Landmine Update #6, December 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, 142 countries have signed the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, and 122 have ratified it. The most recent accession is Nigeria (27 September) and the most recent ratification is Algeria (9 October).
Despite the tragic events that occurred in the US on 11 September, the Third Meeting of States Parties to the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty (3MSP) proceeded as planned in Managua, Nicaragua from 18-21 September. Ninety-seven ICBL campaigners and Landmine Monitor researchers participated in the meeting and surrounding events. For more information please visit: http://www.icbl.org/3msp
Much of this period has been focused on the situation in Afghanistan. Afghanistan is one of the most severely mine-affected countries in the world. In 2000, mines and UXO injured or killed two or three people every day. Landmines pose a grave risk to civilians attempting to flee the country or areas of conflict, to those returning after conflict has subsided, as well as to peace keepers, aid workers and military personnel. The ICBL responded to the increased need for accurate and updated information about landmines in Afghanistan by creating a web page at http://www.icbl.org/tools/databases/country/afghanistan with fact sheets, press releases, action alerts and more. The Afghan Campaign to Ban Landmines issued several updates and press statements. Contact: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Over the past several months the ICBL has also voiced its concern over the possible use of mines by the US, especially in joint operations with States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty. Action Alerts were issued and letters sent to NATO member states, urging them to oppose any use of antipersonnel landmines by the U.S. or others in the fighting in Afghanistan. For further information visit: http://www.icbl.org/tools/databases/country/afghanistan Contact: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
After the release of the 2001 Landmine Monitor Report researchers commenced work on the 2002 report. Regional ICBL and Landmine Monitor Researchers Meetings were held from October to December in Korea, Armenia, Kenya and Brazil. Additional regional meetings will be held in January 2002 in Geneva, Switzerland. Contact: email@example.com
3 December marked the fourth anniversary of the opening for signature of the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty. Events were held worldwide and the ICBL issued a press release, available online http://www.icbl.org/news/2001/129.php The anniversary coincided with the
Other landmine-related events were also held worldwide. This update is a summary of some of them:
Afghanistan- The ACBL issued several updates and press statements. For more information please visit: http://www.icbl.org/tools/databases/country/afghanistan In addition, the ACBL sent an open letter to the UN Special Representative for Afghanistan during the Bonn peace negotiations, emphasizing the importance of including mine action in the peace process. ACBL members also participated in the ?NGO Conference in Tokyo on the Reconstruction of Afghanistan,? held 11-13 December (see Japan.) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Algeria- Algeria ratified the Mine Ban Treaty on 9 October.
Angola- In early October 4 Israeli secondees arrived in Angola where they joined UNICEF Angola?s mine awareness project. After two weeks of orientation training and briefings the young mine awareness trainers were sent to Uige, Huambo, Moxico and Malange provinces to begin their work. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Argentina- The investigative television show ?Telenoche Investiga? in Buenos Aires featured a segment on 31 October with Landmine Monitor Researcher Miriam Lewin. The show discussed the landmine situation along the Argentinean- Chilean border. Contact: email@example.com
Armenia- Eleven Landmine Monitor Researchers from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) region of the former Soviet Union met in Yerevan, Armenia from 8-10 November to discuss the 2001 Landmine Monitor Report and prepare for the 2002 report. Researchers discussed their advocacy efforts in support of the Mine Ban Treaty and regional strategies to engage their governments in the ban and increased mine action. On 8 November the meeting opened with speeches by representatives from the local United Nations Office and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Both promised assistance from their field missions in the provision of information to Landmine Monitor researchers.
The production and release of the 2001 Landmine Monitor report was reviewed, and research standards, methods and the timeline for the 2002 report were discussed, in addition to thematic small group discussions about mine action, mine victims and the ban. Campaigners also attended a discussion at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the head of the Department of Arms Control and International Security and visited Yerevan?s Center of Trauma, Orthopedics and Rehabilitation. They also spoke at a roundtable discussion with Armenia?s Deputy Minister of Defense. Campaigners also visited several mine and UXO contaminated villages along the Armenia- Azerbaijan border. For more information visit: http://www.icbl.org/news/2001/125.php and http://www.icbl.org/lm/2002/armenia.html Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Australia- The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, scheduled for 6-9 October in Brisbane, was postponed after 11 September. It will be re-scheduled for the first quarter of 2002. The Youth Forum and People?s Festival went ahead from 2-7 October and involved the participation of many NGOs and Commonwealth Associations. The ICBL Australia Network staffed a stand with information about the landmines issue and a fundraising ?guess the number of shoes? action, where they raised funds and increased awareness of the landmines issue.
On 27 October the Victoria Branch of the ICBL Australia Network held a discussion meeting about the landmines situation in Afghanistan with speakers Bill van Ree, mine clearance consultant and Nouria Salehi of the Melbourne Afghan Support Group. The network held its Annual General Meeting from 2-4 November, and issued a press release about the use of cluster bombs in Afghanistan on 5 November. Tasmanian branch member Rob Woolley, a Vietnam War Veteran, received an award during Human Rights Week for his work with the landmine campaign. On 6 December a concert in Tasmania was held at the Republic Bar for MiVAC- Veterans Service and Humanitarian Aid Foundation, formed by campaigner Rob Woolley. The network?s SA branch displayed campaign materials in Council Libraries from February to November and a member spoke at the International Human Rights Day Picnic on 9 December. Contact: email@example.com
Belarus- The Ministry of Social Protection held a conference for war veterans at the Minsk Republican Hospital from 13-14 December to learn more about victims of war and landmines in the FSU region. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or Fax +375 17 222 62 55.
Belgium- From 19-21 October the Landmine Monitor Core Group met in Brussels to evaluate the 2001 Landmine Monitor Report and plan for the 2002 report. The Core Group reviewed the 2001 report and its global releases, and decided to omit the thematic report appendices from the 2002 report. Research applications and proposals were approved and the Landmine Monitor schedule of regional and global meetings was set. The research coordination structure will remain largely unchanged from the 2001 report. The 2002 Landmine Monitor Report will tentatively be released on 12 September 2002. Contact: email@example.com Handicap International ? Belgium (HI-B) made a presentation on landmines in Afghanistan at a donors meeting in Brussels 19-20 December. Delegates from nearly 100 countries, international organizations and NGOs met in preparation for the donors meeting on Afghanistan in Tokyo in January. HI-B urged integration of mine action, coordination, sustained commitment of resources and accession to Mine Ban Treaty by Afghanistan as soon as possible. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bosnia- The ?Students for a Mine-Free World? Conference was held from 25-29 October in Sarajevo Students from Australia, Bosnia, Croatia, Kosovo, Norway, Scotland, Slovenia, Singapore and the US spent time with representatives from the ICRC, Norwegian People?s Aid and other organizations. They learned about the landmines issue in Bosnia and worldwide, International Humanitarian Law and how to take grassroots actions in their communities. Contact: email@example.com
Brazil- Brazil enacted national implementation legislation, Law 10.300 on 31 October.The Brazilian Campaign to Ban Landmines held a photo exhibition at the World Education Forum in Porto Alegre from 24-27 October. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org On 3 December AJA Brazil distributed a Portuguese translation of the ICBL 3 December press release to lusophone media. Contact: email@example.com Campaigners and researchers from throughout the Americas met in Brasilia from 9-10 December. They discussed the 2001 Landmine Monitor Report, prepared for the 2002 report and discussed campaign strategies and goals for 2002. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Burma- The ICBL participated in the Nobel Peace Laureate Campaign for Aung San Suu Kyi and the People of Burma, focusing on the use and effect of landmines in Burma. For more information please visit http://www.icbl.org/news/2001/123.php or http://www.icbl.org/tools/databases/country/burma
Canada- The Co-chairs of the Standing Committee on Victim Assistance held a Victim Assistance Planning Workshop, from 29-30 October in Ottawa. Participants included representatives from the Permanent Missions of Honduras, Nicaragua and France, DFAIT, CIDA, Mines Action Canada, ICBL, Landmine Monitor and domestic and international NGOs. Participants agreed that a ?road map? for the Standing Committee would add to its effectiveness in being able to meet its goals. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mines Action Canada?s Annual General Meeting was held on 30 October, with a Campaign Capacity Building Workshop held the next day. Speakers included representatives of the ICBL, MAC, UNMAS, DFAIT and the Permanent Mission of Nicaragua in Geneva. On 7 November, Mines Action Canada issued a press release calling for a moratorium on cluster bombs.
To celebrate 3 December, a number of events were held by the Youth Mine Action Ambassador Program in cities across the country, in partnership with Mines Action Canada, the Canadian Red Cross and DFAIT. Events included evenings of awareness-raising music and poetry, photography exhibitions and high school presentations. Contact: email@example.com
Colombia- The Colombian Campaign Against Landmines (CCCM) launched new campaigns in Antioquia and Santander in October. These are the two most heavily mined provinces in Colombia. The CCCM provided training on the landmines issue to youth involved with the Scouting Association. In October the youth began delivering awareness-raising presentations to their peers in five cities. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Three participants from Landmine Survivors Network?s
Cuba- In April 2001 the Cuban government invited the ICBL and its Landmine Monitor researcher to visit Cuba for a ?mutual exchange of views on its position regarding landmines and the Ottawa Treaty and to allow for a better acquaintance between the ICBL and the Republic of Cuba.? From 23-29 September two ICBL campaigners visited Cuba. Their program included meetings with high-level military personnel and officials of the Directorate from Multilateral Affairs, as well as other relevant government stakeholders and independent associations such as the Center for the Study of International Humanitarian Law and the Cuban Association of Physically Disabled People.
The ICBL delegation was allowed access to the area surrounding the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay in the southeast of Cuba, where Cuba has planted landmines to prevent U.S. troops from crossing into Cuba. While this visit was of a humanitarian nature, and not an ?inspection,? the ICBL is the first international civil society organization to be allowed into the area and to view the minefields surrounding the U.S. Guantanamo Naval Base.
The ICBL used this visit to advocate for a total ban on landmines in Cuba, to explain the ICBL?s vision and programs and to explore ways in which Cuba can become involved in mine action. Contact: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
France- Handicap International (HI) held its 7th annual Shoe Pyramid in 26 French cities on 6 October. In addition to the physical pyramids, thousands of virtual shoes were added to a pyramid on the HI website at http://www.handicap-international.org. During this event more than 40,000 signatures were collected for a petition urging non-signatories to join the Mine Ban Treaty. Similar events were held in Berlin, Munich and Luxembourg.
In October HI released press statements with the results of the 3MSP and 2001 Landmine Monitor Report. HI sent a letter to President Bush, President Chirac and the French Minister of Defense on 18 October, asking them to initiate a non-use of landmines policy within NATO. On 19 November, HI held a press conference on US use of cluster bombs in Afghanistan. HI met with American Embassy representatives on 29 November to deliver 20,000 petitions expressing concern about the US position on cluster bombs and landmines.
To celebrate the 3 December Mine Ban Treaty signing anniversary, HI issued a press release emphasizing the US position on landmines and cluster bombs. Letters were sent to all foreign embassies in Paris with copies of the Landmine Monitor Executive Summary. Embassies were encouraged to participate in the January 2002 Intersessional Standing Committee meetings and to sign/ratify/implement the Mine Ban Treaty. Contact: email@example.com
Germany- The German Initiative to Ban Landmines (GIBL) launched its ?Public Campaign to Ban all Mines? on 28 September with a series of public events throughout Germany. The campaign seeks to raise public awareness of the humanitarian impact of mines and the need for a total ban on anti-vehicle mines. A local mobile service provider created a special protest SMS (short message service) number where people can send protest messages. On 19 November the Tacheles cultural center in Berlin/ Mitte hung a banner on their building in support of the campaign. On 11 October GIBL participated in the second roundtable on banning mines, including anti-vehicle mines, held in Berlin and organized by the Lew-Kopelew Forum. Parliamentarians from all political parties discussed the possibility of widening the scope on banning mines, but no agreement was achieved. This discussion will be followed up by a third roundtable in January 2002. Contact: GIBL.Haake@t-online.de
India- The Indian Campaign to Ban Landmines (Indian CBL) held a regional workshop in the mine-affected northern Indian community of Kargil (Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir) on 1 November. On 3 November the Indian CBL, in conjunction with the Ladakh Buddhist Association, held a workshop on landmines in Leh. Approximately 50 participants attended, including paramilitary forces, local voluntary organizations and landmine survivors. Both workshops were arranged with support from the Indian Army. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Italy- The Italian Campaign Against Mines participated in the City of Milan?s ?Ten Nobels for the Future? event, held 1 December in Milan. Contact: email@example.com An Italian translation of the ICBL Mine Ban Treaty anniversary press release was distributed on 3 December. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Japan- AAR Japan and members of the ACBL participated in the ?NGO Conference in Tokyo on the Reconstruction of Afghanistan,? held 11-13 December. The conference was organized by Japan Platform (JPF), a coalition comprised of Japanese NGOs including AAR Japan and the JCBL, the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, members of the media and the private sector. The JCBL co-organized this event, which brought groups together to ?reflect direct voices of Afghan civil societies in the process of reconstruction.? AAR facilitated a workshop about landmines and launched an appeal for increased, long term and sustainable funding for mine action projects, the emergency assessment and survey of new ordnance and a country-wide landmine impact survey, integration of mine action into other development projects and streamlined landmine injury data collection. The appeal also encouraged the new Afghani government to take steps to join the Mine Ban Treaty. Contact: email@example.com
Jordan- Landmine Survivors Network (LSN) began a new project, ?Promoting Victim Assistance in the Middle East? with a LSN Middle East Representative based out of Amman, Jordan. The project seeks to facilitate information exchange between mine action actors to be better able to assess the needs of survivors, promote communication and exchange of expertise and increase resources to survivors in the MENA region. Contact: mona@LSNmena.org
Kenya- From 27-29 November 19 ICBL campaigners and Landmine Monitor researchers met in Nairobi for the 2001 African Regional ICBL and Landmine Monitor Researchers Meeting. Campaigners discussed advocacy strategies and focused not only on the need for non-States Parties to join the Mine Ban Treaty, but also about the importance of implementation and compliance to the treaty. Compliance issues discussed included the need for transparency reporting, domestic legislation to implement the Mine Ban Treaty and stockpile transparency and destruction. Also discussed were fundraising strategies, actions to engage non-state actors and the ICBL?s 2004 Action Plan.
On 30 November participants held a roundtable meeting with invited diplomats and government officials to discuss universalization and implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty throughout the region. Representatives from at least 15 countries in the region attended. Following the roundtable the Canadian High Commissioner hosted a luncheon, where the Director for Political Affairs from Kenya?s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation addressed the guests and noted that the government ?is in the process of preparing a transparency report to be submitted in due course.? More information is available at: http://www.icbl.org/lm/2002/kenya.html or Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Korea- Sixteen Landmine Monitor researchers met in Seoul from 25-26 October for the Asia-Pacific Regional ICBL and Landmine Monitor Researchers Meeting. Researchers discussed the 2001 Landmine Monitor Report findings, 3MSP, and 2002 research, including the 2002 Landmine Monitor Research Guide. Participants discussed the state of the campaign to ban landmines in the Asia-Pacific region, the new ICBL Fundraising Guide and campaign plans and priorities for 2002.
On 27 October campaigners made a field trip to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), dividing North and South Korea. They had lunch with five mine survivors in Daekwang, a village 10 kilometers from the DMZ. At the Taipung Observatory in Youn-Cheun County inside the DMZ, campaigners received a briefing from the ROK Army. That evening campaigners attended a reception for an International Authors? Conference on Reconciliation and Peace where they were congratulated for their continued and targeted actions in promoting peace. On 28 October participants attended a church service led by the Korean Campaign to Ban Landmines? President. Mary Wareham and Jody Williams met with Korean opposition leader Lee, Hei-Chang.
Campaigners sent an open letter to Hon. Kim Dae-Jung, President of the Republic of Korea, praising him on Korea?s ratification of CCW APII and for raising the landmines issue at a 15 June 2000 summit with Chairman Kim Jong-Il of North Korea, and encouraging Korea to join the Mine Ban Treaty. For more information visit: http://www.icbl.org/news/2001/118.php or Contact: email@example.com
Lebanon- The First Conference on Disability, Rehabilitation and Inclusion was held 19-21 September in Beirut. Participants included many Arab governments and NGOs. The conference resulted in the Beirut Declaration, which includes support for implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty and calls for increased financial support to mine-affected countries. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mauritius- In preparation for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, Ban Landmines Working Group (Mauritius) members sent letters to many Commonwealth leaders. They distributed Safelane magazines to local NGOs and the information kit on drafting legislation to implement the Mine Ban Treaty was sent to the Mauritius government and the Embassies of Comoros, Seychelles and Madagascar in Mauritius. Contact: email@example.com
New Zealand- The New Zealand Campaign Against Landmines (CALM) hosted a launch of the 2001 Landmine Monitor Report on 2 November at the Parliament Buildings in Wellington. Members of CALM and UNICEF and representatives of the New Zealand Army and national parliament attended this event. In December members of CALM met with the US Ambassador regarding the possible rollback of US mine ban policy. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nicaragua- Ninety-seven ICBL campaigners and researchers participated in the Third Meeting of States Parties to the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, held from 18-21 September in Managua. ICBL campaigners attended preparation and orientation meetings, advocacy training sessions, and a stockpile destruction ceremony hosted by the Government of Nicaragua. Throughout the week ICBL members participated in daily morning briefings, held working group and regional meetings and bilateral meetings with numerous governments. The ICBL held a media briefing on the opening day and participated in a closing media briefing with Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Francisco Aguirre Sacasa, President of the conference. ICBL facilitated a photograph exhibit, sponsored by UNICEF, entitled ?Legacy of the Perfect Soldier? by Giovanni Diffidenti. The ICBL also held photo exhibitions throughout Managua and a one-day youth activism seminar for Managua students.
The ICBL spoke on many occasions throughout the 3MSP. ICBL Ambassador Jody Williams made remarks during the opening plenary. The ICBL?s Head of Delegation, Steve Goose of Human Rights Watch, delivered a speech on behalf of the ICBL during the general exchange of views. Centro de Estudios Internacionales released the "Third Independent Report on Mine Action in Nicaragua", a survey of developments and trends regarding Nicaragua's compliance with the Convention over the previous 12 months. Contact: email@example.com For more information please visit: http://www.icbl.org/3msp or Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nigeria- Nigeria acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty on 27 September. A Handicap International representative attended ?Arms and International Human Rights: CCW and the Ottawa Convention,? held 10-11 October in Abuja. The ICRC and Economic Community of West African States (CEDEAO) organized the conference. Of the fifteen West African countries, all but Cape Verde attended, and members of the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs represented each state. The Handicap International representative from Senegal made an intervention about the affects of mines in West Africa, using Casamance as an example. Contact: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Norway- ICBL Ambassador Jody Williams, Steve Goose, Liz Bernstein and Jerry White represented the ICBL at the Centennial Nobel Prize celebrations in Oslo from 6-11 December. The ICBL campaigners joined approximately 30 Nobel Peace Prize laureates invited by the Nobel Institute to participate in these events. A Nobel Peace Prize Centennial Symposium was held from 6-8 December, in which laureates and academics addressed the themes around ?The Conflicts of the 20th Century and the Solutions for the 21st Century.? Jody Williams delivered a presentation, as did Steve Goose on behalf of the ICBL, on a panel discussion entitled ?Militarism and Arms Races?Strengthen Arms Control and Disarmament.? On 8 December the laureates joined people and politicians from around the world in an appeal for the release of fellow laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. Nobel laureates participated in a 90 minute CNN Special Nobel Debate, ?In Pursuit of Peace? on 9 December. The ICBL representatives were in attendance on 10 December when Kofi Annan and the United Nations were awarded the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize and attended the 11 December Nobel Peace Prize Concert. On 10 December Nobel Laureates presented an appeal to Kofi Annan, available online at http://www.icbl.org/news/2001/135.php and http://www.icbl.org/news/2001/133.php or Contact: email@example.com