03 September 2010

CMC Newsletter August 2010

Drummers in Japan join global actions to mark the entry into force of the Convention on Cluster Munitions. CMC August Newsletter1. INTERNATIONAL NEWSCampaigners celebrate entry into force of the Convention on Cluster MunitionsCampaigners in 83 countries and territories organised actions to celebrate the entry into force of the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM), the highest level of participation ever for a CMC global day of action. The CMC launched an entry into force website, www.august1.org, which includes reports and photos of the campaign actions.Around the world, political actors and civil society members engaged in a wide range of activities in order to promote and discuss the Convention as it came into force. Many of these activities strengthened the platform for the universalisation of the CCM. Several governments released press statements welcoming its entry into force. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Pope Benedict XVI both issued public statements declaring their support for the CCM.Entry into force also received a large amount of media coverage around the world, ascampaigners took advantage of the date to raise the profile of the Convention. The CMC issued a media advisory ahead of entry into force, and held press conferences in Geneva and Bangkok. The CMC also prepared a video news release that was posted on a broadcast news wire and circulated to major international networks. CMC staff and members did dozens of interviews, and there were hundreds of stories in many languages and across all types of media – print, broadcast and online.2. CAMPAIGN AND COUNTRY UPDATESGlobal: An extensive report on entry into force activities will be coming out in early October and will include information on actions in over 80 countries. In the meantime, information and photos on entry into force actions can be found at www.august1.org. Contact: Kimberly Brown, CMC staff, Kimberly@stopclustermunitions.orgIndia: Campaigners from the Control Arms Foundation of India distributed over 10,000 pamphlets on cluster munitions throughout India. These pamphlets, printed in English and Hindi, called on the government of India to join the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Contact: Bina Nepram, CAFI: binalakshmi@gmail.comLao PDR: Mike Boddington received an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) for founding the organisation COPE (Cooperative Orthotic and Prosthetic Enterprise), which has helped victims of unexploded ordnance in Lao PDR since 1997. He was presented the award at a reception co-hosted by the CMC and the British Embassy in Vientiane on 9 August. About 80 guests attended, including ambassadors from the United States, Australia, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and the Philippines, as well as representatives from France, Indonesia, the Lao Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Representatives from all four Lao-based CMC member organisations also attended the event. The British ambassador made his remarks and presented the medal to Mike. Both the ambassador and Mike stressed the significance of the CCM, and extensively thanked the CMC for its contributions to making the treaty possible. Contact: Alexandra Hiniker, CMC staff in Vientiane: Alexandra@stopclustermunitions.orgLao PDR: Religions for Peace, in cooperation with Norwegian Church Aid and Lao Buddhist Monks for Development, organized a workshop from 2-3 August at Wat Nakhoun Noi, Vientiane Capital. The aim was to raise awareness about the Convention within Lao's religious communities and explore the roles that monks can play in assisting survivors with their recovery and social reintegration. It was attended by over 60 monks from across the country as well as five survivors, and enjoyed strong support from the Lao government. Religions for Peace and its partners will now seek to initiate a two year program in which monks in Lao will be more actively engaged in assisting survivors. Contact: Allison Pytlak, Religions for Peace: apytlak@religionsforpeace.orgNepal: Campaigners in Nepal launched a new website, www.nepal.icbl.org. Contact: Purna Chitrakar, NCBL: ncbl@mail.com.np3. DISINVESTMENTGermany: The German government faced pressure for purchasing two airport scanners from L3 Communications, one of the seven producers named in the report "Worldwide investments in cluster munitions: a shared responsibility" by IKV Pax Christi and Netwerk Vlaanderen. As Germany has both signed and ratified the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Actiongroup Landmine.de campaigner Thomas Küchenmeister called on the government in Berlin to renounce these deals immediately. Contact: Thomas Küchenmeister, Actiongroup Landmine.de: thomas.kuechenmeister@googlemail.comDisinvestment media highlights:Spiegel Online International, 11 August 2010Germany Slammed for ‘Supporting’ Cluster Bomb Manufacturerhttp://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,711269,00.htmlDeutsche Welle, 11 August 2010Germany under fire for doing business with cluster bomb producerhttp://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,5891121,00.htmlAsahi Shimbun, 17 August 2010Editorial: Ban on Cluster Bombshttp://www.asahi.com/english/TKY201008160251.html****4. TAKE ACTIONUrge your government to or ratify or accede to the Convention on Cluster MunitionsThe Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) is calling on signatories to ratify the Convention and on non-signatories to accede to the Convention. Since the Convention has now entered into force, non-signatories must accede rather than sign and ratify in separate steps.Push for high-level participation by your government at both the Preparatory Meeting and the First Meeting of States PartiesThere will be a Preparatory Meeting for the First Meeting of States Parties (1MSP) on 6 September in Geneva. All states have been invited to this meeting through an invitation note verbale that was sent to Geneva missions on 5 May 2010. The First Meeting of States Parties will be held from 9-12 November in Vientiane, Lao PDR.Please encourage your government to attend both of these meetings. For the preparatory meeting you should work through the representative at the mission in Geneva.Contact: Laura Cheeseman, CMC staff: laura@stopclustermunitions.org****5. MEDIAMedia updateThe entry into force of the CCM received a large amount of media coverage around the world, as campaigners took advantage of the date to raise the profile of the Convention. In late July, the CMC held press conferences in Geneva and Bangkok to brief the media and issue an official press release. The CMC also prepared a video news release that was posted on a broadcast news subscription service and circulated to major international networks, many of which used the footage, including Al Jazeera English, BBC, France 24, Danish national television and Japan’s national broadcaster, NHK. CMC staff and members did dozens of interviews, and there were hundreds of stories in many languages and across print, broadcast and online media outlets. Some of the stories covered specific angles such as the upcoming First Meeting of States Parties in Laos or disinvestment – especially in Japan, where three major banks used the 1 August milestone to announce their decision to disinvest from cluster bomb producers.Following this extensive media coverage in early August, several US and international news stories on Yemen mentioned cluster munitions following the release of a new Amnesty International report citing two possible instances of US cluster munition use during counterterrorism operations. Elsewhere, there were media reports on several incidents where unexploded cluster bomblets were discovered in Lebanon, coverage in Germany of a controversial government investment in a cluster munitions producer (see above section 3 above), and a couple of stories on the legacy of cluster munition use in Lao PDR, helping to set the scene for the upcoming 1MSP in Vientiane.Contact: Conor Fortune, CMC staff: conor@stopclustermunitions.orgMedia highlights of the monthThe Guardian (United Kingdom), 30 August 2010The casualties of cluster bombs must not be forgottenhttp://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/aug/30/casualties-cluster-bombs-laosDaily Star (Lebanon), 27 August 2010Bulldozer driver unharmed after cluster bomb blast in southhttp://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=1&article_id=118688#axzz0xoZWaGXwSalon (United States), 25 August 2010An exciting new Muslim country to drone attackhttp://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/08/25/yemeniLoubnan.info (Lebanon), 25 August 2010Cluster munitions found in Kfartebneethttp://iloubnan.info/en/actualite/id/49817/titre/Cluster-munitions-found-in-KfartebneetThe Washington Post (United States), 24 August 2010CIA sees increased threat from al-Qaeda in Yemenhttp://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/24/AR2010082406553.htmlThe Guardian (United Kingdom), 23 August 2010Shabwa: Blood feuds and hospitality in al-Qaida's Yemen outposthttp://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/aug/23/shabwa-al-qaida-yemenWomen’s eNews, 22 August 2010Old bombs shatter Laotian women’s liveshttp://www.womensenews.org/story/war/100820/old-bombs-shatter-laotian-womens-livesUN News Centre, 18 August 2010Lebanon: UN official welcomes move to ratify ban on cluster munitionshttp://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=35660&Cr=WEAPON&Cr1=Truthdig (United States), 17 August 2010There’s nothing surgical about cluster munitionshttp://www.truthdig.com/report/item/theres_nothing_surgical_about_cluster_bombs_20100817/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Truthdig+Truthdig%3A+Drilling+Beneath+the+Headlines&utm_content=TwitterThe New York Times (United States), 15 August 2010Secret Assault on Terrorism Widens on Two Continentshttp://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/15/world/15shadowwar.html?_r=1&pagewanted=1&ref=the_shadow_warUPI, 16 August 2010Russia passes on munitions pacthttp://www.upi.com/Top_News/Special/2010/08/16/Russia-passes-on-munitions-pact/UPI-43911281993152/CNN/VBS.tv, 11 August 2010Removing cluster bombs from soilhttp://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/meast/08/10/vbs.cluster.bombs/index.html?eref=rss_latest&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+rss%2Fcnn_latest+%28RSS%3A+Most+Recent%29&utm_content=Twitter#fbid=7LU9GNzMhXP&wom=falseThe Japan Times, 11 August 2010EDITORIAL: Good start for cluster bomb banhttp://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/ed20100811a2.htmlIRIN (UN news agency), 5 August 2010LAOS: Cluster bomb focus raises hopes for developmenthttp://www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportId=90072The Economist (United Kingdom), 2 August 2010Cluster duck: An international convention banning cluster bombs comes into forcehttp://www.economist.com/research/articlesBySubject/displaystory.cfm?subjectid=7933596&story_id=16731443The Christian Science Monitor (United States), 1 August 2010As cluster bomb ban takes effect, the view from Laoshttp://www.csmonitor.com/World/Global-Issues/2010/0801/As-cluster-bomb-ban-takes-effect-the-view-from-LaosReuters, 1 August 2010Cluster munitions treaty – a milestone, but a long way to gohttp://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate-uk/2010/08/01/cluster-munitions-treaty-a-milestone-but-a-long-way-to-go/France 24, 1 August 2010Hopes high as cluster bomb ban comes into forcehttp://www.france24.com/en/20100731-august-convention-cluster-munitions-ban-treaty-usa-france-interview-bouveret****6. UPCOMING EVENTSSeptember 20106 September Preparatory Meeting for the First Meeting of States Parties to CCM Geneva, SwitzerlandNovember 20101 Cluster Munition Monitor launch, Bangkok, Thailand9-12 November First Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Vientiane, Lao PDR25-26 November CCW Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, Switzerland29 Nov –3 Dec Tenth Meeting of the States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty, Geneva, SwitzerlandDecember 20103 December Second anniversary of the Convention on Cluster Munitions Signing Conference3 December International Day of Persons with Disabilities