29 October 2008


World-wide demonstration begins in biggest global week of action on cluster bombsFive weeks before a groundbreaking new treaty banning cluster bombs opens for signature in Oslo, campaigners across 71 countries are calling on all governments to put pen to paper and start saving lives, by joining the most significant disarmament and humanitarian treaty of the decade. Begun on October 27 and ending on November 2 campaigners from Afghanistan to Zambia are mobilizing in the world’s biggest call to action on cluster bombs.Worldwide campaigners will enact public action stunts, meet with governments, collect petitions and rally public support for the ban.  In Germany, Japan, Lebanon, Mali, South Africa, Thailand and Turkey cluster bomb strikes will be simulated by lie-down protests in city centres.  Campaign buses have set off on epic journeys across Europe, Thailand, the Philippines and Cambodia to raise awareness about the treaty.  Over 1000 people have attended a concert in Laos, the most cluster bomb affected country in the world and in Bosnia and Herzegovina religious leaders from every major religion will meet to mobilize their faith networks in support of the treaty. A global animation has been launched across the worldwide web calling for people everywhere to sign the People’s Treaty, the online petition to ban cluster bombs: http://www.stopclustermunitions.org/news/?id=839Campaigners are calling on governments to use the global week of action to ban cluster bombs as a platform to openly declare they will sign the treaty on December 3rd 2008.  One hundred and seven governments formally adopted the Convention on Cluster Munitions in Dublin on May 30th.  These governments are being asked to keep their promises and sign the ban.  Those who did not adopt the treaty in Dublin, including Afghanistan, Brazil, Iraq, Jordan and Thailand, are being urged to join the majority of the world’s nations in consigning the weapon to history.“We achieved this treaty by working in partnership with governments, organizations and the public around the world. The global action taking place this week sends a strong message to all countries that the ban on cluster bombs is a new international standard,” says Thomas Nash, Coordinator, Cluster Munition Coalition, “Campaigners will be pushing hard this week to ensure all governments do the right thing and sign the treaty in December.”The signing will be one of the most significant political events of the year, with over 100 governments expected to attend, including heads of state and foreign ministers, UN representatives, cluster bomb victims and campaigners from around the world. EndsFor more information contact: International:  Natalie Curtis, Media and Communications Officer, International Cluster Munition Coalition: Natalie@stopclustermunitions.org, Tel: +44 (0) 20 7820 0222Afghanistan: Afghan Landmine Survivors Organisation (ALSO), CMC Afghanista, Suliman Aminy, afghan.lso@gmail.com, +93 (0) 799 31 62 53Albania: Kukes Organisation, Jonuz Kola, kukesi@albmail.com +355 68 2070905Argentina: Asociacion para Politicas Publicas (APP), Maria Pia Devoto, piadevoto@gmail.com, +54 9 6140 6217Australia: Austcare, CMC Australia, James Turton, jturton@austcare.org.au, +612 (0) 404 114 712Austria: CMC Austria, Judith Majlath, judith.majlath@aon.at, +43 1 5357516Azerbaijan: Azerbaijan CBL, Institute for Peace and Democracy, Hafiz Safikhanov, azerbaijan@icbl.org; +99 412 94 14 58Angola: Angola 2000, Cirilo Mbonge, cirilombonge774@yahoo.com.br, + 923 37 37 06.Bangladesh: Latifa Gono Shohay Angon (LGSA), Nadira Mallik, nadiramallik@yahoo.com, +88 (0)172 731 4519Belgium: Handicap International Belgium, Hildegarde Vansitjan, hildegarde.vansintjan@handicap.be, + 32 485 111 460Belarus: Belarus Support Center for Associations and Foundations (SCAF), Belarus CMC, Dr.Iouri Zagoumennov, izaglm@yahoo.com + 375-296-343746Bosnia: Handicap International, Alma Taslidzan, alma@handicap-international.co.ba, +387 61 768 570Burundi: Association de Prise en Charges des Orphelins de Guerre (APECOG), Georges Ntidendereza, ntidendegeorges@yahoo.frBrazil: Brazilian Campaign to Ban Landmines, Sou da Paz, Cristian Wittman, cristian@icbl.org, +55 55 84034134 or +55 51 96321735, Daniel Mack, danielm@soudapaz.orgCambodia: Jesuit Refugee Service, Ny Nhar, nynhar@yahoo.com, +855 230 880 139, + 855 12 488 950Canada: Mines Action Canada (MAC), Nancy Ingram, nancy@minesactioncanada.org, +1-613-241-3777Chile: Centro de Informacion en Zonas Minadas, Elir Rojas Calderon, director@zonaminada.cl; elir.rojas@gmail.com, +56 32 211 1015, +56 09 901 9744Colombia: Colombian Campaign Against Landmines, Camilo Serna, camilo@colombiasinminas.orgDemocratic Republic of Congo: CCIM, congokinshasa@icbl.orgDenmark: Dan Church Aid, Eva Veble, evv@dca.dk, +45 296 99138Egypt: Protection, Ayman Sorour, amac98eg@yahoo.com, +33 676 196 984Ethiopia: RaDO, Landmine Survivors Network, YibertaTaddesse, yiberta_taddesse@yahoo.com, Jordan Nott, jordannott@gmail.comFiji: Pacific Concerns Resource Centre, Ema Tagicakibau, etag@pcrc.org.fjFinland: Peace Union Finland, Laura Lodenius, laura.lodenius@rauhanliitto.fi, +358 975 683 551France: Handicap International France, Anne Villeneuve, avilleneuve@handicap-international.org, + 33(0)1 43 14 87 06Gambia: West African Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP)Gambia, Pamela Cole, kehindecole@yahoo.com, wanepgambia@yahoo.co.ukGermany: Handicap International, Eva Fischer, efischer@handicap-international.deGeorgia: Georgian Campaign to Ban Landmines, Maia Buchukuri, icblgc@gmail.comIndia: Control Arms Foundation India, Bina Nepram, binalakshmi@gmail.com +91 989 1210 264Italy: Italian Campaign to Ban Landmines, Tibisay Ambrosini, t.ambrosini@campagnamine.org, +39 (0)6 858 00693Iraq: Iraqi Handicapped Survivors Society, Muowffak Alkhafaji, Moaffak_61@yahoo.com, +964 790 1383 279Ireland: CMC Ireland, Susan Hensel, susan@stopclustermunitions.org, +353 863 638 318Japan: Japanese Campaign to Ban Landmines, Junko Utsumi, utsumi@jcbl-ngo.org, Peace Boat, Sachiko Morita, pmac@peaceboat.gr.jpJordan: Handicap International, Mercy Corps, NPA, Pax Christi, Survivor Corps, Philippe Chaize, pchaize@hi-me.org +962 79 96 71 118Kenya: CMC Kenya, Daniel Aghan daghan@handicap-international.or.keKorea: Korean Campaign to Ban Landmines, Eun Jo Kim, jkcho@yonsei.ac.krKosovo: FOCUS, Burim Haxholli, burim.haxholli@gmail.comKuwait: Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR), Raafat Misak, rmisak@kisr.edu.kwLaos: COPE, Jo Pereira, otjo@laopdr.comLebanon: Norwegian People’s Aid, Khaled Yamout landmines@npalebanon.org + 961 1 702582Luxembourg: Handicap International, Jérôme Bobin, jbobin@handicap-international.lu, + 352 42 80 60 31Macedonia FYR: Journalists for Children and Women Rights and Protection on the Environment, Natasa Dokovska, ndokovska@gmail.comMalawi: Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation, Undule Mwakasungura, undulem@yahoo.com, + 265 8 87 87 75Mali: West African Journalists for Security and Development Network, Amadou Maiga, ammaiga@yahoo.fr,+ 223 678 4556Morocco: CMC, ICBL, Protection, Ayman Sorour, amac98eg@yahoo.com, Tamar Gabelnick, tamar@icbl.orgNepal: Nepal Campaign to Ban Landmines, Purna Shova Chitrakar, ncbl@mail.com.np, + 985 10 036 22The Netherlands: IKV Pax Christi, Miriam Struyk, struyk@ikvpaxchristi.nl, +31 6 48981493, Roos Boer, Boer@ikvpaxchristi.nl, +31 6 53219954New Zealand: Aotearoa New Zealand Cluster Munition Coalition, Mary Wareham, wareham@hrw.org, +64 2199 6905Nigeria: IANSA Women’s Network Nigeria, Mimidoo Achakpa, iansawomennig@yahoo.co.uk, + 234-802 339 0227Pakistan: Sustainable Peace and Development Organisation, Raza Shah Khan, spado@icbl.org, +92 300 959 8429Philippines: Philippines Campaign Against Cluster Munitions (PCCM), Jaymelyn Uy jnuy@mc.edu.phPoland: Polish Red Cross, Lidia Szafaryn, lidia.szafaryn@pck.org.plSierra Leone: Sierra Leone Action Network on Small Arms, Abu Bakarr Sheriff, slansa2001@yahoo.comSenegal: Senegalese Campaign to Ban Landmines, Boubine Toure, boubine@refer.sn , +221 775 637 648Slovakia: Amnesty International Slovakia, Pax Christi International, Jana Panakova, Jana.Panakova@paxchristi.netSomalia: Somalia Campaign to Ban Landmines, Dahir Abdirahman, somalia_socbal@yahoo.comSouth Africa: Ceasefire, Kennedy Mabasa, stopwar@mail.ngo.zaSpain: Greenpeace Spain, Mabel González Bustelo, mgbustel@es.greenpeace.org , +34 618 54 81 90Sudan: Sudanese Campaign to Ban Landmines, Abu Osama Abdalla Mohamed, aboosamaa@yahoo.comSweden: Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society, Anna Ek, anna.ek@svenskafreds.se, +46 8 558 03182, +46 709 540513Switzerland: CMC, ICBL, Kasia Derlicka, kasia@icbl.orgSyria: Arab Network for Research on LM & ERW, Ghassan Sharour, afodafro@scs-net.org , +963 944 741955Tajikistan: Harmony of the World, Aziza Hakiova, Tajikistan@icbl.org, +992 37 2219070Thailand: Thai Campaign, JRS, HI, Non Violence International, Emilie Ketudat thailand@icbl.org; landmine@jrs.or.th +66 2 640 9590Togo: West African Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) Togo, Kokou F. Aklavon, aklafelix@yahoo.frTurkey: The Initiative for a Mine-Free Turkey, Muteber Ogreten, bilgi@mayinsizbirturkiye.org, +90 535 229 38 28Uganda: Ugandan Landmine Survivors Association, Margaret Arach Orech, Margaret@icbl.org, +256 77 2 359796UK: Landmine Action, Portia Stratton pstratton@landmine.org, +44 20 7820 0222Uruguay: ALUDEC, Sofia Guidobono, secretaria@aludec.org.uyUSA: Proud Students Against Landmines (PSALM) / West Virginia Campaign to Ban Landmines, Nora Sheets, noracat@yahoo.com, Postcard from Lebanon Jocelyn Ajami, ajami@mindspring.comVietnam: Landmine Survivors Network Vietnam, Norwegian People’s Aid, Project RENEW, Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, Kim Hoa Nguyen nguyenthikimhoa@landminesurvivors.orgZambia: Network of African Peacebuilders (NAPS), Rinos Simbulo, rsimbulo@yahoo.co.uk, + 260 211 977 772 941Notes to Editors:What are cluster bombs?Cluster munitions are large weapons which are deployed from the air and from the ground and release up to hundreds of smaller submunitions. Submunitions released by airdropped cluster bombs are most often called “bomblets,” while those delivered from the ground by artillery or rockets are usually referred to as “grenades.”What’s the problem with this weapon?Air-dropped or ground-launched, they cause two major humanitarian problems and risks to civilians. First, their widespread dispersal means they cannot distinguish between military targets and civilians so the humanitarian impact can be extreme, especially when the weapon is used in or near populated areas. Many submunitions fail to detonate on impact and become de facto antipersonnel mines killing and maiming people long after the conflict has ended. These duds are more lethal than antipersonnel mines; incidents involving submunition duds are much more likely to cause death than injury.Who has used cluster munitions?At least 15 countries have used cluster munitions: Eritrea, Ethiopia, France, Georgia, Israel, Morocco, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Russia (USSR), Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tajikistan, UK, US, and FR Yugoslavia. A small number of non-state armed groups have used the weapon (such as Hezbollah in Lebanon in 2006). Billions of submunitions are stockpiled by some 76 countries. A total of 34 states are known to have produced over 210 different types cluster munitions. More than two dozen countries have been affected by the use of cluster munitions including Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Chad, Croatia, DR Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia, Grenada, Iraq, Israel, Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Montenegro, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Uganda, and Vietnam, as well as Chechnya, Falkland/Malvinas, Nagorno-Karabakh, and Western Sahara.Why is a ban on cluster munitions necessary?Simply put, cluster munitions kill and injure too many civilians. The weapon caused more civilian casualties in Iraq in 2003 and Kosovo in 1999 than any other weapon system. Cluster munitions stand out as the weapon that poses the gravest dangers to civilians since antipersonnel mines, which were banned in 1997. Yet there is currently no provision in international law to specifically address problems caused by cluster munitions. Israel’s massive use of the weapon in Lebanon in August 2006 resulted in more than 200 civilian casualties in the year following the ceasefire and served as the catalyst that has propelled governments to attempt to secure a legally-binding international instrument tackling cluster munitions in 2008.What is the Oslo Process?In February 2007, 46 governments met in Oslo to endorse a call by Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre to conclude a new legally binding instrument in 2008 that prohibits the use, production, transfer and stockpiling of cluster munitions that cause unacceptable harm to civilians and provide adequate resources to assist survivors and clear contaminated areas. Subsequent International Oslo Process meetings were held in Peru (May 2007), Austria (December 2007), and New Zealand (February 2008). 107 countries negotiated and adopted a treaty that bans cluster bombs and provides assistance to affected communities in May 2008 in Dublin.States that adopted the Convention on Cluster Munitions (107)Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chad, Chile, Comoros, Republic of Congo, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Holy See, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lao PDR, Lebanon, Lesotho, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia (FYR), Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Timor-Leste, Togo, Uganda, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela and Zambia.Read Press Release Here:globalweekofaction.pdf