thematic research areas and advocacy. Researchers also participated in the Standing Committees, in particular, holding lobby meetings with European government delegates. Contact: Twelve researchers attended the Middle East and North Africa Landmine Monitor Researchers Meeting from 30-31 January. The status and preparation of the 2002 Landmine Monitor Report, regional updates and victim and advocacy initiatives in the region were discussed. Contact:
Thailand- In January the Thailand Campaign to Ban Landmines (TCBL) began implementing a twelve-month project on victim assistance, mine awareness and database establishment in Surin and Buriram provinces. The TCBL participated in a ceremony on 23 January where the Canadian government donated mine clearance equipment to the Royal Thai Government. On 1 March, Nonviolence International Southeast Asia released the 2001 ASEAN and the Banning of Antipersonnel Landmines Report, based on Landmine Monitor 2001 reports for the 10 ASEAN countries. Contact: From 4-8 March the US Department of State and the US Department of Defense, in cooperation with the Thai Mine Action Center, hosted the Southeast Asia Mine Action Cooperation and Technology Workshop for humanitarian demining experts. Contact:
Tunisia- A Regional Seminar on the Mine Ban Treaty, organized by the governments of Tunisia and Canada, was held 15-16 January in Tunis. Participating governments and organizations included Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania, Libya, Belgium, Canada, France, Union of the Arab Magreb, United Kingdom, UNMAS, UNDP, GICHD, ICRC, MAG and the ICBL. The seminar addressed mines and the armed forces, states obligations under the Mine Ban Treaty and issues related to mine action and victim assistance, focusing on the regional situation. The seminar is one of the regional initiatives to further the implementation and universalization of the Mine Ban Treaty and was suggested by participants at the February 2001 Bamako Conference. Contact: or
Turkey- Turkey's national moratorium on the export and transfer of antipersonnel mines expired in January. The treaty non-signatory has decided to extend this moratorium indefinitely and is currently in the process of acceding to the Mine Ban Treaty. The Campaign for a Turkey Without Mines issued a press statement in March with an update on Turkey?s ratification status. Contact:
Ukraine- The Ukrainian corporations Spivdruzhnist and NAMSA (NATO agency) signed a contract at the NATO office in Kiev on 25 February agreeing to the destruction of PMN mines in the Ukraine with financial support from the Governments of Canada, Hungary and Poland. The destruction will be carried out in April or May 2002. Contact:
United Kingdom- Mines Advisory Group (MAG) launched a one-week live reporting link on their website at beginning 25 February, to show how people living in one of Cambodia?s most heavily mined provinces, Pursat, are working to rebuild their lives and livelihoods. The website featured recent stories and photographs from award-winning photographer Sean Sutton. Contact: Landmine Action UK issued a press release and urged local campaigners to write letters to the High Commissions of India and Pakistan on 1 March. On 25 March Landmine Action UK published a new report on the impact of explosive remnants of war on post-conflict communities. Contact:
United States- The Bush administration review of mine ban policy is in its final stages and an announcement is anticipated in the coming weeks. In an attempt to influence decision makers during the review process, the United States Camp