09 October 2009

CMC Newsletter September 2009

CMC Newsletter September 2009**** 1. INTERNATIONAL NEWSWorld Leaders Push Cluster Bomb Ban Forward in New YorkTwo signatures and four ratifications during the month of September were significant milestones for the global campaign against cluster bombs. The Convention on Cluster Munitions was showcased at the United Nations' annual treaty event where it was open for signature and ratification by world leaders gathered at the General Assembly. The Foreign Ministers of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Cyprus both signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions in New York on 23 September. They are the 99th and 100th signatories to the ban. The following day, the Foreign Ministers of Uruguay and Malta deposited their instruments of ratification. On 25th September, France and Burundi ratified the convention, bringing the number of ratifications up to 21. Only 9 more countries must ratify for the Convention to reach the threshold of 30 required for it to enter into force and become fully legally binding for all states who are party to it. More information at http://www.stopclustermunitions.org/news/?id=1835 and http://www.stopclustermunitions.org/news/?id=1836Cluster Munitions conference held in ChileThe fourth regional cluster munition conference for Latin America and the Caribbean was held in Santiago from 14-15 September. Of the 15 States in the region that have signed the Convention, 14 attended the conference: Bolivia, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay. 6 non-signatories attended: Argentina, Dominican Republic, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela. Canada, Lao PDR, Norway and Spain were also at the conference. Strong support was given by a number of speakers and participants in favour of the Convention, with an emphasis on the need for full universalisation and implementation of the Convention in the region.During the conference, the Caribbean states met for a "caucus" meeting with CMC campaigners and discussed plans to encourage states in the region to sign and ratify the treaty. In an action led by Amnesty International in Chile during the conference, campaigners gathered signatures on ‘wish you were here' post cards to send to the Presidents of Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela. The conference wrapped up on 15 September with a speech from UN High Representative for Disarmament, Sergio Duarte who stated that "the convention marks a major step forward in global efforts to protect civilians and to control the abhorrent spread of deadly weaponry that is viewed around the world as inhumane."More information, including the press release, media advisory and a number of statements can be found at: http://www.stopclustermunitions.org/calendar/?id=1736****2. MEDIA HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTHAFP, 3 Sept 2009Norway State Pension fund blacklists Israeli companyhttp://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gPfYCu-PQzZFYkaYydBzTSUJE2LwThe Slovak Spectator, 4 Sept 2009NGOs ask Slovakia to sign Convention on Cluster Munitionshttp://www.spectator.sk/articles/view/36414/10/ngos_ask_slovakia_to_sign_convention_on_cluster_munitions.htmlDaily Star, 5 Sept 2009Donors losing interest in demining Lebanonhttp://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=1&article_id=106134The Star.com, 14 Sept 2009Remnants of Vietnam War still scarring liveshttp://www.thestar.com/news/globalvoices/article/693109CNN Chile, 17 Sept 2009Video on regional conference in Santiago Chilehttp://www.cnnchile.com/internacional/2009/09/15/la-bomba-de-racimo-es-una-arma-injusta-e-indiscriminada/International Radio Serbia, 17 Sept 2009No Field Demining Without International Assistancehttp://glassrbije.org/E/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=8461&Itemid=28The Boston Globe, 20 Sept 2009Made in Mass., bomb stirs global debatehttp://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2009/09/20/made_in_mass_bomb_stirs_global_debate/The Philadelphia Inquirer, 22 Sept 2009Battle zone's lethal harvesthttp://www.philly.com/inquirer/opinion/20090922_Battle_zone_s_lethal_harvest.htmlThe Boston Globe, 23 Sept 2009Don't undermine this treatyhttp://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/editorials/articles/2009/09/23/dont_undermine_this_treaty/UN News Centre, 26 Sept 2009Laos calls on countries to ratify UN-backed pact banning cluster munitionshttp://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=32280&Cr=disarmament&Cr1=The Mirror, 30 Sept 2009Gordon Brown rallies Labour for election fightUK PM Gordon Brown lists cluster bomb ban at one of Labour's key achievementshttp://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2009/09/30/gordon-brown-rallies-labour-for-election-fight-115875-21711125/****3. CAMPAIGN AND COUNTRY UPDATESBelgium: "Voices from the Ground - Landmine and Explosive Remnants of War Survivors Speak out on Victim Assistance", was released globally by Handicap International and other members of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) and the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) around the world on 2 September. This is the first ever report surveying survivors' opinions on assistance, and shows that despite progress in stockpile destruction and landmine clearance, governments around the world are not living up to their promises to treat and reintegrate landmine survivors into society. More information, and links to the full report can be found at http://en.handicapinternational.be/Voices-from-the-Ground_a616.htmlStan Brabant, Handicap International Belgium: stan.brabant@handicap.beFrance: Handicap International organized its 15th pyramid of Shoes in France on the 26th October in 32 cities, which represents the number of countries and territories contaminated by Cluster Munitions. This event was the climax of mobilization work in France this year, especially as France had ratified the CCM the day before. The main objective of the event was to call on the French Government to take concrete measures, especially financial, for clearance and victim assistance and to work on the universalisation of the CCM and MBT. This event attracted thousands of people which allowed HI to collect 50 000 signatures for a petition on cluster munitions, reaching a total of 750 000 signatures. Firoz Alizada, from ICBL staff, was the special guest of the event in Paris, allowing media and public to understand the problem caused by such weapons. Fantastic media coverage, live artists, clearance demonstration, MRE exhibition, sporting events and lots of other activities made this event a great celebration but also an incredible tool for mobilization and awareness-raising.Marion Libertucci, Handicap International France: mlibertucci@handicap-international.orgThe rapporteur of France's ratification law for the Senate, Mrs. Garriaud-Maylam, is now co-president of the Commission on Civil Dimension of Security at the NATO Parliamentarian Assembly. Mrs. Garriaud-Maylam will seek to put the CCM on the agenda of the next NATO Parliamentary Assembly in November. Marion Libertucci, Handicap International France: mlibertucci@handicap-international.orgIraq: The Iraqi Alliance for Disability Organisations, or IADO met with the newly appointed Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq -Ad Melkert. Campaigners urged Iraq to sign the Convention on Cluster Munitions and highlighted the needs and rights of people with disabilities and survivors.Moaffak Alkhafaji, Iraqi Handicapped Survivors Society: moaffak61@yahoo.comMexico: The United Nations organised a NGO meeting on Disarmament which was held in Mexico City on 9-11 September 2009. Campaigners organised a photo exhibition and various workshops on cluster munitions, the CCM was also mentioned in the keynote address by Jody Williams. The NGO Declaration on Disarmament and Development, which was adopted at the conference, was circulated as a document of the UN Security Council on 18 September 2009 by Ambassador Claude Heller, Permanent Representative of Mexico to the United Nations. This Conference Declaration requested that Governments and International Organizations, "Achieve universal adherence to and implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty and the Convention on Cluster Munitions."Hector Guerra, CMC Mexico: ettoregv@yahoo.frNew Zealand: Implementing legislation for the Convention on Cluster Munitions is progressing through parliament in New Zealand. On Thursday, 24 September 2009, the campaign appeared before a parliamentary committee to speak in support of draft legislation to govern New Zealand's implementation of the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions. Mary Wareham, coordinator of the Aotearoa New Zealand Cluster Munition Coalition (ANZCMC), testified in support of the group's submission on the Cluster Munitions (Prohibition) Bill. New Zealand's ratification of the Convention on Cluster Munitions is dependent upon the approval of the proposed implementing legislation. After the Select Committee issues its report recommending amendments, if any, to the Bill, parliament will debate the Bill two more times. Once the bill is passed and signed into law, New Zealand will be able to deposit its instrument of ratification for the Convention on Cluster Munitions. More information on this is available at: http://www.stopclusterbombs.org.nz/2009/09/24/parliamentary-testimony/Mary Wareham, ANZCMC: wareham@hrw.org Panama: The Annual Assembly of the Latin American Parliament met in Panama this month and in a resolution urged signature and ratification of the CCM in the region. It was also decided that the next parliamentary meeting will include a discussion on cluster munitions. The next meeting will be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina on 12 and 13 November and will have cluster munitions as the first point on the agenda.Maria Pia Devoto, Asociacion para Politicas Publicas: piadevoto@gmail.comSlovakia: On 3 September, Amnesty International Slovakia launched a national campaign to urge Slovakia to sign the Convention on Cluster Munitions. A press conference was held, resulting in coverage of the event in the local press. The Defense Ministry, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Economy are preparing a draft action plan which will aim at a gradual process leading to the fulfillment of commitments to the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Reservations were expressed on joining the CCM immediately due to stockpile destruction obligations. Campaigners in the Netherlands sent letters to the Slovak Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Defense, urging them to sign the Convention. Campaigners in France sent a letter to the president of the French delegation to ask him to talk with his Slovak interlocutors about the CCM during this visit.Martina Mazurova, Amnesty International Slovakia: kampane@amnesty.skSouth Africa: The 3rd Continental Conference of African Experts on Landmines was held in advance of the 2nd Review Conference of the Mine Ban Treaty from 9-11 September in Pretoria. The meeting was convened by the African Union and hosted by the South African Government. The conference is part of a series of regional meetings convened in the lead-up to the Mine Ban Treaty's Second Review Conference, which will take place in Cartagena, Columbia in the week of 30 November 2009. At the meeting, campaigners lobbied African governments to sign and ratify the CCM in addition to their work on the MBT.Kennedy Mbasa, Ceasefire: nsini1@yahoo.comSwitzerland: A debate was held in the upper chamber of the Swiss Parliament in response to 2 motions put forward in parliament to urge the government to prohibit investment in cluster munitions producers through its ratification law. The government has responded that it will consider whether or not a specific prohibition on investment needs to be included in the law. It has also stated that indirect funding will not be included under the law. Paul Vermeulen, Handicap International Switzerland: pvermeulen@handicap-international.chUSA: Both the PSALM (Proud Students Against Land Mines and Cluster Bombs) and the WVCBL (West Virginia Campaign to Ban Landmines and Cluster Munitions) recently carried out activities to remember victims of landmines and cluster munitions throughout the world. On September 21st, the International Day of Peace, students displayed banners of a single lit candle throughout the community in order to remember these victims. During the G20 Summit in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, WVCBL displayed these same banners. Nora D. Sheets, WVCBL/PSALM (www.wvcbl.com): noracat@yahoo.com Titus Peachey, from the Mennonites Central Committee, wrote an opinion piece on cluster munitions which appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer on 22nd September urging President Obama to sign both the landmine and cluster munitions treaties. He urges President Obama to, "put down your garden hoe, pick up a pen, and sign the land-mine and cluster-munitions treaties to help ensure that all the world's gardeners can plant and harvest in peace." Full article can be found at: http://www.philly.com/inquirer/opinion/20090922_Battle_zone_s_lethal_harvest.htmlTitus Peachey, Mennonites Central Committee U.S: tmp@mcc.orgDuring the past two weeks, the USCBL has been working with Senator Dianne Feinstein's Office to circulate a letter to President Obama calling for a review of cluster munitions policy. The USCBL constituencies have been contacting Senators to co-sign this letter and will be delivering it shortly. In the meantime USCBL has also been working with Senator Feinstein's Office to add the Cluster Munitions Civilian Protection Act as an amendment to the FY 2010 Defense Appropriations Bill that is currently being debated on the Senate floor. USCBL has been providing assistance contacting key Senators for support, as well as assisting with the preparation of relevant materials for the anticipated presentation. Zach Hudson, Handicap International USA: zhudson@handicap-international.us****4. TAKE ACTIONUN Special Event on Convention on Cluster Munitions: 21 October 2009The UN is holding the second Special Event on the CCM. At this event States can sign and ratify the Convention.Campaigners should urge their governments to participate this special event at the UN in New York, and sign or ratify the CCM if they have not done so already.More information at: http://www.stopclustermunitions.org/calendar/?id=1793Contact: Laura Cheeseman, CMC staff: laura@stopclustermunitions.orgDisinvestment Campaign launch: 29 OctoberThe CMC is launching a disinvestment campaign called "Stop Explosive Investments" on Thursday 29 October 2009.Campaigners can take action by preparing a campaign action on launch day; please let us know what you have planned. Campaign materials will be available shortly.Contact: Kimberly Brown, CMC staff: Kimberly@stopclustermunitions.org****5. UPCOMING EVENTSOctober 20098-9 October Tirana Regional Workshop in advance of the Second Review Conference of the Mine Ban Treaty, Albania29 October Launch of the CMC Stop Explosive Investments Campaign1 Oct-3 Nov First Committee on Disarmament and International Security (United Nations General Assembly 64th session)November 20099-10 November Third Conference of the High Contracting Parties to CCW Protocol V, Geneva, Switzerland11 November Eleventh Annual Conference of the High Contracting Parties to CCW Amended Protocol II, Geneva, Switzerland12-13 November 2009 Meeting of the High Contracting Parties to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), Geneva, Switzerland16 - 17 November Regional Conference on the Promotion and Universalisation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Bali, Indonesia30 Nov - 4 Dec Mine Ban Treaty Second Review Conference, Cartagena, ColombiaDecember 20093 December 1 year anniversary of the Convention on Cluster Munitions Signing Conference3 December International Day of Persons with Disabilities