30 October 2008

Global Week of Action to Ban Cluster Bombs - Update Day 3

Wednesday, 29 October 2008Read about actions and events that took place on Wednesday, 29 October:Afghanistan campaigners hold meetings with Members of ParliamentCMC Afghanistan coordinated by the Afghan Landmine Survivors Organisation (ALSO) has been holding a series of meetings with the Afghan authorities and members of parliament asking for their support to sign the CCM in Oslo.On 28 October a meeting was held with Dr. Abdul Matine Adrak Director General Department of Disaster Preparedness and Mine Action Authority to discuss Afghanistan's position in the Oslo process. He ensured that he will share all the information and documents with President Hamid Karzai and to clarify Afghanistan's position on signing the Convention soon. On 29 October, the Afghan CMC had a meeting with the Senator Dr. Burhan Ullah Shinwarie, the Deputy of Mashrano Jerga (Upper House) in his office in Parliament during which he also signed the People's Treaty. A petition collection for the People's Treaty will take place on 9 November in a public park in Kabul's city centre.Photos of the meeting with the Senator can be seen here:http://www.flickr.com/photos/clustermunitioncoalition/sets/72157608479119003/Austria urges target country to sign in OsloCampaigners from CMC Austria launched a letter sending action to Foreign Ministers in target countries calling and urging them to sign in Oslo as well as contacting their ambassadors in Austria.Campaigners in Brazil organize a workshop and film screeningOn 27 October, campaigners from Sou da Paz screened a documentary film about cluster munitions called "Time to Act" to graduate students at Luterana University, Santa Maria in the North of Brazil and collected signatures for the People's Treaty. A workshop for students on disability rights (including aspects of the CCM) will take place on Friday 31 October also at Luterana University. Campaigners from Vida Brasil are organizing similar events this week in the South of Brazil, news and photos to follow. In addition, Latin American campaigners are sending letters to Brazil's Foreign Minister calling on Brazil to sign.Japan: passengers ‘lie down' on the Peace BoatOn 27 October, Peace Boat organized a lie-down action against cluster bombs with 100 of their passengers from 5 different countries on the deck of their ship. The ship was in Turkey in the Mediterranean on its 63rd voyage.Photos from both Japanese events can be seen here:http://www.flickr.com/photos/clustermunitioncoalition/sets/72157608479427417/Japan stages a panel discussion in TokyoOn 24 October Japan Campaign to Ban Landmines held a panel discussion "Towards signing and ratification of the CCM". About 100 participants, including some reporters from national newspapers, gathered at the Bunkyo Civic Centre in Tokyo. Dr. Nada Inada, the distinguished author, psychiatrist and well-known peace activist gave a keynote speech. This was followed by an expert panel discussion on "The Treaty's Agenda from now on" chaired by Ms. Motoko Mekata, the JCBL committee member.Experts on the panel included Ms. Michiyo Kuniyoshi, a reporter from the Ryukyu Shinpo, an Okinawa local paper, who has been covering the problems of U.S. military bases in Okinawa for years and wrote the scoop on the U.S. live-fire drill using cluster bombs in Okinawa. Mr. Motoaki Kamiura, a military journalist and remarkable activist against cluster bombs, highlighted the appeal for urgent action banning cluster munitions to the Ministry of Defence. Mr. Toshihiro Shimizu, JCBL committee member, promoted awareness of the treaty and the importance of international cooperation and assistance to the state parties.The discussion ended with a QA session and Junko Utsumi of ICBL reported on the recent conference she had attended in Lao. A Mainichi newspaper reporter confirmed media coverage of the event next week.Photos from both events can be seen here:http://www.flickr.com/photos/clustermunitioncoalition/sets/72157608479427417/Peruvian campaigners handover 35,000 signatures to Ministry of Foreign AffairsOn 28 October campaigners from Amnesty International in Peru presented all 35,000 signatures to Minister Dra Liliam Ballón of Amezaga in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Secretary Dr. Miracles Winkelried was also present, as was a representative from the Ministry of Defence. Campaigners presented their concerns and requested a clarification on the position of Peru and signing the CCM in Oslo. The Minister confirmed that discussions were at an advanced stage and that there will be an announcement soon.Photos of the meeting with the Ministers can be seen here:http://www.flickr.com/photos/clustermunitioncoalition/sets/72157608474677026/Spanish campaigners organize film screening in AdorraOn 29 October, campaigners from Movimento per la Pau organized workshops in two high schools in Andorra as part of their educational programme to raise awareness on cluster bombs, explosive remnants of war and the effects on civilians. This included a screening of the film: "Las Tortugas También Vuelan" (Turtles Can Fly). Students also created a mural by drawing silhouettes of their arms and writing messages about cluster bombs and peace under the theme ‘make it happen'. Photos to follow.UK campaigners hold meeting with the Foreign and Commonwealth OfficeOn 28 October, the All Party Landmine Eradication Group (APLEG) held a joint meeting with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to discuss how the UK can build on the success of the Dublin negotiations. The meeting was attended by parliamentarians, civil society, the FCO and the British Red Cross.After receiving a comprehensive briefing on the Convention, the FCO presented an update on the work that the UK Government is undertaking to implement the treaty nationally and to promote widespread support for it. On ratification the FCO stated that they were working to establish a cross departmental team that will work on drafting national legislation with the aim that this will be put to parliament in the 2009/2010 legislative year, enabling UK ratification of the CCM in this same year.Further to this the FCO also stated that the UK had already begun to take national steps to abide by the treaty. Upon the announcement that they would adopt the Convention in Dublin the UK also announced the withdrawal of its remaining cluster munitions from service. In addition, the FCO informed the group, that the destruction of other stockpiles (withdrawn prior to the Dublin Conference) is already underway.Immediately after the Dublin Conference the Prime Minister stated in parliament that his wish is to have a global treaty on cluster munitions and that in order to achieve this he would work with other countries that were not present in Dublin to encourage the widest possible support for the new Convention. During this meeting the FCO stated that they had engaged in discussions on the Convention with both NATO and EU states as well as held bilateral discussions on the issue with the Finnish Government.Sweden and Thailand must take action in Oslo!Action alerts were sent to the campaign on Monday and Tuesday respectively calling on the Swedish and Thai governments to ban cluster bombs and sign the treaty in Oslo. Campaigners in the following countries have taken part in the action so far:Letters to Sweden sent by: Georgia, India, Nigeria, Somalia, Switzerland, Uruguay and the UK.Letters to Thailand sent by: Georgia, The Netherlands and the UKIt's not too late to take action! Download a copy of the letter and information on how to send it here:http://www.stopclustermunitions.org/take-action/Tell us if you have sent the letter but aren't listed here.Take Action!Write to the King of Jordan and urge Jordan to sign in Oslo!Ask JORDAN to sign the Convention on Cluster Munitions by adapting and sending the attached letter to the King of Jordan. Jordan is not affected by cluster munitions, but is affected by landmines and also stockpiles US-manufactured cluster munitions. Jordan adopted the Oslo Declaration, but subsequently attended only one meeting (Vienna) and was not in Dublin. Jordan has been a leader in the Mine Ban Treaty process and with some encouragement could be a leader in the Oslo Process too. Send a letter and encourage Jordan to sign in Oslo!Download a copy of the letter and information on how to send it here:http://www.stopclustermunitions.org/take-action/CMC animation: Your Signature Can Save Lives!CMC has launched an animation for campaigners to use on their websites throughout the Global Week of Action and in the run up to Oslo to encourage visitors to sign the People's Treaty and call on all governments to ban cluster bombs and save lives. Please let us know if you have put it on your website. 550 people have watched it so far!You can watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/CMCInternationalContact Natalie Curtis for instructions on how to upload it onto your website natalie@stopclustermunitions.org