08 January 2010

CMC Newsletter December 2009

CMC Newsletter December 20091. INTERNATIONAL NEWSConvention on the brink of 30th ratificationTwo new ratifications during December have put the Convention on Cluster Munitions on the brink of entering into force. Just four more ratifications are now needed for the Convention to reach the threshold of 30 required for entry into force six months later.On 22 December both New Zealand and Belgium deposited their ratification instruments, making them the 25th and 26th countries respectively to ratify the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Ambassador Jim McLay, New Zealand’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN) in New York, deposited his government’s ratification instrument on 22 December. Later that same day, H.E. Mr. Thomas Lambert, Belgium’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN in New York deposited his government’s ratification instrument.Ambassador Jim McLay, New Zealand's Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, deposits his government's ratification instrument. USCBL campaigner Zach Hudson witnessed the deposit. Photo Credit: UN Treaty SectionOn 15 December, Ambassador Michel Tommo Monthe, Cameroon’s Permanent Representative to the UN in New York, signed the Convention, bringing the total number of signatories to 104 signatories, including 37 African nations.Outcomes of the Cartagena Summit on a Mine Free WorldCampaigners took advantage of the many States represented at the Cartagena Summit in Colombia and carried out numerous lobbying meetings on the Convention. CMC members lobbied for signature of the Convention on Cluster Munitions in high-level meetings (including with Cambodia, Jordan, and Sudan) and other government outreach (including with Ethiopia, Mongolia, Morocco, Nepal, Serbia, Sri Lanka and Vietnam). CMC urged swift ratification in high-level meetings with signatories Afghanistan, Australia, Canada and Uganda.During the Summit, CMC staff Laura Cheeseman and Kim Brown met with 74 campaigners to discuss their campaign priorities, actions and ideas for a successful year of advocacy in 2010 which resulted in a 2010 Action Plan. The CMC Action Plan contains plans for working towards a successful First Meeting of States Parties in Lao PDR in November 2010, including working to achieve more signatures and ratifications to the Convention as well as for early implementation; ideas on how to mark key milestones such as entry into force day and launching a 100 day countdown to the 1MSP; campaigning plans, ideas and target countries in each region; key networks, tools and campaigning activities and a 2010 calendar laying out key dates and opportunities to promote the Convention.A number of states reported on cluster munitions during the conference, including Albania who announced that it was cluster bomb free. At the side event on the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Lao PDR gave a powerful speech on the human suffering of people in Lao from cluster munitions and gave an update on the First Meeting of States Parties (1MSP), which is tentatively scheduled for November 2010. During the plenary, eleven states reaffirmed their commitment to the Convention on Cluster Munitions and gave updates on progress towards ratification. Cameroon announced that it would soon sign the treaty, and did so on 15 December at the United Nations in New York.Check out photos courtesy of Mary Wareham: http://www.flickr.com/photos/marywareham/sets/72157622881795488/2. MEDIA HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTHEl Mundo (Spain), 1 December 2009Mutilados Fútbol Clubhttp://www.elmundo.es/elmundo/2009/11/30/internacional/1259608863.html EFE, 2 December 2009Photograph of Colombian Vice President Francisco Santos (from Quad Rugby match in Cartagena) http://ar.news.yahoo.com/foto/02122009/24/foto/photos-n-world-photo-6331819-photo-text-acitividades-ii.html SR Radio Sweden, 3 December 2009Ban on cluster bombs still not ratifiedhttp://www.sr.se/cgi-bin/international/nyhetssidor/artikel.asp?nyheter=1&programid=2054&Artikel=3281978 The Independent (UK), 6 December 2009The world is winning the landmine warhttp://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/the-world-is-winning-the-landmine-war-1835050.html Thanh Nien (Vietnam), 7 December 2009Boy with no face uses big heart to help UXO victimshttp://www.thanhniennews.com/education/?catid=4&newsid=54096Vistazo (Ecuador), 8 December 2009Prohibición de municiones racimo, acto de humanidadhttp://www.vistazo.com/webpages/columnas/?id=8213 DutchNews.nl, 8 December 2009MPs back ban on cluster bomb investmenthttp://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2009/12/mps_back_ban_on_cluster_bomb_i.php Radio Netherlands Worldwide, 9 December 2009Dutch investments in cluster bombs bannedhttp://www.rnw.nl/nl/node/44519The Scotsman (UK), 9 December 200913m cluster bombs have already been destroyed, says minister http://news.scotsman.com/politics/13m-cluster-bombs-have-already.5894432.jp ReliefWeb, 9 December 2009Iraq: Cluster treaty approval should inspire neighbours to joinhttp://www.reliefweb.int/rw/rwb.nsf/db900SID/EGUA-7YKQ6Y?OpenDocument MSNBC.com, 9 December 2009Who did Obama beat out for the Nobel?http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2009/12/09/2146582.aspx Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 10 December 2009Georgia’s Gori district successfully deminedhttp://www.rferl.org/content/Georgias_Gori_District_Successfully_Demined_/1900673.html TVNZ (New Zealand), 11 December 2009NZ bans cluster munitionshttp://tvnz.co.nz/politics-news/nz-bans-cluster-munitions-3251194Counterpunch, 11-13 December 2009The Land Mines Obama Won’t Touch http://www.counterpunch.org/moyers12112009.htmlThe Daily Star (Lebanon), 15 December 2009UN political leaders call for human rights advances in Lebanonhttp://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=1&article_id=109781United Press International (UPI), 18 December 2009New Zealand is latest to ban cluster bombshttp://www.upi.com/Business_News/Security-Industry/2009/12/18/New-Zealand-is-latest-to-ban-cluster-bombs/UPI-59021261164244/ The Huffington Post, 21 December 2009Lebanon’s leftover subterranean scourgehttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/patrick-galey/lebanons-leftover-subterr_b_399532.html RTBF (Belgium), 23 December 2009La Belgique ratifie la Convention sur les armes à sous-munitionshttp://www.rtbf.be/info/economie/la-belgique-a-ratifie-a-lonu-la-convention-sur-les-armes-a-sous-munitions-172469Associated Press, 23 December 2009Two countries ratify cluster bomb ban conventionhttp://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2009/12/23/two-countries-ratify-cluster-bomb-ban-convention.htmlAssociated Press, 23 December 2009New Zealand ratifies cluster bomb ban conventionhttp://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/wires.php?id=3345560_new-zealand-cluster-bombs-wellington-new-zealand-new-zealand-ratifies-cluster-bomb-ban-convention****3. CAMPAIGN AND COUNTRY UPDATESCanada: Participants from MAC’s Youth Leader Forum held in Colombia during the Cartagena Summit on a Mine-Free World (29 November-5 December) were invited by the President of the Cartagena Summit and the Vice-President of Colombia to present a declaration from the youth in the closing session of the Summit. Mr. Gul Nabi from Afghanistan and Ms Ndèye-Khoudia Ndiaye from France presented the declaration on behalf of the Forum to the over 1,000 government delegates and campaigners from around the world. Following their declaration, the Summit President presented the youth with a copy of the Cartagena Declaration signed by governments and asked the youth to hold them accountable for fulfilling the promises made over the next five years. To read the Youth Forum’s report and watch a video of them delivering their declaration, visit: http://www.minesactioncanada.org/index.cfm?fuse=learn.news-details&ID=394 Nancy Ingram, Mines Action Canada: nancy@minesactioncanada.orgThe delegates of MAC's 2009 Youth Leaders Forum in Cartagena, Colombia. Photo Credit: Mines Action CanadaMoldova: With funding from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norwegian People’s Aid is assisting the Moldovan government in the development of a pilot stockpile destruction project to ensure that cluster munitions are safely destroyed. Emphasis is also being placed on national ownership, capacity building and the ability to salvage all available value from the disposal. In a press statement, NPA has encouraged Moldova to be “included in the 30 world leaders that will ensure the Convention comes into force by rapid ratification of the Convention by the Government”. For the full story, visit http://www.npaid.org/?module=Articles;action=Article.publicShow;ID=8840Lee Moroney, Norwegian People’s Aid: lpm_mobile@hotmail.comNew Zealand: On 10 December, the Cluster Munitions (Prohibition) Bill had its second and final readings in the New Zealand parliament. Eight parliamentarians spoke over the course of the hour-long debate before the legislation was unanimously adopted. The legislation, which governs New Zealand’s implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, was signed into law by Governor-General on 17 December paving the way for the deposit of New Zealand’s ratification instrument on 22 December. The Aotearoa New Zealand Cluster Munition Coalition (ANZCMC) held an event on 15 December to celebrate the new law and ratification that was attended by Hon. Georgina Te Heuheu, New Zealand’s Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control, and other politicians, demining experts, and campaigners. The ANZCMC has prepared a critique of the legislation that is available on its website. See: http://www.stopclusterbombs.org.nz/2009/12/11/cluster-bomb-ban-law-passes/Mary Wareham, ANZCMC, wareham@hrw.orgSerbia: Experienced activists including mine and cluster munition survivors launched “Assistance Advocacy Access Serbia” (PPPS: Podrska. Prava. Pristup – Srbija) in December 2009 to campaign for victim assistance in the country. The association’s activities begin with a national needs assessment and the creation of the first database on survivors for the implementation of much-needed services and referrals. PPPS will advocate for Serbia’s swift signature of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, fulfillment of Mine Ban Treaty obligations – particularly victim assistance – and the full enforcement of disability legislation and policy following Serbia’s ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2009.Jelena Vicentic, Assistance Advocacy Access Serbia: assistance.advocacy.access@gmail.comSyria: On 2 December, Dr Ghassan Shahrour of Syria received the International Star of Hope Award 2009 from the Centro Integral de Rehabilitación de Colombia (CIREC) and the Vice President’s Office of Colombia, during the Second Review Conference of the Mine Ban Treaty in Cartagena, Colombia. Ghassan, a long-time campaigner in the movements to ban antipersonnel mines and cluster munitions, paid special thanks to CIREC and the Vice President of Colombia and noted that the award recognised the contribution of many ICBL/CMC campaigners in achieving enabling environments for persons with disabilities.Ghassan Shahrour, Arab Net for Research on LM & ERW: Ghassan.dr@gmail.comUnited Kingdom: On 8 December, the Cluster Munitions (Prohibition) Bill had its second reading in the House of Lords. As in previous debates, this saw substantial well-informed engagement from a number of Peers from all Parties. In addition to discussing areas dealt with in the Bill, Parliamentarians also discussed the issue of foreign stockpiling of cluster munitions on UK territory as well as work being undertaken by the UK Government to promote the Convention internationally. The Government provided a concrete timeline for the removal of foreign stockpiles, stating that they would be removed from sites in the UK by 2010 and from all UK territories by 2013. On universalisation, the Government stated that it would continue to promote the CCM among Commonwealth countries and that it would liaise with civil society on this work.Portia Stratton, Landmine Action: pstratton@landmineaction.org.ukUnited Kingdom: The Royal Society of Medicine’s new president Mr Nigel Trimmings MRCS LRCP FRCS invited Kate Moore MBE, an Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) board member, to give the presidential address to the Society’s Orthopaedics Section in London on 1 December 2009. The address, titled "The Road to Oslo and Beyond," included a screening of Chris Anderson’s short film “Unacceptable Harm”. Kate covered the Oslo Process time frame from November 2006 through to the Convention’s signing ceremony in Oslo and the current status of the Convention, including which states have signed and ratified. The aims of the Orthopaedics Section are to "advance the study of orthopaedics and traumatic surgery". The very well-attended event was advertised as one of importance to all sections and levels of the RSM for its education potential for the prevention of needless human suffering.Kate Moore, AOAV: kate@kate-george.co.ukNigel Trimmings and Kate Moore at the Royal Society of Medicine dinner in London Photo credit: Kate MooreUSA: The article Breaking New Ground: The Convention on Cluster Munitions and the Evolution of International Humanitarian Law, was written by Bonnie Docherty and published in Human Rights Quarterly in November. (While Bonnie works at Human Rights Watch, she wrote this publication in her personal capacity.) The article looks at the legal precedent set by the Convention on Cluster Munitions, which broke new legal ground on a number of fronts, in particular by strengthening the humanitarian obligations imposed by weapons treaties. This article examines the precedent the treaty sets in a variety of areas, including victim assistance, user states' responsibility to clean up the ordnance they left behind, and the regulation of non-state armed groups. To request a copy of the article please contact: Bonnie Docherty, Human Rights Watch: docherb@hrw.orgInternational: The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement adopted Resolution 12.1 named Movement Strategy on Landmines, Cluster Munitions and other Explosive Remnants of War: Reducing the effects of Weapons on Civilians on 23-25 November in Nairobi, Kenya. Campaigners can use this document as a strategic way to engage with Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies at the country level. The document can be found in English, French, Arabic and Spanish under Item 12 using the following link: http://www.rcstandcom.info/cod2009/council_pre_docs_2009.shtmlKimberly Brown, CMC Staff: Kimberly@stopclustermunitions.org****4. TAKE ACTIONHelp to ensure that the 30th ratification happens in the month of JanuarySo far, 104 governments have signed the Convention and 26 countries have ratified it. Which four countries will make it into the visionary group of 30 that bring the treaty into force? Make sure your government signs and ratifies the Convention on Cluster Munitions!Five countries have completed domestic ratification of the Convention and are now poised to deposit: Burkina Faso, Denmark, Ecuador, Montenegro, and Togo. Campaigners can help to make sure that these countries deposit their ratification instruments in the coming weeks, thus triggering entry into force.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/Laura Cheeseman: CMC Staff: Laura@stopclustermunitions.orgRegional opportunities to promote the CCM: A number of upcoming meetings provide opportunities to promote the CCM. Campaigners should approach supportive governments within these regions so that the CCM can be raised at the following events:

  • 17-22 Jan: Annual Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF), Singapore
  • 26 Jan-3 Feb: African Union Summit, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • 14-16 Feb: NATO Parliamentary Assembly joint committee meeting, Brussels, Belgium
****5. UPCOMING EVENTSMarch 20101 11th anniversary of the entry into force of the Mine Ban Treaty26-28 (TBC) Regional meeting on Convention on Cluster Munitions in Pretoria, South Africa/ UN Mine Action Programme Directors meetingJune 2010(TBC) Global Preparatory Meeting on the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Viña del Mar, Chile