09 August 2010

CMC Newsletter July 2010

CMC Newsletter July 20101. INTERNATIONAL NEWSComoros ratifies and Djibouti signs cluster bomb ban treatyTwo African states took action on the Convention on Cluster Munitions in the days before 1 August 2010, when the Convention entered into force and became binding international law. Comoros ratified the Convention on 28 July at the United Nations, becoming the 38th country fully on board the treaty, and Djibouti signed the Convention on 30 July.Forty-one African states are among the 108 countries that have signed the Convention, and Comoros is the 10th African country to ratify. Comoros signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions when it first opened for signature in Oslo, Norway in December 2003. Neither Comoros nor Djibouti has used, produced or stockpiled cluster munitions. Although neither country is affected by the weapons, Djibouti has residual problems with explosive remnants of war and has suffered from contamination by landmines.For the full story please see: http://www.stopclustermunitions.org/news/?id=2563CMC launches August 1 website for entry into force of cluster bomb ban treatyOn 15 July, CMC staff launched a new website, www.august1.org, to communicate about worldwide events to celebrate the entry into force of the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 1 August 2010.In addition to background information on the treaty and an informational video on the Oslo Process, the site lists details on CMC events in around 80 countries to celebrate treaty taking effect as binding international law. Following the treaty’s entry into force, photographs from worldwide campaign events to "beat the drum to ban cluster bombs" will be posted to the site.Final four countries targeted as 100-day countdown wraps upSudan, Slovakia, Morocco and Thailand were the four final countries targeted in the 100-day countdown to entry into force. Campaigners around the world reached out to these countries by sending letters urging them to sign the Convention on Cluster Munitions in advance of the First Meeting of States Parties.On 30 July, during Thailand’s week of action, a CMC press conference on entry into force was held in Bangkok, with participation from the Lao government, a Lao cluster munition survivor, UN and ICRC.The Ministry of Foreign Affairs co-organized with the International Committee of the Red Cross a Roundtable Discussion on the Convention on Cluster Munitions in Bangkok on 29-30 July 2010. Participants included representatives from the Ministry of Defense and other Thai government agencies, Australia, Germany, Japan, Laos, the UN, the Cluster Munition Coalition, the Thai Campaign, and the GICHD.Between 26 April and 1 August, campaigners used the 100 days to target 14 key non-signatory states. Many campaigners sent letters urging these countries to sign the Convention on Cluster Munitions, while some visited embassies in their countries.The 100-day countdown concluded on 1 August, when the Convention on Cluster Munitions entered into force. Campaigners in around 80 countries held actions to mark the Convention’s entry into force and "beat the drum to ban cluster bombs," including drumming sessions, film screenings, panel discussions, football games, and photographic exhibitions. Details of these actions can be found at http://www.august1.org/events.2. CAMPAIGN AND COUNTRY UPDATESBurundi: On 9 July, campaigners held an event with the Ministry of Interior and the Belgian embassy. Speakers included the chief of staff to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium in Burundi. The ambassador congratulated Burundi for signing and ratifying the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Contact: Georges Ntidendereza, Association de Prise en Charge des Orphelins de Guerre (APECOG): ntidendegeorges@yahoo.frIraq: A number of events took place in Baghdad during the month of July. IADO hosted Safias Alsuhail, an Iraqi member of parliament at a meeting where they discussed the situation of persons with disabilities in Iraq. Alsuhail committed to being a part of the national advocacy plan to promote international treaties such as the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Convention on Cluster Munitions and the Mine Ban Treaty in Iraq. UNICEF organised a workshop on mine risk education. Mohamed Alrubaee, a member of Baghdad Council, visited with IADO and discussed the needs of persons with disabilities in Iraq. IADO is continuing to work with Abdulla, a child who was injured by a car bomb in 2008. He participated in an activity wherechildren with disabilities were given wheelchairs and he told IADO that he hopes to walk again and wants to become a lawyer to advocate for the rights of persons with disabilities.Contact: Muowffak Alkhafaji, Iraqi Alliance for Disability, moaffak62@yahoo.comLao PDR: On Wednesday, 7 July, the Lao Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) organised a launch event to raise the profile of the entry into force of the Convention on Cluster Munitions and the First Meeting of States Parties (1MSP) in Laos. About 100 people, including ambassadors and other members of the diplomatic corps, representatives of the UN and many NGOs, Ban Advocate Phongsavath Manithong, Lao university students, and Lao press attended the event. Lao Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Hiem Pommachanh presided over the panel of three speakers: MOFA’s Saleumxay Kommasith; UN Resident Coordinator Sonam Yangchen Rana; and the CMC’s Alexandra Hiniker. After the panelists spoke, the floor was opened up to questions. The ambassadors from France, the European Union (EU), and Germany, as well as representatives from Australia and the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), all had questions for the Lao MOFA about procedural matters related to the 1MSP, which were answered comprehensively. They specifically asked about the four outcome documents, procedures for formal invitations and level of representation expected, field visits, and what the content of the Vientiane Action Plan would be.Contact: Alexandra Hiniker, CMC staff in Vientiane, Alexandra@stopclustermunitions.orgMoldova: On Thursday, 29 July, Col. Andrei Sarban of the Moldovan Ministry of Defence oversaw the destruction of Moldova’s remaining stockpile of Soviet-era cluster munitions at Bulboaca military training ground. Roman Dolgov (IPPNW - Russia) and Jane Filseth Andersen (Norwegian People’s Aid) attended the event, which also included representatives of the Ministry of Defence, foreign embassies and the media. According to the Moldovan Ministry of Defence, the project was completed with the support from NPA as well as the OSCE Mission to Moldova and the governments of Spain and Norway.Contact: Conor Fortune, CMC staff, conor@stopclustermunitions.orgNepal: Purna Chitrakar gave an interview on the radio station Mero FM in Kathmandu. She spoke about cluster munitions, the need for the national and international campaigns to ban the weapons, and the government response..Contact: Ms. Purna Shova Chitrakar, Ban Landmines Campaign Nepal: ncbl@mail.com.npNorway: On 16 July, Roger Ingebrigtsen, the State Secretary for the Norwegian Ministry of Defence, pushed the button to destroy Norway’s last batch of cluster munitions. The stockpile destruction took place on an old mine at Lokken Verk, south of the city of Trondheim.For the full story visit: http://www.regjeringen.no/en/dep/fd/press-centre/Press-releases/2010/norwegian-stockpiles-of-cluster-munition.html?id=611443European Resolution to urge states to sign and ratify the CCM: CMC-Austria collaborated with the foreign affairs spokesperson of the Greens/European Free Alliance, Ulrike Lunacek, to introduce a new European Parliament (EP) resolution on the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Tabled by Members of European Parliament (MEPs) from five of the seven political groups in the EP, the resolution passed on 8 July, calling on European Union member states to sign and ratify the Convention on Cluster Munitions before 1 August. MEPs also called on High Representative Catherine Ashton to urge EU countries to join the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM). "The CCM anchors advanced and far reaching rules supporting help to victims of cluster munitions. Our resolution in the European Parliament to strengthen and widen the treaty is thus primarily in the interest of the safety of civil society: no humans should be victims anymore to these insidious weapons and past victims must receive the support they need as soon as possible," they said. Judith Majlath, director of CMC-Austria welcomed this strong resolution.For more information and to read the full text of the resolution, visit: http://www.stopclustermunitions.org/news/?id=2505Contact: Judith Majlath, CMC Austria: judith.majlath@aon.atStay Informed: Sign up for Monitor Email NotificationsLandmine and Cluster Munition Monitor launched the new Country Profile section of the Monitor website in June 2010, which features dedicated webpages for every country in the world with information about landmines and cluster munitions. Many Country Profiles are already available online, and new profiles continue to be uploaded daily.In order to stay informed about the latest updates to the Country Profile webpages, visit the Landmine and Cluster Munition website at www.the-monitor.org and sign up to receive email notifications whenever Country Profiles are updated. The email notifications are country specific, allowing you to sign up to only receive updates on the countries that you are interested in. To sign up to receive these notifications, visit the Country Profiles section of the Monitor website (www.the-monitor.org/cp), and click on the name of the country/area of interest to you. At the top left hand side of the page you will find option to "Receive notifications when this Country Profile is updated." Once you have clicked this option, you will be prompted to provide your email address to subscribe to receive a notification email when the Country Profile is updated. This page also provides the option to cancel the email notifications at any time. Please sign up today to receive email notifications on updates to the country’s where you campaign, live, and work.If you have any questions about the Country Profiles, or the email notification process, please contact monitor@icbl.org3. DISINVESTMENTAustralia: Campaigners have continued their targeting of ANZ, which invests in cluster munitions. ANZ responded to a postcard campaign by sending a standard letter to each person who sent in a postcard. Campaigners wrote an article in response to this letter which highlights the problems with ANZ’s policy.Contact: Mark Zirnsak, Uniting Church in Australia, Mark.Zirnsak@victas.uca.org.auFrance: On 6 July, Handicap International and Amnesty International France issued a press release welcoming the prohibition of direct and indirect financing on cluster munitions in France. As both the organisations have campaigned for several years on this issue, they were pleased with the French government’s announcement. Following their campaign since 2006, many major financial groups in France had already decided to implement a disinvestment policy.Contact: Marion Libertucci, Handicap International France, mlibertucci@handicap-international.org and Aymeric Elluin, Amnesty International France, aelluin@amnesty.frDisinvestment media highlights:http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703636404575352683206578298.htmlhttp://www.librered.net/wordpress/?p=2142http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-world/japan-banks-ban-financing-cluster-arms-20100730-10zkw.html(in German) See the 29-07 broadcast, from 10:51 onwards about German investments in cluster munitions : http://www.wdr.de/tv/monitor/****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 updateDuring the month of July, CMC media outreach involved wrapping up the 100-day countdown and gearing up for the entry into force celebrations and actions around 1 August 2010. The CMC launched a detailed website (www.august1.org) to inform the media and the general public about global celebrations to mark the Convention’s entry into force. To announce the Convention’s entry into force, CMC staff distributed media advisories, a press release in three languages and a video news release, as well as organising press conferences in Geneva and Bangkok. Hundreds of print and online stories have been published* on the Convention’s entry into force, and CMC staff and members did dozens of interviews with global and national broadcast media.Earlier in July, national media in Lebanon reported on a new 9-year-old cluster bomb victim, while in Laos, local and international media have been focusing stories on the shocking scale of cluster bomb contamination that continues to cause up to 300 casualties per year.*A complete report on the very successful global media coverage for entry into force of the Convention on Cluster Munitions will be sent to the campaign list next week.Contact: Conor Fortune, CMC staff: conor@stopclustermunitions.orgMedia highlights of the monthBBC (United Kingdom), 31 July 2010Cluster bomb ban comes into forcehttp://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-10829976Associated Press (USA/global wire), 30 July 2010UN chief hails treaty banning cluster bombshttp://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/100730/world/un_un_cluster_munitionsAFP (France/global wire), 30 July 2010Red Cross hails cluster munitions banhttp://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-world/red-cross-hails-cluster-munitions-ban-20100730-10y89.htmlGlobalPost (USA), 28 July 2010One man’s bomb is another’s garden hoehttp://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/asia/100727/laos-uxo-scrap-metalDaily Star (Lebanon), 26 July 2010Israeli cluster bomb kills 9-year-oldhttp://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=1&article_id=117448Pravda (Russia), 21 July 2010Cluster bombshttp://english.pravda.ru/society/stories/21-07-2010/114323-cluster_bombs-0IPS (global wire), 19 July 2010UN’s big five facilitate arms transfers to rights violatorshttp://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=52204Terra Brasil, 18 July 2010Exportadores de armas devem reforçar controle, diz Anistiahttp://noticias.terra.com.br/mundo/noticias/0,,OI4572932-EI294,00-Exportadores+de+armas+devem+reforcar+controle+dos+transportes+diz+Anistia.htmlThe Oregonian (United States), 16 July 2010Drums for Travis and against cluster bombs/mineshttp://blog.oregonlive.com/oregonatwar/2010/07/drums_for_travis_and_against_c.htmlDefence Professionals, 16 July 2010Norwegian stockpiles of cluster munitions are historyhttp://www.defpro.com/news/details/16796/DPA (Germany/global wire), 15 July 2010Unexploded US bombs killed or injured 50,000 in Laos, survey findshttp://www.earthtimes.org/articles/news/334937,50000-laos-survey-finds.htmlDaily Star (Lebanon), 14 July 2010British delegation tours mine-riddled southern areashttp://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=2&article_id=117008#axzz0vjVSq0RbThe Citizen (Tanzania), 13 July 2010Convention on Cluster Munitions Vitalhttp://thecitizen.co.tz/editorial-analysis/20-analysis-opinions/2983-convention-on-cluster-munitions-vital.htmlVientiane Times/Lao Voices (Lao PDR), 10 July 2010Laos unable to clear UXO within ten years: officialhttp://laovoices.com/2010/07/10/laos-unable-to-clear-uxo-within-ten-years-official/Khaleej Times (United Arab Emirates), 6 July 2010Welcome to smart bombshttp://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle.asp?xfile=data/opinion/2010/July/opinion_July38.xml&section=opinion&col=****6. UPCOMING EVENTSAugust 20101 August Entry into Force of the Convention on Cluster Munitions30 Aug-3 Sept CCW second session of the Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) on cluster munitions, Geneva, SwitzerlandSeptember 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 TreatyDecember 20103 December 2-year anniversary of the Convention on Cluster Munitions Signing Conference3 December International Day of Persons with Disabilities