28 October 2008

Global Week of Action to Ban Cluster Bombs - Update Day 1

Monday, 27 October 2008Read about actions and events that took place on Monday 27 October:Brazilian campaigners launch a letter writing action on Foreign MinisterCMC campaigners in Brazil (Brazilian Campaign to Ban Landmines and Sou da Paz) have launched a letter writing campaign targeting Brazilian Foreign Minister Mr. Celso Amorim. Brazil has not yet decided whether they will sign the Convention on Cluster Munitions in Oslo, the letters which will be sent by campaigners in Latin America, will encourage Brazil to sign in Oslo. Brazil has attended just a couple of the Oslo Process meetings and did not adopt the Convention in Oslo. However in June Amorim gave a statement saying "cluster bombs are inhumane weapons and we should work towards their elimination".For a copy of the template letter contact Cristian Wittmann Cristian@icbl.orgAotearoa New Zealand CMC has also launched a letter action targeting the Brazilian embassy in Wellington, New Zealand, calling on Brazil to sign in Oslo.Read more here:http://www.stopclusterbombs.org.nz/2008/10/27/action-day-1-brazil-should-ban-cluster-bombs/#more-359Germany lies down against cluster bombsCampaigners in Munich braved the cold weather on Sunday 26 October and staged a ‘lie down' demonstration against cluster bombs. About 70 people took part in the action in front of the historic building the ‘Feldherrnhalle'. Three newspapers and 1 radio station turned up to report on the event. A group of officers also turned up to have their photo taken with the fake cluster bomb container with the message "No to Cluster Munitions!"Read the report (in German) and see photos here:http://www.handicap-international.de/streumunition/politische-entwicklung/lie-down-gegen-streubomben.htmlPhotos are also available here:http://www.flickr.com/photos/clustermunitioncoalition/sets/72157608416437464/Kenyan Foreign Minister Wetangula announces he will sign in OsloThe Kenyan Network to Ban Cluster Bombs held a successful meeting with the assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs, Honorable Richard Onyonka, who confirmed that Kenya's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Honourable Moses Wetangula, will personally sign the Convention in Oslo. In the evening, a cocktail reception was held for diplomats and the media, which was opened by the French Ambassador to Kenya, her Excellency Elisabeth Barbier, who declared the Global Week of Action open. The Norwegian ambassador, Sweden's First Secretary and a representative of the Finnish embassy all attended. Photos will follow shortly.Concert against cluster bombs held in Vientiane, LaosOn 25 October a concert in Vientiane helped raise awareness of cluster bombs and the Convention signing in Oslo, as well as raise funds for COPE rehabilitation centre. The concert featured famous artists including Klustafunk (who sings about klusta bombs!), Cells, Tuxedo, Uluvus, Johnny Olsen and more.Photos of the event can be seen here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/clustermunitioncoalition/sets/72157608421781463/Nepal launches People's TreatyThe People's Treaty was launched in Nepal the week prior to the Global Week of Action and will run throughout the week until 2 November. Campaigners are aiming to collect 50,000 signatures that will be handed over to the Minister of Foreign Affairs on 2 November. Brochures are also being handed out to the general public to raise awareness. Campaigners have already got substantial media coverage of their actions including this broadcast piece on Nepal News: http://www.nepalnews.com/archive/videos/2008/oct/oct21/video03.php.New Zealand launches advertising campaignAotearoa New Zealand CMC has launched an advertising campaign at bus stops across the cities of Auckland and Wellington in New Zealand, calling on all countries to sign the newly created treaty that prohibits cluster munitions and providing support to people affected by the weapon. The Adshel advertising space has been obtained for free by Auckland-based agency DraftFCB, which has provided pro-bono support to the coalition since November 2007. When the 1.1 meter x 1.7 meter sized posters are taken down they will be delivered to Oslo as gifts to campaigners to take home and use in their advocacy.Check out the photos here:http://www.flickr.com/photos/anzclusters/sets/72157608402859068/Read more here:http://www.stopclusterbombs.org.nz/2008/10/27/new-zealand-starts-off-global-week-of-action/#more-351Sierra Leone urges Minister to publicly announce they will sign in OsloCampaigners at the Sierra Leone Action Network on Small Arms (SLANSA) issued a press release today calling on the government to publicly announce that Sierra Leone will sign the Treaty in Oslo. The release was issued today in advance of a press conference taking place tomorrow, 28 October, where it is hoped that the a representative from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will announce Sierra Leone's participation in the signature ceremony and configuration of their delegation. Campaigner Abu Bakarr Sheriff says: "If Sierra Leone signs the treaty, being one of nine affected cluster munitions countries in Africa, she would benefit immensely from both financial and technical support to Victim Assistance, whilst the clearance of land deemed contaminated as a result of cluster munitions use would also be boosted."‘Postcard from Lebanon' film launched in the USAFilmmaker Jocelyn Ajami has launched the week of action by holding film screenings of the film she has made on the cluster bombing of Lebanon in 2006 just 6 weeks after the war, called ‘A Postcard from Lebanon'. At the screenings which will be held throughout the week, which also includes discussion on the Cluster Munitions Civilians Protection Act and the Convention signing in Oslo. The film screenings have got media coverage by the Boston Globe in an article called ‘The moving images behind a weapons ban' which also mentions the Global Week of Action. Read it here:http://www.boston.com/ae/movies/articles/2008/10/25/the_moving_images_behind_a_weapons_ban/Students campaign against cluster bombsProud Students Against Landmines (PSALM) and the West Virginia Campaign to Ban Landmines students are raising awareness throughout the Global Week of Action to Ban Cluster Bombs and the lead-up to Oslo through various projects including: poster making, letter writing, city proclamation, petition drives for the People's Treaty petition, awareness days and presentations for religious and community organizations.Photos of the students with their posters can be seen here:http://www.flickr.com/photos/clustermunitioncoalition/sets/72157608422144481/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.You can watch it here:http://www.youtube.com/CMCInternationalContact Natalie Curtis for instructions on how to upload it onto your website natalie@stopclustermunitions.orgTake Action!Write to Sweden's Prime Minister and urge Sweden to sign in Oslo!Ask SWEDEN to sign the Convention on Cluster Munitions by adapting and sending the attached letter to Sweden's Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt. Sweden has taken part in all of the Oslo Process meetings and adopted the Convention in Dublin. Sweden produces and stockpiles cluster munitions but since Dublin, Sweden's Foreign Minister has expressed concern that the major users and producers will not sign and that Sweden will wait to see the outcome of the CCW before deciding whether to sign. Sweden prides itself in being a country with strong humanitarian principles. Sweden must join the majority of users and producers of cluster bombs, live up to its humanitarian principles, and sign the treaty in Oslo and help to stigmatize the weapon to all countries that do not sign. Help make this happen! A copy of the template letter to Sweden and all information to send it is attached.