Landmine Update #2, September 2000
This Landmine Update is a quarterly newsletter of the ICBL, followed by a list of new resources available and a calendar of upcoming events. As of 1 September there are 138 signatories/accession and 101 ratifications or accession to the 1997 Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction. The quarter saw the 100th ratification of the treaty by Mauritania on 26 July. Since the last update six other states have also ratified or acceded to the Convention: Cote d'Ivoire, Dominican Republic, Ghana, Nauru, Rwanda and the Seychelles. The Convention has entered into force for 94 of these states as of 1 September 2000
Much of this period has included preparations worldwide for the SMSP. An expected 500 diplomats, landmine survivors, deminers and activists will gather in Geneva for the SMSP to gauge progress and discuss problems in universalization and implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty. A team in Geneva has prepared 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 prior to the meeting, and planned simultaneous public events in their countries during the week of the SMSP.
Landmine Monitor researchers and editors have finalized and begun printing the
- Afghanistan ? A National Workshop on Victim Assistance in Afghanistan was held in Peshawar from 9-10 July 2000. Comprehensive Disabled Afghan Programme (CDAP), ICRC and the Geneva Foundation (GF) jointly organised it. About 40 participants from Afghan and international NGOs, UN agencies, GF, ICRC and representatives from the Taleban discussed the present and future of victim assistance in Afghanistan. For further information contact: CDAP at email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Gunmen shot and killed 12 people, including seven Afghans working for the Organization for Mine Clearance and Afghan Rehabilitation, a humanitarian mine clearance organization working under the umbrella of the U.N. in western Herat province. Halo Trust relocated teams from the rest of Afghanistan to an area of northern Afghanistan because of what it says is an emergency due to drought, failed harvests and drinking water supplies drying up.
- Albania ? Anti-landmine Committee-Albania celebrated the entry into force of the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty for Albania 1 August with press release and events. Contact: email@example.com
- Angola ? On 25 July Deputy Foreign Minister Toko Serao presented the Mine Ban Convention to the National Assembly (Parliament) for ratification, which approved this request for Angola to ratify the Ottawa convention. The President must still sign the ratification instruments before they may be deposited with the UN. The ICBL has expressed concern given continued AP mine use by the government as well as UNITA forces in their ongoing conflict. Meanwhile at least 12 civilians were killed and two wounded in separate landmine blasts in the southern province of Huila during the last two weeks in July, according to the NGO Youth Club. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Australia ? The Australian Network to Ban Landmines participated in the global 'USA Ban Landmines Today' Call for Posters. On 29 May, The Hon Alexander Downer (Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs), The Hon Graham Edwards (ALP Member for Cowan and landmine survivor) and Ms Janet Hunt (Executive Director, ACFOA) assessed the posters collected from across Australia. All three made statements urging the US to sign and ratify the Mine Ban Treaty, as well as other countries that have not yet signed and ratified. Contact: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Azerbaijan ? The Azerbaijan Committee to Ban Landmines organised local Refugees Against Landmines groups in various parts of the country and sent letters to state media regarding programs covering landmine use. They also sent a letter to the Azeri Foreign Minister urging participation at the SMSP. Contact: email@example.com
- Bangladesh ? Campaigners sent letters to the Bangladeshi head of state urging ratification.
- Belgium ? Culmination of postcard campaign in which 25,000 postcards urging President Clinton to join the treaty were delivered to Congressman McGovern, who will deliver them to the President, in Washington on 11 July. The postcards were collected throughout Belgium as part of an international effort to press the US to join the treaty. http://www.icbl.org/prelease/2000/july11hi.php3 The Handicap International Blue Laces, which symbolize landmine victims and the campaign to ban the weapon, were worn at the National Parade (defile nationale) on 21 July, Belgium?s national day. This year the parade participants wore the HI blue laces. In addition, the Prime Minister, Vice Prime Minister and Minister Foreign Affairs, the two other Vice-Prime Ministers and the Minister of Defense also wore the blue laces in their buttonholes. Handicap International held activities in the Royal Park of Brussels, at a large fair, and urged the public to join the fight against landmines by buying and wearing a pair of Blue Laces. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Bosnia - Six people were killed and one injured in two mine explosions the week of 18 August in Bosnia. A Swedish and a Bosnian mine clearance expert were killed in Rogatica, 70 km east of Sarajevo, when they stepped on landmines while clearing the way into a minefield to collect the bodies of two local fishermen who had been killed by mine explosions there the previous day. A Serbian policeman was also killed when he tried to rescue the two experts (Xinhua, August 18). Alma Suljevic, a Bosnian artist, sold bags of dirt in Sarajevo's main market in a "special artistic performance." Her goal was to draw attention to the threat of thousands of landmines still buried in Bosnia. She collected the dirt from cleared minefields and sold the bags for 20 German Marks ($10).
- Brazil ? Members of the Brazil Campaign to Ban Landmines sent letters to Heads of State of neighboring countries urging ratification before the SMSP. Contact: email@example.com
- Cambodia ? ICBL Ambassador from Cambodia Tun Channareth traveled to Fiji (see Fiji), to the UK for a speaking tour in June, then to Japan in July for a symposium (see Japan). In August, Tun traveled on to Spain and then France where Cambodia Campaign representative Denise Coghlan joined him for the Night of Peace in Lourdes 13 August. They attended together with Mairead Maguire, Adolfo Esquivel, Thich Nhat Hanh and representatives from Pax Christi, UNESCO and others. On 14 August, Tun Channareth addressed the huge crowd bidding farewell to the French Catholic youth who left for the meeting of more than 1 million Catholic youth from 163 countries with the Pope. Along with the youth sent from Cambodia they raised the landmine issue. At home, the Cambodia Campaign to Ban Landmines sent letters to all ambassadors of Asian non-signatories and signatories who have not yet ratified urging action before the SMSP. The Campaign printed and distributed a brochure on landmines in the ASEAN countries and held numerous talks at universities and other gatherings. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Canada ? Letters to ambassadors of signatories in the Americas urging ratification before the SMSP. Contact: email@example.com Youth Mine Action Ambassadors Program Training in August for 12 new Mine Action Ambassadors who will work across the country. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Youth Against War Goes International. Mines Action Canada re-launched the Youth Against War Treaty in March 2000 with a new focus: to collect hundreds of thousands of signatures by 1 March 2001, to deliver these to the next President of the USA. They also hope to present them to as many US embassies around the world on the same day. They will then move on to target other non-signatory countries. They urge all to unite with them and the Youth Against War treaty, available at the new YOUTH website: www.icbl.org/youth. Contact: email@example.com
- Cameroon ? A resolution regarding landmines (doc. 88) was passed at the 26th session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Francophonie in Yaond? 6-8 July. The resolution urges ratification/accession by members, implementation of the Treaty including implementing national legislation under Article 9 and reporting under Article 7. http://www.icbl.org/prelease/2000/july25.php3
- Colombia ? Declaration of Cartagena of the "Rio Group Year 2000: A commitment for the Millenium", signed on 16 June, included a paragraph (#15) on landmines including calling on all states to ratify the Convention. "El Grupo de R?o" includes Colombia, Uruguay, Bolivia, Guatemala, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Brazil, Honduras, Costa Rica, Mexico, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Venezuela, Chile, Peru, Argentina, Guyana, Panama and Paraguay. In addition, the Colombia Campaign Against Landmines lobbied authorities for Colombian ratification, distributed Fact Sheets and letters to authorities and NSAs on the landmines situation in Colombia, held briefings for government officials, wrote a book "Sembrando minas, cosechando muerte" (Sowing Mines, Harvesting Death) on landmines in Colombia with UNICEF Colombia, issued press releases, began a database of landmine incidents in Colombia and collaboration with National Planning Department on a project to assist victims and prevent landmine incidents. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Cote d?Ivoire ? Ratified 30 June 2000.
- Dominican Republic ? Ratified 30 June 2000.
- Europe - European Parliament: Handicap International - France and Belgium and Human Rights Watch ? Brussels organised a visit of Jody Williams to Brussels where she met with several EU officials and Members of Parliament in May 2000. The purpose of the meetings was to press the EU for greater involvement in the ban movement, to urge members to raise the issue of the Mine Ban Treaty in all appropriate multilateral and bilateral fora, to urge European members of NATO to make explicit, either individually or collectively, that AP mine use will not be acceptable in joint operations and to secure sponsors for a European Parliament event and meeting on landmines ?Day for a Mine-free World? immediately after the SMSP on 21 September. Contact: email@example.com
- Fiji - ICBL Ambassador Tun Channareth, hosted by UNICEF Bangkok, traveled to Fiji to a meeting of Parliamentarians of the Pacific Island nations to urge accession and ratification among these states. Nauru later acceded to the treaty (8 August) and a Senator from Palau introduced a motion urging the President to undertake all steps for Palau?s accession to the Treaty. The Senate passed the resolution and it has been transmitted to the House of Representatives. If approved it will be referred to the President for assent. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
- France ? Letters to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Francophonie urging passage of a resolution regarding landmines, which was later passed (doc. 88) at the 26th session of in Yaond? (see Cameroon). Letters to ambassadors of francophone signatories urging ratification prior to the SMSP. Preparation of the Shoe Pyramid day, a day against landmines which will be organised in 26 cities on September 16th. Contact: email@example.com
- Germany ? In June, the German Initiative to Ban Landmines participated in the International Symposium on Mine Action in Munster, organised by the Geman Ministry for Foreign Affairs. In July, the GIBL met representatives of the German Ministry of Defense and the GIBL participated in the Global Dialogue 4, organised by the German Ministry for Economical Co-operation and Development in the framework of the Hannover Expo 2000. Translation of Bad Honnef guidelines on integrated mine action into various languages. Contact: GIBL.Haake@t-online.de
- Ghana ? ratified 30 June 2000.
- Guatemala ? 6- 7 July Jody Williams and Rigoberta Menchu participated in Peace Jam activities, two days of workshops with students of five different indigenous communities in the country. They also participated in a forum entitled "Landmine Banning, a Way to Achieve Peace". The objectives of this Forum were to inform about the achievements and difficulties of the landmine ban process in Guatemala and how this process can contribute to the consolidation of peace in Guatemala. A press conference and exhibit was also held. The events received widespread media coverage throughout the country. Contact: www.peacejam.org or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Japan - Tun Channareth, ICBL's International Ambassador from Cambodia, traveled to Fukuoka, Kumamoto and Nagasaki to give a series of talks on banning landmines, before heading for Okinawa to attend a Symposium held on 15 July 2000. This Symposium focused on the U.S. position toward the Mine Ban Treaty (MBT) and US APMS remained stockpiled in the US military bases in Japan. The symposium preceded the Kyushu-Okinawa Summit Meeting 2000. Tun Channareth was invited by JCBL (Japan Campaign to Ban Landmines) as a keynote speaker of the symposium. He urged the US to sign the MBT. Inspection of the APM destruction facilities of Nippon Koki (Fukuhsima) by JCBL members. Contact: NCB01450@nifty.ne.jp
- Kenya ? Kenya Campaign Against Landmines sent a letter to the Minister for Foreign Affairs demanding immediate ratification. KCAL made personal contact with the senior officials concerned with the drafting of the relevant cabinet papers, and wrote to office of the President, urging expedition of the deliberations on the cabinet papers. Contact: email@example.com
- Lebanon ? Israeli troop withdrawal from Southern Lebanon the last week of May left behind areas highly infested with mines and UXOs. Between 21 May and 23 August, 40 cases of mine/UXO explosions were recorded resulting in 7 deaths, 30 survivors and 3 livestock accidents. UNMAS sent an assessment mission at the end of May. This and other UN missions resulted in the establishment of a UN Mine Action Coordination Cell at UNIFIL headquarters in Naqoura, South Lebanon. They are coordinating with the Lebanese Army and Landmines Resource Center. Ukraine sent engineering troops to UNIFIL who are assisting with demining, as are engineering troops of the Lebanese Army. Marking areas has begun. A large mine awareness campaign was launched 24 May involving World Rehabilitation Fund, LRC, Lebanese Red Cross and other NGOs. The Landmines Resource Center of the University of Balamand completed an assessment survey of the landmines situation in the South. Queen Noor visited Lebanon and encouraged it to join the treaty, now that the withdrawal is complete. Contact: Landmine Resource Center, Tel: +961 1 562 110 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Malaysia -The Asia-Pacific Roundtable, an annual conference held in Kuala Lumpur organised by the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia on behalf of the ASEAN-ISIS, was held this year on 12 June. This year's theme for the 14th Roundtable was "Confidence Building and Conflict Resolution" and this year over 280 politicians, diplomats, academics and representatives of NGOs attended. A Panel on Landmines with the title, "The Landmine Ban Treaty and Humanitarian Mine Action in South East Asia," was one of twelve panel discussions open to participants. Simon Tay, MP from Singapore, chaired the Panel and speakers included John Head from the New Zealand Campaign Against Landmines and Sam Rainsy, former Minister of Finance and leader of the Parliamentary Opposition in Cambodia. Contact: email@example.com
- Mauritania ? Became the 100th nation to ratify the treaty 21 July.
- Namibia - Letters and press release issued on eve of the SADC summit 7 August. Contact: Namibian Campaign to Ban Landmines firstname.lastname@example.org
- Nauru? Accession to the treaty on 7 August.
- New Zealand ? The Campaign Against Landmines (CALM) in NZ lobbied various Pacific Island States to encourage their movement towards ratification and accession to the Mine Ban Treaty, both directly and via their NZ diplomatic posts. They issued newsletters and press releases, conducted radio talks on national radio and regional access radio, held two liaison meetings with Ministry of Foreign Affairs, spoke at a disarmament meeting, had speaking engagements at Rotary, Lions Club, churches, Wellington Peace Forum and organised a panel on landmines at the Kuala Lumpur Roundtable (see Malaysia). Contact: email@example.com
- Pakistan ? The Pakistan Campaign to Ban Landmines held various workshops in various schools and NGOs and met with teachers and scholars in mosques, with local administrators and elders and other awareness-raising activities. They lobbied parliamentarians, met with representatives of government departments and political administrators and sent letters urging accession to the Treaty. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Philippines ? Philippine Campaign To Ban Landmines (PCBL) issued a "Preliminary Report and Statement on the Recent Landmine Incidents In The Mindanao Conflict:
Coming To A Higher Level Of Attention And Engagement"on 30 June. The report followed increased "disturbing news reports of the use of landmines by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Abu Sayyafagainst attacking forces of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) during the current Mindanao crisis, and the most recent use of a landmine by the communist New People?s Army (NPA) during an ambush which killed 13 soldiers led by a Philippine Army Brigade commander in another war front." Contact: email@example.com A television documentary GMA-7 "i-witness" feature on landmines in the recent Mindanao conflict was broadcast 31 July.
- Rwanda ? Ratified 13 June 2000.
- Seychelles ? Ratified 2 June 2000.
- South Africa - "The Road Forward: Humanitarian Mine Clearance in Southern Africa" Conference hosted by the South African Institute of International Affairs took place in Johannesburg 7 - 8 June 2000. The Conference successfully brought together a range of commercial and humanitarian mine-clearance agencies to discuss experiences and to share information. Amongst the groups participating were, MAG, MGM, Mine-Tech, NPA and Mechem as well the Accelerated De-mining Programme from Mozambique, and the SADC Landmine Programme Coordinator. The SACBL also participated in the event. The themes covered included: National Capacity building, the toolbox concept, the socio-economic impact of landmines and mine clearance, the financial realities of mine clearance and the impact of the recent floods on Mozambique. A full conference report will be available in late 2000 from Gareth Elliot at firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: +27 (011) 339-2154. Letters and press release were issued on the occasion of the SADC summit 7 August, which were carried by local media. Contact: email@example.com
- Sri Lanka - Television Programme on landmines broadcast 28 July.
- Switzerland ? Preparation of Second Meeting of States Parties and numerous activities throughout the week of 11-15 September 2000. Visit http://www.icbl.org/index/text/Mine_Ban_Treaty/2MSP/ or contact Swiss Campaign to Ban Landmines: firstname.lastname@example.org Presentation of Landmine Monitor Report 2000 to the SMSP www.icbl.org/lm/2000 SMSP opening ceremony including landmine survivors from 13 countries and spanning three generations.
- Thailand - the Landmine Victims Network 1999, Sakaeo Province in cooperation with the Thailand Campaign to Ban Landmines (TCBL), organised "Landmines Bicycle Rally 2000" in Thailand. The "Bike Rally: Journey for Peace", held from 26 April - 1 May 2000, commemorated the occasion of the first anniversary of the entry-into-force of the Mine Ban Treaty (MBT) in Thailand on 1 May 2000. The rally also aimed to raise public awareness of landmines in Thailand, garner support for Thai survivors and urge full compliance with the treaty. A Memorial Service for the forgotten victims was also held. The 51 participants, including 28 Thai landmine survivors, cycled 259 km. The local communities along the route provided support and the mass media extensively covered the successful event. Contact: email@example.com. Asian Disaster Preparedness Center of the Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok, held a training course on Mine Awareness for Government Officials and health volunteers in Sra Keo province on the Thai/Cambodia border 24-25 July 2000. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. US Ambassador visited demining sites in Sakeo, hosted by TMAC 29 August.
- Togo ? African Campaigns to Ban Landmines sent letters to heads of state and issued a press release calling for renewed commitment for the universalization and implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty by all members of the OAU on the occasion of the Summit in Lom? 10-12 July. http://www.icbl.org/prelease/2000/july25.php3
- USA ? From July 9-11, over 75 activists from 26 states descended on Washington, DC to participate in the US Campaign to Ban Landmines Grass Roots and Legislative Action Conference. Meetings were held with more than 220 members of Congress or their aides and over 40% expressed immediate support, while many others indicated probable support. The activists called on Congress to take an active role in urging President Clinton to join the Mine Ban Treaty. US Representatives Jim McGovern (D-MA), Lane Evans (D-IL) and Jack Quinn (R-NY) have circulated a Dear Colleague sign-on letter in the House that urges the President to take steps toward joining the treaty. To date, over 60 members of Congress have signed the letter. . Human Rights Watch released its new report "Clintons' Landmines Legacy" at the events and copies were distributed to all members of Congress. http://www.icbl.org/prelease/2000/hrwjuly10.php3. The USCBL launched Students Against Landmines at the events. American landmine survivors Marianne Holtz, Roy Ruff, Irving Axelrod, Jerry White, and Ken Rutherford participated in the events. Representatives of the Buddhist, Catholic, Jewish, Lutheran, Methodist, Muslim and Bahai faiths participated in an inter-faith prayer service. Over 250 participants also attended a reception that paid tribute to mines activist and survivor Ken Rutherford, who is resigning from his post as co-director of Landmines Survivors Network to accept a university teaching position after completing his PhD. Nobel Laureate Jody Williams also spoke at the event. Contact email@example.com or www.banminesusa.org
- Yemen ? The Impact Survey (level one) of the Republic of Yemen has been completed successfully according to the international standards set by SAC and MCPA in July 2000. The findings of the survey are already in use by the mine action programme in Yemen. The official report of the survey will be handed over by the UNMAS to the Yemeni delegation during the SMSP. Contact: UNMAS Tel: +1 212 963 1875 firstname.lastname@example.org or Survey Action Center Tel: +1 202 483 9222 email@example.com
- ICRC - Published report "Explosive Remnants of War: Cluster Bombs and Landmines in Kosovo". Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.icrc.org
- UNICEF: Update of the 1996 Gra?a Machel report (Machel + 5) on the Impact of Armed Conflict on Children, which contains sections on landmines and unexploded ordnance. Contact: UNICEF +1 212 326 7000
- UNMAS: Impact Survey (level one) completed (see Yemen). Established a UN Regional Coordination Cell for Mine Action in Lebanon (see Lebanon.) Launched the new UN Mine Action Portfolio of Mine Related Projects which is on the UN Mine Action Service website, at: http://www.mineaction.org/section.asp?s=projects
- International and Virtual: Ratification Campaign including coordinated efforts by ICBL members, ICBL and government partners continued urging maximum ratification by the SMSP: The ICBL and members sent letters sent to all signatories urging ratification prior to the SMSP, and issued press releases on the occasion of t