Landmine Update #10, April 2003
1. Ban Treaty News
2. Campaign Action
3. Mine Action Activities
4. Landmine-related events by country: December 2002-March 2003
5. Calendar of upcoming events
To date, 132 countries have ratified the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, and an additional 14 have signed it. The most recent ratifications are S?o Tom? e Principe (31 March 2003) and Cyprus (17 January 2003).
The first session of the 2002-2003 Intersessional Standing Committee (SC) meetings was held from 3-7 February in Geneva, Switzerland. Approximately 525 participants representing 118 countries took part in this dynamic and 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, 25 non-States Parties, 12 UN/ Regional Organizations and over 100 ICBL members from 44 countries. Six landmine survivors from Lao DPR and Thailand participated in the ISC meetings as part of the Raising the Voices Program (see Raising the Voices). The ICBL Landmine Monitor Regional Meeting for Europe was held during the ISC Meetings.
Discussions were held throughout the week on all of the key Articles in the Convention (Articles 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9), as well as ongoing preparations for the 5MSP in Bangkok and next year?s first Review Conference. The Contact Groups on Universalization, Article 7 & 9 and the new Resource Mobilization Contact Group also reported on their activities and meetings during the week.
A discussion was held on Article 1 of the Treaty and the use of mines in joint military operations, reflecting the concern consistently raised by the ICBL over possible use of mines in a potential war in Iraq and obligations of States Parties not to ?assist? in any way during potential joint military operations with the US or others using antipersonnel (AP) mines. Special focus was placed on the interpretation of ?assist? and that any type of ?assistance? is prohibited under terms of the Convention. France, Italy, Belgium, Brazil, Switzerland, Mexico, South Africa and the UK made interventions. Peru praised the ?exhaustive approach? of South African legislation, which uses a broad definition of ?assistance.? ICBL noted that more than 30 States Parties have stated their view on Article 1, to date, and encouraged others to do so. Daily updates and factsheets are available at www.icbl.org/news/2003/277.php. For further information visit: www.gichd.ch or contact walker[replace this with the at sign]icbl.org
The first important deadline of the Mine Ban Treaty for stockpile destruction of stockpiled mines within a four-year period for 45 States Parties occurred on 1 March 2003 and reports on the substantial progress in States meeting or in the process of meeting their Article 4 deadline was highlighted during the February intersessionals. 100% success was later noted in March as information was received during the course of March that all 45 States Parties with the 1 March deadline stated they had met their treaty obligations. Visit: www.icbl.org
This photo shows the blasting of one mine group, while the clouds from the 3 previous blasts float away to the south. This is at the Asahan site, in Malacca (Malaysia). Photo: ICBL
On 1 March campaigners around the world celebrated the fourth anniversary of the Mine Ban Treaty?s entry-into-force. The ICBL issued a press statement to mark this important event and the first Treaty compliance deadline of stockpile destruction ( www.icbl.org/news/2003/293.php). All forty-three countries with 1 March stockpile destruction deadlines met their treaty obligations. For information about how campaigners celebrated this historic day see individual country reports below.
While campaigners celebrated the Treaty?s successes on 1 March, this date was also sadly marked by concern over use of mines in Iraq. The ICBL issued an action alert as well as a press release on 21 March condemning Iraq for using AP landmines at the outset of the conflict with the United States.
The ICBL has also supported efforts to address the humanitarian impact of cluster submunitions, which act as landmines if they fail to detonate. The United States has been using cluster submunitions in the Iraqi conflict.
The ICBL created a web page at http://www.icbl.org/tools/databases/country/iraq with fact sheets, press releases, action alerts and links to more information by various groups (see Iraq).
The ICBL issued Action Alerts urging campaigners to say no to mine use in Iraq. The Youth Action Alert, released on 28 March is available at: www.icbl.org/youth/news/00000051.html
The ICBL sent an open letter to participants at the 14th ASEAN EU Summit, held 27 January in Brussels, Belgium. The letter urged participants to promote full universalization and implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty in Asia-Pacific and around the world, especially in the lead-up to the 5MSP.
Contact: brigot[replace this with the at sign]icbl.org
The ICBL?s Non-State Actors Working Group (NSA WG) began organizing a ?Lessons Learned Workshop on Engaging NSAs in a Landmine Ban.? This one-day workshop will be held in Bangkok before the 5MSP. The NSA WG is also discussing a possible workshop in the Philippines with groups from Burma and the Philippines and may conduct a mission to Nepal. Contact: mferrer[replace this with the at sign]kssp.upd.edu.ph or ereusee[replace this with the at sign]worldcom.ch
Members of the ICBL?s Sub-Working Group on Mine Risk Education met in Geneva from 13-14 March to discuss community liaising, evaluation, land use after clearance, MRE standards, linkages to survey and Iraq. Contact: landmines[replace this with the at sign]unicef.org or stan.brabant[replace this with the at sign]handicap.be New ICBL resources include the re-printed ICBL English Campaign Kit and a CD Rom with photos and graphics. Contact your resource focal points ( www.icbl.org/info/contacts.html#focalpoints) or icbl[replace this with the at sign]icbl.org
The ICBL Image Library has recently been updated with many high-resolution images available to campaigners that have registered for the tool. Contact: webmaster[replace this with the at sign]icbl.org
Youth continue to collect signatures for the Youth Against War Treaty. All collected signatures will be jointly handed over to the Governments of India and Pakistan on 9 September. For youth news and updated information visit: www.icbl.org/youth or contact: youth[replace this with the at sign]icbl.orgLandmine Monitor regional meetings for Europe (see Ban Treaty News) and Asia-Pacific (see Sri Lanka) were held in the first quarter of 2003. The Global Landmine Monitor Researchers Meeting will be held 7-9 April in Rome, Italy and the 2003 Landmine Monitor report will be released on 9 September 2003. Contact: lm[replace this with the at sign]icbl.org
For the third cycle of ?Raising the Voices? six landmine survivors from Thailand and the Lao DPR participated in the February Intersessional Standing Committee Meetings in Geneva from 1-9 February. Participants were introduced to human rights and disability law, the ICBL, and received training in advocacy skills. The survivors issued a joint statement to the Standing Committee on Victim Assistance, urging governments to promote persons with disabilities' participation in the workplace. Contact: becky[replace this with the at sign]landminesurvivors.org
The Survey Action Center (SAC) hired a Survey Coordinator for Angola. Final report writing began in Somaliland .The Survey Working Group (SWG) met in Geneva, Switzerland in the first week in February and discussed the first draft of the protocol edits, the status of the GLS evaluation, regional information sharing during surveys, strategic planning and Task Assessment and Planning (TAP). Visit: www.sac-na.org or contact: sac[replace this with the at sign]sac-na.org
The United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) held a press conference, together with UN Department of Disarmament Affairs (DDA) on the occasion of the 1 March anniversary of the Mine Ban Treaty. In addition, UNMAS released its Iraq contingency plan on 14 March and held a meeting to discus mine action preparedness for a potential humanitarian emergency in Iraq in Geneva, Switzerland on 20 March. Contact: seckj[replace this with the at sign]un.org
In early March, mine action staff from the ICRC's Geneva, Switzerland headquarters and delegations around the world met in Moscow, Russia, to pool their experience and define a new approach to their work. In the process, they finalized a draft of the first-ever Guidelines on Mine Action for the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. Contact: adminpress[replace this with the at sign]icrc.org The Organization of American States (OAS) signed an agreement for cooperation and technical assistance in mine action with the Government of Colombia on 5 March. Contact: wmcdonough[replace this with the at sign]oas.org The European Parliament adopted a resolution on the harmful effects of unexploded ordnance (landmines and cluster submunitions) and depleted uranium ammunition on 12 February. Contact: brigot[replace this with the at sign]icbl.org
The Geneva Centre for International Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) created the AP Mine Ban Convention?s Documentation Centre. Visit: www.gichd.ch/mbc/documentation or contact: isu[replace this with the at sign]gichd.ch
Afghanistan ­ The Afghan Campaign to Ban Landmines (ACBL) has been encouraging the Afghan Transitional Islamic Government to submit its Article 7 Report to the United Nations. ACBL has also asked the government to provide media facilities to disseminate radio and televised messages to Afghans about the importance of the landmine ban. Contact: afghanistan[replace this with the at sign]icbl.org
Australia ­ In cooperation with UXO Lao, the ICBL Australian Network (ICBL ­ AN) is preparing a book on the effects of landmines and UXO on the people of Lao. The book, funded by AusAID and Caritas Australia, will be launched in May. Campaigners Ken and Juliet Partidge of Launceston, Tasmania, organized an exhibition of paintings by Brian Blanchard to raise funds for the ICBL - AN. In addition, campaigners raised enough money to purchase two metal detectors to send to a mine-affected country. The campaign has focused its efforts on seeking a commitment from the Australian government to renew its funding for mine action. See www.australia.icbl.org or contact: hinton[replace this with the at sign]senet.com.au
Austria ­ On the occasion of the 1 March treaty anniversary, Austrian Aid for Mine Victims issued a press statement. Contact: judith.majlath[replace this with the at sign]aon.at
Azerbaijan ­ To celebrate the 3 December treaty signing anniversary, the Azerbaijan Campaign to Ban Landmines (AzCBL) held meetings with NGOs regarding the provision of assistance to survivors and other disabled persons and regarding Azerbaijan?s position toward the Mine Ban Treaty.
?Landmines monitoring and Information Campaign to Ban Landmines in Azerbaijan,? an AzCBL initiative funded by the Ploughshares Fund, has now finished. The project succeeded in enhancing cooperation between the AzCBL and the diplomatic community, local and national NGOs and the media.
Contact: safihanov[replace this with the at sign]box.az
Belarus ­ The Government of Belarus sent a letter to the President of the Conference on Disarmament on 14 January, stating that they have extended their moratorium on the export of AP mines until 2007. A representative of Belarus CBL participated in the Intersessional Standing Committee meetings.
Contact: izag[replace this with the at sign]user.unibel.by
Belgium ­ From 13-18 January, Handicap International Belgium (HIB) participated in the ?Third World Market,? held in Brasschaat (Antwerp). HIB participated in school awareness and fundraising events on 21 and 27 February in Antwerp. To celebrate the 1 March Treaty anniversary, HIB visited several Brussels-based embassies (Turkey, USA, Serbia and Montenegro, Latvia, Belarus, Tajikistan, Estonia). HIB sent letters to the British and Australian Prime Ministers in March, urging them to use a broad definition of the term ?assist? regarding Article 1 of the Mine Ban Treaty and use of mines in joint operations in Iraq. Contact: koen.baetens[replace this with the at sign]handicap.be
Brazil ­ The Campanha Brasileira Contra Minas Terrestres (CBCM) participated in events at the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre from 23-28 January. The CBCM held daily workshops and an information booth in the youth campground and produced postcards to send them to Cuban President Fidel Castro, urging Cuba to join the Mine Ban Treaty. For more information visit: www.icbl.org/news/2002/274.php Campaigners were urged to send letters to the Brazilian Minister of Defense on 1 March, urging Brazil to reduce the numbers of mines retained for training. Contact: brasil[replace this with the at sign]icbl.org
Burma ­ ICBL Ambassador and Nobel Peace Laureate Jody Williams traveled to Rangoon in February. There she met with representatives of the UN, IOs and NGOs regarding the landmine situation in the country. She also met with Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, and carried messages of support from numerous fellow Peace laureates. They discussed the current state of movements toward peace within the country, efforts to meet humanitarian needs and the increasing numbers of landmines being used in the country?s internal wars. Upon departure from Burma, Jody Williams issued a press statement from Bangkok, Thailand. Visit: www.icbl.org/news/2003/288.php
Cambodia ­ The Cambodia Campaign to Ban Landmines (CCBL) celebrated the 1 March treaty anniversary in Angkor Thom (Siem Reap), in Prey Thom, (Battambang) and Reasmey Samaki (Banteay Meanchey) with plays, dances and mine risk education demonstrations. In Prey Thom, a small girl, Srey Nieng, who lost her leg to a mine while picking flowers in her home garden in August 2002 called on all the participants ?to do one thing every day to make peace grow like a flower.?
The regional seminar, ?Building a Cooperative Future for Mine Action in South-East Asia? was held in Phnom Penh from 26-28 March. The seminar aimed to further enhance mine action cooperation and coordination in South East Asia amongst governments, operators and donors. The seminar was organized by the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority and supported by Australia, Canada, Japan, Norway and the United Nations Development Program.
Representatives from 24 governments and the European Commission participated in the seminar, as did representatives from numerous international and non-governmental organizations, including the CCBL, which also issued a press release that received much attention. Contact: jrscam[replace this with the at sign]forum.org.kh
Canada ­ Mines Action Canada celebrated Canadian Landmine Awareness Week (CLAW) from 24 February 24 ­ 2 March. The theme for this year's CLAW events was Canadians Working in Mine Action. Over 130 events were held in at least 14 Canadian cities, aimed at creating a sustainable network of active and concerned citizens who know and care about the global landmine crisis.
Events ranged from classroom presentations, to citywide proclamations and shoe piles, fundraisers like the Paws for Peace dog walk and Beats for Bombs benefit concerts, film showings and wine tasting events. MAC also launched its first annual Butterfly Ribbon campaign during CLAW. The fifth year of the Youth Mine Action Ambassador Program (YMAAP) finished in March. The new Youth Ambassadors will begin their work on 1 July. Contact: macinfo[replace this with the at sign]web.ca
Colombia ­ The Campa?a Colombiana contra Minas (CCCM) is engaged in discussions with non-state actors. On 1 March CCCM issued a press release about Colombia?s implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty to date. CCCM also sent a letter to US President Bush expressing concern over possible US mine use in Iraq. Contact: cccminas[replace this with the at sign]cccminas.org.co. In December, CIREC brought 24 youth landmine survivors from throughout Colombia to Bogota for a two-week experiential learning workshop. Contact: csaravia[replace this with the at sign]cable.net.co
Djibouti ­ Djibouti completed its stockpile destruction. A representative from ASSOVIM participated in the February Intersessional Standing Committee meetings. Contact: elabe_fr[replace this with the at sign]yahoo.fr
El Salvador ­ The Government of El Salvador destroyed 5248 mines on 20 February.
Ethiopia ­ A representative from RaDO participated in the February Intersessional Standing Committee meetings. Contact: rado[replace this with the at sign]telecom.net.et
France ­ Handicap International France (HI) released ?Landmine Victim Assistance, World Report 2002 ( www.handicap-international.org/report or contact: va-report[replace this with the at sign]handicap-international.org). HI issued a press statement on 19 March, urging the US not to use mines in Iraq. Contact: sogier[replace this with the at sign]handicap-international.org
India ­ The Indian Campaign to Ban Landmines (Indian CBL) held seminars about landmines on 23 March in Abohar, Punjab, and 30 March in Ferozepur, Punjab. The Indian CBL continues to collect signatures for the Youth Against War Treaty. The Indian CBL website was launched at www.india.icbl.org and the ICBL created a focus page on India at: http://www.icbl.org/tools/databases/country/india.
Contact: iipdep[replace this with the at sign]nagpur.dot.net.in
Iraq ­ In responding to the crisis in Iraq, the ICBL issued several media releases urging all parties to refrain from mine use, as well as an Action Alert calling on all campaigners to say no to mine use in Iraq, a severely mine-affected country. Media reports have noted mine use by Iraqi forces and non-state actors in Northern Iraq. A 21 March ICBL media statement called on Iraq to halt immediately its deployment of antipersonnel mines and called on the US to give assurances that it will not use any type of AP mine during the conflict ( www.icbl.org/news/2003/306.php). It noted that the US deployed at least 90,000 AP mines to the region and incorporated them into war plans. The ICL also urged States Parties to the Treaty to ?respond vigorously to this and any use of AP landmines." The ICBL country focus web page on Iraq and landmines ( http://www.icbl.org/tools/databases/country/iraq) links to information to keep campaigns updated and informed. Mines Advisory Group (MAG), a mine clearance organization with field operations in Northern Iraq, has daily updates and photos from Iraq at: www.icbl.org/news/2003/290.php or contact: wareham[replace this with the at sign]hrw.org
Mozambique ­ In February the Government of Mozambique completed its stockpile destruction. Visit: www.ind.gov.mz/en/stock.htm
Nepal ­ The Nepal Campaign to Ban Landmines (NCBL) sent a letter to Nepal?s Prime Minister and SAARC Secretary General on 3 December, in celebration of the 3 December Treaty anniversary and World Disability Day. A press statement urging for dialogue between the Nepalese government and Maoists was released on 10 February. To celebrate the 1 March Treaty anniversary the campaign?s Youth for Peace group organized an inter-school poem competition, held at Staff College, Jawalakhel in Lalitpur. Twenty-eight schools participated in the activity and 67 poems were submitted! Three hundred students and teachers watched as a team of poets and scholars judged the poems. First prize went to Shekhar K.C. of Emerald High School. Contact: ncbl[replace this with the at sign]mail.com.np
New Zealand ­ CALM issued a press release on the 1 March Treaty anniversary, condemning any use of mines in Iraq. CALM has been invited to participate in the New Zealand Council for International Development?s six-person delegation to visit Papua New Guinea with the New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs in April. The ICBL is providing support for this mission and CALM will use this opportunity to urge Papua New Guinea to accede to the Mine Ban Treaty. Contact: newzealand[replace this with the at sign]icbl.org
Pakistan ­ The Pakistan Campaign to Ban Landmines (PCBL) participated in an exhibition organized by the administration of Hayyattabad Medical Complex on 9 January. On 21 January the PCBL participated in a one-day consultative workshop on repatriation and landmine awareness. A one-day mine risk education workshop was organized by BEST in University Town on 16 January.
The PCBL participated in the 11th National Paediatric Conference and Exhibition, held 21-23 March in Peshawar. The campaign continues to collect Youth Against War Treaty signatures. The PCBL will host a British MP to the tribal areas in April. The ICBL created a focus page on Pakistan at: http://www.icbl.org/tools/databases/country/pakistan. Contact: pakistan[replace this with the at sign]icbl.org
Philippines ­ The Philippine Campaign to Ban Landmines (PCBL) is working on the Philippines draft Article 9 domestic legislation and NSA WG activities (see NSA WG). Contact: mferrer[replace this with the at sign]kssp.upd.edu.ph
Poland ­ ?Landmine ­ deadly legacy: Over 5 years after adoption of the Ottawa Treaty,? a month-long exhibition, opened on 1 March at Warsaw University. The exhibition was organized by the Landmine Monitor researcher for Poland, Polish Red Cross, and with support from the ICBL, ICRC, Landmine Action and the Government of Canada. The exhibition featured photographs by John Rodsted. Almost 200 people attended the exhibition?s opening ceremony including Poland?s First Lady Mrs. Jolanta. As part of the project awareness-raising meetings and workshops involving students, the Canadian Ambassador, Polish Red Cross and Polish deminers were held throughout March.
Visit: www.icbl.org/news/2003/299.php or contact: kderlicka[replace this with the at sign]wp.pl
S?o Tom? e Principe ­ The Government of S?o Tom? e Principe ratified the Treaty 31 March.
Sri Lanka ­ The Asia-Pacific ICBL and Landmine Monitor Regional Meeting was held 27-31 January in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Prime Minister Hon. Ranil Wickremasinghe welcomed the ICBL in a statement provided to the opening plenary. The Sri Lankan Campaign to Ban Landmines (SCBL) delivered a copy of their two million-signature petition calling for a landmine ban to a representative of the UN Resident Country Coordinator. Participants traveled to Killinochi, in the mine-affected region of Vanni in northern Sri Lanka, where the UNDP Vanni field office hosted the group and organized a visit to a training site for deminers from the Humanitarian Demining Unit (HDU) of the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO). The UNDP?s technical advisor for mine action in Jaffna district briefed the group on the mine problem further north. Participants also met with ?White Pigeon,? an NGO conducting mine awareness and prosthetic limb manufacture. The meeting?s final declaration is available at: www.icbl.org/news/2002/273.php. Contact saliyaed[replace this with the at sign]sltnet.lk The ICBL created a focus page on Sri Lanka at: http://www.icbl.org/tools/databases/country/sri_lanka
Switzerland ­ The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation held a ?Humanitarian Meeting on Iraq? from 15-16 February in Geneva to bring together humanitarian agencies and governments to discuss the impact of a possible conflict on the humanitarian relief activities. An ICBL statement was read at the meeting. Contact: lih[replace this with the at sign]dca.dk
Syria ­ The Damascus Workshop on Landmine Awareness, hosted by the Arab Network of Researchers on Landmines and ERW, was held 19-20 February in Damascus, Syria. Participants included representatives from the Canadian Embassy in Syria, Directorate of Healthy Villages in the Ministry of Health, Quneitra Governorate, National Information Center, Baath Ruling Party officials, local community organizations in the mine-affected areas, Landmine Survivors Network, as well as participants from Kuwait, Egypt, Sudan, Yemen, Palestine, Jordan and Lebanon. Contact: afodafro[replace this with the at sign]net.sy
Taiwan ­ The Eden Social Welfare Foundation continues to distribute wheelchairs to disabled persons and will hold numerous wheelchair and barrier-free campus events from March - May. Contact: taiwan[replace this with the at sign]icbl.org
Tanzania ­ The Tanzania People?s Defence Forces (TPDF) destroyed 9,837 stockpiled mines on 28 March. A representative of the Kenya Campaign Against Landmines traveled to witness the event on behalf of the Landmine Monitor and ICBL. Visit: www.icbl.org/news/2003/313.php or contact: kcal[replace this with the at sign]africaonline.co.ke
Thailand ­ The Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) and TCBL held two mine risk education (MRE) training seminars in Ta Phraya and Khok Sung sub-district of Sa Kaeo province. It has also initiated one of the TCBL pre-5MSP activities: the printing of hands for the "Holding Hands Against Landmines Campaign." Handicap International-Thailand and TCBL completed a Survey on Knowledge, Attitude and Practices of children (Grades 3-7) and of the general population among the displaced persons in camps in Mae Sod, Tak province.
COERR and TCBL distributed uniforms to children of mine victims in Aranyaprathet, Sa Kaeo province. As well, the campaign and JRSAP completed its survivor assistance project in Buriram and Surin provinces and is now following up on the repayment of loans and supporting the growth of survivor groups. Three Thai landmine survivors participated in the February "Raising the Voices" training in Geneva. On 1 March, TCBL issued a press release expressing concerns about use of mines in Iraq. Contact: thailand[replace this with the at sign