11 December 2009

CMC Newsletter November 2009

CMC Newsletter November 20091. INTERNATIONAL NEWSCCM Closing in on the 30th ratificationTwo new signatures and another ratification in the month of November have provided further strength to the Convention on Cluster Munitions as it nears entry into force. Nicaragua deposited its ratification instrument on the 2 November, making it the 24th country to ratify the Convention on Cluster Munitions, leaving only 6 ratifications needed to trigger entry into force.The Dominican Republic and Iraq were the two latest countries to sign the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Ambassador H.E. Federico Alberto Cuello Camilo, Permanent Representative of the Dominican Republic to the United Nations signed the Convention on 10 November and H.E. Mr Hamid Talib Al Bayati from Iraq signed on 12 November. CMC meetings with the Dominican Republic were integral in pushing the signature forward. Momentum is growing in the Caribbean region now that the Dominican Republic has joined signatories Jamaica, Haiti and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. It is hoped that the remaining countries in the region will follow soon.H. E. Mr. Federico Alberto Cuello Camilo Ambassador Extraordinary and plenipotentiary Permanent Representative of the Dominican Republic signs the CCM in New York on 12 November. Credit: UN Treaty SectionIraq’s signature sends a strong message to its neighbour states in the Middle East that cluster bombs should be banned forever. Coalition forces used large numbers of cluster munitions in Iraq in 1991 and 2003, and while Iraq is not known to have used cluster bombs, prior to 2003 it produced, imported, and stockpiled the weapons. Given the complex security situation Iraq faces, its signature supporting the ban is all the more important, not least because Iraq will benefit from the Convention’s provisions on assistance to victims and communities affected by cluster bomb use."Iraq knows too well the devastation caused by the use of cluster bombs," said Thomas Nash, Coordinator of the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC). "By signing the Convention, Iraq reinforces the clear global standard banning cluster bombs and challenges other Middle Eastern countries to get on board the ban treaty." Together with other CMC members in Iraq and in the region, the Iraqi Alliance for Disability Organisations, headed by Mr. Moaffak AlKhafaji, has been actively promoting Iraq’s adherence to the Convention.Cluster Munitions featured at Mine Ban Treaty Conference in ColombiaThe Cartagena Summit on a Mine-Free World officially began on 29 November in Cartagena, Colombia and ran until 4 December. The Second Review Conference of the Mine Ban Treaty was attended by delegates from most of the 156 States party to the Convention, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, various United Nations agencies, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), a number of National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (National Societies), other international and regional organizations, and representatives of civil society. States not party to the Convention also attended as observers, including the United States for the first time.During the opening ceremony, a speech given by Song Kosal in the opening ceremony included a vibrant request when she added "don’t forget to ban cluster bombs" after the audience given their applause. Campaigners took the opportunity of states represented at the Summit to carry out numerous lobby meetings on the CCM. Two side events on cluster munitions were held on 2 December. Colombia, Lao PDR and the CMC hosted a briefing on the CCM to update delegations on global efforts to promote the swift entry into force and universal adherence to the Convention. The lunchtime side event also heard a number of interventions which announced planned ratifications and upcoming global meetings on cluster munitions. In the evening, a quad rugby match was hosted by Survivor Corps, the ICBL, the CMC and Fundación ArcÁngeles. This event marked the anniversary of the signing of both the Mine Ban Treaty and the CCM, as well as the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The event became known as the highlight of the week, and saw participation from H,R,H, Prince Mired bin Raad of Jordan and Vice President Francisco Santos of Colombia. While Prince Mired and the Colombian Vice President joined the Colombian team, the American team was joined by Thomas Nash (CMC), and survivors Ken Rutherford (Survivor Corps) and Firoz Ali Alizada (ICBL).Firoz Ali Alizada (ICBL), Thomas Nash (CMC) and Ken Rutherford (Survivor Corps) participate in the quad rugby match in Cartagena. Credit: Mary WarehamWatch the "Rumble in Cartagena" quad rugby event trailer on YouTube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYN8w1Oxt8IRegional Conference on Cluster Munitions held in Bali, IndonesiaThe Bali Regional Conference on the Convention on Cluster Munitions was held on 16 and 17 November 2009. The two-day meeting saw significant engagement from States, international organizations and civil society, including survivors, supported by the Ban Advocates initiative.Participants at the Regional Conference in Bali. Credit: Mary WarehamCampaigners worked hard in advance of the meeting to promote attendance, ensuring excellent participation at the meeting. 21 governments attended along with UNDP, UNMAS, ICRC and the GICHD. The Conference had a high level of attendance of non-signatory states; nearly equal to the number of CCM signatories participating. Over 35 campaigners attended, including 12 Ban Advocates. The Conference was particularly significant since the Southeast Asian is the region most affected by cluster munitions.Campaigners lobbied, intervened in all sessions with powerful messages from survivors and other from affected states, and held a campaign meeting with progressive governments and other partners to discuss universalisation strategies in the region. All participants ended the conference by reaffirming their commitments to working towards a successful Meeting of States Parties in Lao PDR. The Conference demonstrated a strong will amongst key pro-CCM actors in the region to work towards getting all countries in the region on board and promoting effective implementation.****2. MEDIA HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTHMedia Room, 4 November 2009ANZ continues to fund cluster munitions companieshttp://blogs.victas.uca.org.au/mediaroom/?p=506Civil Society Finance, 4 November 2009ActionAid looks to change banks after HSBC cluster bomb shamehttp://www.civilsociety.co.uk/finance/news/content/5443/actionaid_looks_to_change_banks_after_hsbc_cluster_bomb_shameDefenseNews, 6 November 2009MBDA Seeks Cluster Munitions Disposal Contractshttp://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=4363810&c=LAN&s=TOPThe Daily Star (Lebanon), 9 November 2009Nearly half of Lebanon’s land mines clearedhttp://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=1&article_id=108468Actu-Environnement, 12 November 2009Destruction des armes à sous-munitions : un défi environnemental pour la France ?http://www.actu-environnement.com/ae/news/descrution_recyclage_arme_8832.php4IRIN news, 12 November 2009Laos: Scrap metal income courts UXO dangerhttp://www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportId=86998United Press International, 13 November 2009Ban calls for action on cluster bombshttp://www.upi.com/Top_News/Special/2009/11/13/Ban-calls-for-action-on-cluster-bombs/UPI-40431258154288/The Independent (UK), 15 November 2009Queen’s Speech will contain bill to bring into British law the Convention on Cluster Munitionshttp://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/aid-commitment-dropped-from-queens-speech-1820952.htmlJakarta Globe, 16 November 2009Indonesia to Ratify Treaty on Cluster Bombshttp://thejakartaglobe.com/national/indonesia-to-ratify-treaty-on-cluster-bombs/342055Jakarta Post, 17 November 2009Asia-Pac urged to ratify conventionhttp://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2009/11/17/asiapac-urged-ratify-convention.htmlRussia Today, 17 November 2009Blood money: world banks invest in cluster bombshttp://www.russiatoday.com/Top_News/2009-11-17/cluster-bombs-barclays-hsbc.htmlLe Monde, 17 November 2009"Pluie du diable" : Au Laos, les blessures de la guerre restent béanteshttp://www.lemonde.fr/cinema/article/2009/11/17/pluie-du-diable-au-laos-les-blessures-de-la-guerre-restent-beantes_1267997_3476.htmlThe Korea Herald, 17 November 2009Norway gives more aid for unexploded ordnance clearancehttp://www.koreaherald.co.kr/NEWKHSITE/data/html_dir/2009/11/11/200911110003.aspBBC News, 18 November 2009Queen’s Speech: Bill-by-billhttp://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8365163.stmXinhua, 19 November 2009British foreign secretary welcomes cluster munitions billhttp://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-11/19/content_12486858.htmISRIA, 20 November 2009UK – MFA – Cluster Munitions ban will make world a safer placehttp://www.isria.com/pages/20_November_2009_105.phpThan Nien News, 21 November 2009A violent peacehttp://www.thanhniennews.com/features/?catid=10&newsid=53865Agence France Presse, 24 November 2009Colombia acabó con las bombas tipo racimo, según comandante militarhttp://www.univision.com/contentroot/wirefeeds/noticias/8089426.shtmlIRIN, 26 November 2009A Nobel Laureate looks back on the first 10 years of the Mine Ban Treatyhttp://www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportId=87200Reuters, 30 November 2009Allure of scrap metal hard to resist in Laoshttp://www.alertnet.org/db/an_art/52132/2009/10/30-111653-1.htm****2. CAMPAIGN AND COUNTRY UPDATESArgentina: On 12 November the Committee of Citizen Security, Combat and Prevention of Narcotrafficking, Terrorism and Organized Crime of the Latin-American Parliament met in Buenos Aires. Parliamentarians and assistants coming from all Latin America countries participated in the event. A presentation on cluster munitions was given by Mr. Fabián Calle (Editorial Advisor at DEF magazine, Professor at Argentinean Catholic University and Torcuato Di Tella University). A number of things were discussed, including the position of various countries in the region on the Convention on Cluster Munitions. The Director of the Multilateral Office of the Argentinean Ministry of Foreign Affairs participated in the meeting and highlighted that his country is revisiting its position towards the Convention.Maria Pia Devoto, APP, piadevoto@gmail.comCanada: MAC, this year, has developed an avenue for volunteers and activists from all age groups to Act, Share and Give your way to saving lives, improving communities, and cementing the reputation of Canadians as advocates of human rights and social justice. Mines Action Canada's Annual Campaign features special monthly themes and resources to engage and mobilize Canadians. Each month has different Act, Share and Give actions and ideas based on the theme to get you inspired and involved. Through Acting, Sharing and Giving in unique and fun ways, Canadians can have a direct impact in ensuring that Canada ratifies the Convention on Cluster Munitions by the end of 2009! Mines Action Canada is currently supporting over ten MAC chapters and committees across the country. Join or start a new MAC chapter on campus or in your community today! Crystal Almeida, Mines Action Canada crystal@minesactioncanada.org Germany: Handicap International (Germany and France) and Action Group Landmine (Germany) organised a conference on victim assistance in Berlin on 4 November. The conference effectively kicked off further lobbying for better assistance to victims of landmines and cluster munitions. The discussions were based on the Ottawa and Oslo treaties, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Cartagena Action Plan. Attendees included high-level participants from NGOs and international networks like the ICBL, human rights organisations and international organizations like ICRC, as well as functionaries and politicians from Germany, France, Belgium, Austria and the EU. A participating student group handed over their own report to a member of German parliament together with the head of Action Group Landmine and a representative from the Ban Advocates. Reports from the field were given from Vietnam, Bosnia and Afghanistan. It was agreed that national multi-actor platforms must be set up in donor states to deal directly with future victim assistance strategies.Eva Fischer, Handicap International: efischer@handicap-international.deNepal: the NCBL organised a parliamentary event on 22 October. The Honorable Minister of Peace and Reconstruction Kakam Chemjong, who is also the convener of the National Mine Action Steering Committee, was the chief guest of the programme. A meeting of the National Mine Action Steering Committee was held on 27 October and a task force on mine action was formed as a result of this meeting. The members of this task force are from the Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction, the Ministry of Education, the NCBL, the Nepalese Army, UNMIN, UNICEF, and UNMAT. A task force meeting was held on 5 November and an action plan for 2009, 2010 and 2011 was discussed.Purna Shova Chitrakar, NCBL: ncbl@mail.com.npIndia: The Landmine Monitor Report was successfully launched at the office of the Control Arms Foundation in India on Saturday, 21 November. Shri Dr. Thockchom Meinya, Member of Parliament from Manipur, India's second-most landmine-affected state attended the event, where he launched the report to a gathering including academics, diplomats, media, military personnel, students and civil society organisations. Binalakshmi Nepram, Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network & Control Arms Foundation of India: binalakshmi@gmail.comHonourable Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha) Dr Thokchom Meinya from Manipur and President Control Arms Foundation of India, Lt. Gen. (retd) Dr B.S. Malik. Credit: Control Arms Foundation of IndiaIndonesia: JRS Indonesia together with KINOKI held an event "Pengungsi Bercerita" which included a screening of "Unacceptable Harm" at Taman Budaya in Yogyakarta on 12 November. The event was attended by about 60 students, academics and a few journalists. After the screening the audience commented on the film, and asked questions regards cluster munitions. Copies of some of the key findings of the Landmine monitor report were distributed in Indonesian language. Lars Stenger, Jesuit Refugee Service, larsstenger@irc.or.idSenegal: On 5 November, an ICRC seminar named "Mines, ERoW and cluster munitions" was held in Dakar. Handicap International Senegal participated on its advocacy experience and victim assistance expertise. Other panelists included Association des victimes de mines en Casamance, Etat-major des Armées of Senegal, ICBL, ICRC, and CNAMS (Centre National d’Action antimines du Sénégal)Boubine Toure, Senegalese Campaign to Ban Landmines/ICBL: boubine@refer.snSpain: On 20 November, Thomas Nash participated together with Daniel Mack, of Sou da Paz in a roundtable discussion in Barcelona called "Disarmament: victories and challenges". The event was organised by the CMC member in Catalonia (Spain), Fundació per la Pau, and took place in the University of Barcelona. David Minoves, general director of Development cooperation and humanitarian action of the Catalan government and Jordi Armadans, director of Fundació per la Pau, were the two other participants in the roundtable. On 23 November, Thomas Nash spoke to the members of the Institut Català Internacional per la Pau (Catalan International Institute for Peace).Lourdes Vergés, Fundació per la Pau, lverges@fundacioperlapau.orgSwitzerland: The Landmine Monitor Report 2009 was released globally on 12 November. This is the eleventh annual Landmine Monitor report and includes information on ban policy, demining, casualties, risk education, victim assistance, and support for mine action in every country in the world. It also includes a special ten-year review of progress since the entry into force of the Mine Ban Treaty in 1999. It includes information about cluster munition contamination and clearance, risk education, and victim assistance.The full report is available online at lm.icbl.org/lm/2009ICBL: lm@icbl.orgUnited Kingdom: On 4 November, Friends of Lebanon held an event in British Parliament which was hosted by British MP Frank Cook. Guest speakers included Imad Khachman of the Lebanese National Committee for MRE and MVA, Hussein Zreik who survived a cluster bomb explosion in April 2008, and his father Ali Zreik. Speakers at the event included Brenda Heard of Friends of Lebanon, Thomas Nash of the Cluster Munition Coalition and Frank Cook, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Landmine Eradication Group. The documentary film "72 hours" was screened and MP Cook expressed that it left him almost speechless. Hussein’s speech moved and inspired everyone in the audience. Imad, Ali and Hussein had a number of engagements in London, including meeting with the Stop the War Coalition and Dr. Abdo Haidar from the London Prosthetic Centre, a roundtable discussion at the Cluster Munition Coalition offices, and being interviewed and filmed for a number of television shows. Brenda Heard, Friends of Lebanon: mail@friendsoflebanon.orgHussein Zreik in consultation with Dr Abdo Haidar, six months after cluster bomb explosion. Photo from "Life is Stronger," produced by OTV Lebanon.United Kingdom: On 26 November, in a meeting arranged by Soroptimist International of Stockton-on-Tees at Durham University, Kate Moore MBE, Board of Directors of AOAV - Action on Armed Violence (formerly Landmine Action) addressed the audience on "Oslo - looking further". The presentation included the Convention on Cluster Munitions and disarmament issues discussed at the recent UN DPI NGO Conference on Disarmament in Mexico City. There was excellent interaction and participation from the large audience, and the 6-minute film "Unacceptable Harm" was very well received. Soroptimist International UKPAC was among the earliest members of the CMC, and Soroptimists have campaigned throughout the UK (and in other countries) since 2003 to raise public awareness on cluster munitions. Soroptimists – including the Club in Stockton-on-Tees – have held publicity events and collected thousands of signatures calling for a ban on cluster munitions. Kate Moore, Board of Directors, Action on Armed Violence: kate@kate-george.co.ukSoroptimist Presidents from 4 clubs in the Stockton area, together Kate Moore and Connie Clark. Credit: Kate MooreUSA: The Global Health Program at West Virginia University hosted landmine activist Alison Bock of Landmines Blow! and PSALM/WVCBL students for its annual Global Health Day event on 16 November 2009. In 2003, Bock founded Landmines Blow!, a non-governmental organisation created to raise awareness on landmines and their impact on civilians. Bock speaks and writes about landmines and cluster munitions, the global water crisis, refugees, the empowerment of women, peace and other subjects. PSALM students made presentations at their informational display during the event. Nora Sheets, WVCBL/PSALM: noracat@yahoo.com****4. TAKE ACTIONUrge your government to sign and/or ratify the Convention on Cluster MunitionsSo far, 103 governments have signed the Convention and 24 countries have ratified it. Which seven countries will make it into the visionary group of 30 to bring the treaty into force? Make sure your government signs and ratifies the Convention on Cluster Munitions!Check out the resources section of the CMC website for template letters, action cards, posters and other campaigning tools: http://www.stopclustermunitions.org/campaign-resources/Stop Explosive Investments CampaignThe CMC launched the "Stop Explosive Investments" disinvestment campaign on Thursday, 29 October 2009. Find out if your bank is investing in cluster munition producers! Campaigners can take action by utilising the campaign toolkit which is available on the disinvestment campaign website: www.stopexplosiveinvestments.org. The toolkit includes a disinvestment campaign guide, a campaign leaflet, template letters and the campaign logo.Kimberly Brown, CMC staff: Kimberly@stopclustermunitions.org****5. UPCOMING EVENTSDecember 20093 DecemberInternational Day of Persons with Disabilities10 DecemberInternational Human Rights DayMarch 201015-19 MarchRegional meeting on CCM in Pretoria, South Africa/ UN Mine Action Programme Directors meetingApril 201026-28 AprilGlobal Preparatory Meeting, Viña del Mar, Chile