09 July 2010

CMC Newsletter June 2010

CMC Newsletter June 20101. INTERNATIONAL NEWSSuccessful Chile conference paves the way for 1MSPThe Santiago International Conference on the Convention on Cluster Munitions took place from 7-9 June 2010 in Santiago, Chile. Some 99 governments – including 13 non-signatory states – and more than 120 CMC campaigners attended the conference, which was characterised by a high degree of enthusiasm and engagement.Photo: Soraj Ghulam Habib and other cluster munition survivors talk to the Chilean foreign minister.Photo credit: Mary WarehamOpening statements focused on a range of topics, including: the CCM in the context of Latin American regional disarmament initiatives (by the Deputy Minister of Defence of Chile); Lao PDR’s commitment to the CCM and the importance of the First Meeting of States Parties (1MSP) in setting standards (by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lao PDR); the key role of maintaining a humanitarian focus and engaging civil society in achieving the aims of the CCM (by Norway’s Secretary of State); and the need for universalisation, reporting and a spirit of cooperation and assistance (by UNDP). The Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) expressed excitement about the opportunities to shape the future of the CCM, and cluster munition survivors appealed to states for the implementation in particular of Article 5 on victim assistance.The various Friends of the President led sessions on key areas relating to the CCM’s universalisation and implementation, requesting specific input on the Vientiane Action Plan. The Chilean Foreign Minister closed the conference noting that Latin America should become a cluster bomb-free zone, and mentioning his earlier invitation to Peru at the Organization of American States to ratify the CCM jointly with Chile.Campaigners present at the Conference took the opportunity to lobby governments. The main priority for the CMC at the conference was to encourage more states to sign and ratify the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Campaigners used upcoming deadlines of entry into force on 1 August 2010 and the First Meeting of States Parties (1MSP) in November as a deadline by which states should aim to complete ratification or to sign/accede by. Campaigners also engaged with governments to encourage their engagement in discussions related to preparations for the 1MSP as well as to encourage their participation at this important conference to be held in Vientiane, Lao PDR from 8-12 November 2010. Campaigners met with approximately 80 government representatives over the course of the conference.Campaigners build skills at inaugural campaigners’ forumFollowing the The Santiago International Conference on the Convention on Cluster Munitions, nearly 130 campaigners met over the course of three days to share skills and knowledge in the first CMC-ICBL Campaigner’s Forum. Facilitators from all regions of the world led some 50 sessions over the course of forum. Campaigners attended sessions and discussion groups on topics including: the First Meeting of States Parties, campaigning in challenging countries, social media, proposal writing, victim assistance; lobbying skills, reporting skills, working with the media, disinvestment campaigning, national legislation, advocacy and awareness event planning, fundraising, stockpile destruction, research for the new monitor, and many more!To access presentations, handouts and discussion notes from the Forum, please visit www.stopclustermunitions.org/campaignforumUS asked to confirm or deny use of cluster munitions in YemenIn light of information obtained during the month of June, the CMC believes a recent report about use of US cluster munitions in Yemen in December 2009 is credible. The CMC condemns any use of cluster munitions anywhere by any actor. (http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/yemen-images-missile-and-cluster-munitions-point-us-role-fatal-attack-2010-06-04). CMC issued a statement on the incident, which can be found here: http://www.stopclustermunitions.org/news/?id=2301.Following this information from Amnesty International, Norway’s Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre issued a press statement (available in Norwegian only) rejecting the use of cluster munitions and stressing the necessity of continuing efforts to get even more countries to join.http://www.regjeringen.no/nb/dep/ud/pressesenter/pressemeldinger/2010/pm_jemen.html?id=6080162. CAMPAIGN AND COUNTRY UPDATESFrance: After its adoption by the Senate in May 2010, the CCM implementation law has been unanimously adopted by the National Assembly on 6 July, and should be promulgated before entry into force. Handicap International and Amnesty International France worked on a series of amendments to improve the draft law, all of which were either integrated into the law or mentioned in the government’s interpretative declarations. During the debate on the text at the National Assembly, the Secretary of State for Defence made important interpretations particularly on: disinvestment, indicating that both direct and indirect investments in the production and trade of cluster munitions are prohibited (see below); interoperability, stating that "France will refuse to support use of cluster munitions and in case of joint military operations France will make a political declaration at the highest level calling states not parties to adopt the convention"; and declaring for the first time that "France will do everything it can to avoid State transit through its territory". He also gave information on the stockpile destruction process. The debate full report is available here (in French): http://www.assemblee-nationale.fr/13/cri/2009-2010-extra/20101008.asp#P82_2218 . Contact: Marion Libertucci, Handicap International France: mlibertucci@handicap-international.orgGeorgia: Based on data gathered from a monitoring project financed by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) and Gemeinsam gegen Landminen (GGL), 12 female victims of landmines and cluster munitions were selected who, starting from 1 July, are undergoing professional reeducation. In Kareli district, students played games to learn more about landmines and cluster munitions. There were three teams who each completed a number of tasks and then were given a word. The words of all three teams formed the sentence "Mine- Free World" at the end of the day. On 22 June, Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) marked the completion of its Battle Area Clearance Programme in Georgia. This programme has been key in NPA’s efforts to support and promote the implementation of the CCM. The programme was established after the August 2008 war between Russia and Georgia. NPA’s swift response saw clearance personnel operational on 24 September 2008. During the course of its clearance project in Gori, NPA has released more than 8,800,000 m2 of land through clearance and another 1,145,000 m2 through survey. In doing so, NPA has destroyed and disposed of 2,463 items. NPA Programme Manager Jonathon Guthrie gave Ambassador Jon Ramberg the task of detonating the final munitions. Contact: Maia Buchukuri, ICBL Georgia Committee: maia.buchukuri@gmail.comIndia: The International Peace Bureau (IPB) awarded its Sean MacBride Peace Prize for 2010 to Binalakshmi Nepram, who is the founder of Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network and the secretary general of the Control Arms Foundation of India. The IPB was founded in 1891 and awards the prize annually. It is named after Sean MacBride, a distinguished Irish statesman who shared the 1974 Nobel Peace Prize, and is given to individuals or organisations for their outstanding work for peace, disarmament and human rights. Contact: Binalakshmi Nepram, CAFI: binalakshmi@gmail.comIraq: Campaigners in Iraq held a number of events in the month of June. On 1-3 June, Iraqi Alliance for Disability) IADO organised a workshop on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. There were representatives from the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), the International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (ICRC), and the MOH as well as other human rights advocates. On 21 June, IADO and the Wheelchair Kids Foundation distributed wheelchairs to disabled children in Baghdad. On 22 June, Baghdad council member Mohamed Alrubaee visited IADO to discuss the needs of person with disabilities in Iraq. Contact: Moaffak Alkhafaji, IADO: moaffak61@yahoo.comNepal: NCBL organised a workshop on "The Role of Media for the Universalisation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 1 June 2010. The Honorable Minister for Information and Communications Shankar Pokharel highlighted that even though Nepal is not affected, it must be aware of this issue. Chiranjivi Khanal, director of the Nepal Press Institute supported this and mentioned that the media can play a very important role. Purna Shova Chitrakar presented a working paper on cluster bombs. Fifty participants from television, radio and many different newspapers attended the event. On 17 June, the NCBL organized a seminar on "Human Rights and Cluster Munitions". Honorable Rakam Chemjong, Minister of Peace and Reconstruction attended the event and expressed his commitment to make sure that Nepal signs and ratifies the CCM. Representatives of the National Human Rights Council, United Nations Mine Action Team (UNMAT) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) also spoke, and a large number of journalists attended the event.Contact: Purna Chitrakar, NCBL: ncbl@mail.com.npPeru: On Friday 25 June a seminar took place in the national Congress focused on 1) the importance of ratifying the Convention on Cluster Munitions and 2) progress and next steps with regard to the Mine Ban Treaty. Representatives of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defence attended, along with members of Congress, the National Commission for People with Disabilities, the National Institute for Rehabilitation, the Centre for Rights and Development and two landmine survivors. The event was co-organised by the Institute for Security and Human Rights (ISDH) and Peruvian representatives of the Cluster Munition Coalition, as part of the global campaign to promote signature and ratification of the Convention. Photography from Handicap International, ICRC and ISDH was displayed at the entrance to Congress illustrating victims of cluster munitions and landmines. Contact: Ana Maria Watson, ISDH: isdh.directora@gmail.comSerbia: Assistance, Advocacy, Access finished a project in June that maps existing survivors’ organisations, the availability of services provided to victims of cluster munitions and landmines on the local level and identifies volunteers ready to support the work of the NGO around the country. Serbian activists, including survivors of cluster munitions and landmines, founded Assistance, Advocacy, Access in December 2009. The organisation’s main goals include working towards a complete ban on cluster munitions, monitoring the implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty and the Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and promoting victim assistance in Serbia. The website http://www.ppps.org.rs will be used as a resource base to draw together forces working on victim assistance and advocacy related to the implementation of relevant international conventions as well as national law in Serbia. Assistance, Advocacy, Access is already the focal point in Serbia for the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), and the NGO provided input on victim assistance for the Landmine Monitor report for 2010. The NGO also co-operates closely with the Cluster Munition Coalition. Contact: Jelena Vicentic, AAA-S: jelena@ppps.org.rsSpain: The youth of Moviment per la Pau held an open-air film festival in June, in collaboration with the Barcelona Youth Council and other civil society organisations. The festival, which took place in the Can Ricart Sports Complex in the centre of the Raval neighbourhood, was aimed at driving civil society actions and dealt with diverse topics. The youth of Moviment per la Pau organised a session on the evening of 10 June 2010, where they showed the short, "Fields of Fire" and the longer film, "Disarm," which documents the international civil society campaign to eliminate antipersonnel landmines and cluster bombs. Following the film screenings there was a short debate about common arguments against the CCM. Contact: Lucia Oltra, Moviment per la Pau: cooperacio@movimentperlapau.orgUSA: Kate Moore from Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) spoke at a Rotary Club meeting on 23 July in Hemet Sunrise, California. Moore spoke on the history of landmines, the Ottawa Treaty and the consequences of the use of landmines. She then spoke about the history, use and consequences of cluster munitions and outlined the basics of the CCM. During the presentation, she also spoke about the Ban Advocates and their stories, emphasising that victim assistance and clearance are an integral part of the CCM. Contact: Kate Moore, AOAV Board of Directors: kate@kate-george.co.ukUSA: PSALM/WVCBL (Proud Students Against Landmines and Cluster Bombs and the West Virginia Campaign to Ban Landmines and Cluster Bombs) joined campaigners around the world by "drumming up" support for the Convention on Cluster Munitions and the treaty’s entry into force on 1 August. The students drummed to get ready for entry into force day and to show support for campaigners who were gathered in Chile for the Santiago International Conference on the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Contact: Nora Sheets, PSALM/WVCBL: noracat@yahoo.comGlobal: Monitor Launches Country Profiles WebpageOn 22 June, the Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor launched its country profiles website at www.the-monitor.org, which includes dedicated web pages for every country in the world with information about landmines and cluster munitions.Country profiles include summaries of developments in each country related to mine ban policy, cluster munition ban policy, mine action, casualties and victim assistance, and support for mine action. Country Profiles focus on calendar year 2009, and key developments for 2010 will be added throughout the year. Profiles include country maps and links to key resources. Readers can comment on reports online and can sign up to receive email updates every time reports for specific countries are updated.Country profiles replace the country reports in the Landmine Monitor Annual Report, which was published from 1999–2009. With their web-based format, country profiles will be easy to update throughout the year, providing readers with the most up-to-date information to support their work. Approximately 80 country profiles are already online, and all of them will be online by the end of August.Please send any comments or questions about country profiles to monitor@icbl.org.3. DISINVESTMENTCanada: Paul Hannon from Mines Action Canada attended the Canadian Summit on Socially Responsible Investment. Held by the Social Investment Organisation, the event attracts hundreds of participants from financial institutions, pension funds, unions, and governments as well as financial sector employees and individual investors. Paul made a presentation during the plenary session called "Responsible investment and cluster munitions," which was sponsored by Jantzi-Sustainalytics, an independent investment research firm. Contact: Paul Hannon, Mines Action Canada: paul@minesactioncanada.orgFrance: French Secretary of State for Defence, made a powerful interpretation on investment during the debate for the adoption of the national implementation law at the French National Assembly on 6 July. He stated that "knowingly providing financial support, in a direct or indirect way, to a company that produces or trades cluster munitions, will be considered as an incitation or a support which will fall under the law." France now considers that knowingly financing, directly or indirectly, companies involved in cluster munitions production or trade is strictly forbidden. He also stated that the National Commission for the Elimination of Landmines (CNEMA) will monitor this disposition, and if necessary will propose a specific law on this issue. Handicap International and Amnesty International France, which have been campaigning on this issue for months, will follow up the implementation of this measure by French financial companies. Contact: Marion Libertucci, Handicap International France: mlibertucci@handicap-international.orgGermany: Branislav Kapetanovic was featured in a one-hour TV feature that focused on disinvestment in cluster munitions. The piece was broadcast on the main German TV channel. You can view a seven-minute segment of the feature in German here: http://www.swr.de/report//id=233454/did=6481420/pv=video/nid=233454/vuoi1l/index.html. Contact: Thomas Kuchenmeister, Action Group Landmine.de: thomas.kuechenmeister@googlemail.com4. CLUSTER MUNITION INCIDENTSOn 4 June, a Lebanese policeman died following the explosion of a cluster bomblet in the village of Doueir in southern Lebanon on 31 May. Authorities said that Hassan Mohammed Rammal, 33, died of injuries sustained in the explosion. This is the latest incident in an ongoing humanitarian problem caused by the widespread use of cluster munitions by Israel in the conflict in 2006. For more information, please see:http://www.iloubnan.info/politics/actualite/id/46960/liban/Officer-killed-by-unexploded-Israeli-bomblet:-Lebanon-policehttp://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hr0YI1hYDXfrdmsjs-TmuXXWXstg5. TAKE ACTIONMark entry into force on 1 August!The Convention on Cluster Munitions enters into force on 1 August. Celebrate this historic milestone by taking part in a coordinated campaign action and use it as an opportunity to call on all governments to ban cluster bombs.On and around this date, CMC members are holding campaign actions in their countries to mark entry into force, including beating the drum to ban cluster bombs. CMC will also make specific advocacy demands to governments to accede, ratify, implement and promote the Convention and will also seize the opportunity to secure media coverage raising awareness of entry into force, the Convention and the problems caused by cluster bombs. It is also an opportunity to encourage countries to participate in the upcoming First Meeting of States Parties (1MSP) in Vientiane, Lao PDR from 8-12 November 2010.The main type of activities that CMC campaigners will be carrying out include:1) Organising a popular drumming action on 1 August to celebrate entry into force—drumming has been identified by the campaign as a global activity for this day;2) Issuing a press release and conducting media outreach; and3) Holding an event with their government (if possible) to press for further action.100-Day Countdown to Entry into Force: 23 April - 31 July 2010Take part in the countdown to entry into force!The countdown is an opportunity to carry out actions to promote signature and ratification of the Convention, and raise awareness of its entry into force.Each week of the countdown, CMC will target a non-signatory country to urge them to sign the Convention. Cambodia kick-started the action on 23 April, followed by Tajikistan (3 May), Vietnam (10 May), Brazil (17 May), Jordan (24 May), Argentina (31 May), Serbia (7 June), Grenada (14 June), Bangladesh (21 June), Papua New Guinea (28 June), Sudan (5 July), Slovakia (12 July), Morocco (19 July), Thailand (26 July).Take part in the global action -- Send a letter to the target country - particularly if it's in your region. Copies of CMC's letter are being sent out each week to the campaign for you to adapt and use.- Post an article on your website about that country and why it should join the CCM. Articles prepared for the CMC website will be available for you to post on your websites and send to media outlets.- Send a short testimonial statement from you or an influential advocate in your country to use in online campaigning. More information on social networking will be sent shortly by Conor Fortune.- Use Twitter and Facebook to raise awareness of entry into force and why these countries should sign the Convention. Follow CMC on www.twitter.com/banclusterbombs and re-tweet the messages. Join the Facebook group Ban Cluster Bombs International and post messages about the actions you are taking.Let us know what actions you have planned in your country too!Contact: Laura Cheeseman, CMC staff: laura@stopclustermunitions.org6. MEDIAMedia updateCMC media work in June was heavily concentrated around the Santiago conference, which was well covered both within Chile and internationally. All the major wires/news agencies covered the conference, some sending reporters to both the opening and closing press conferences and doing more than one story on the event. CNN Chile came to the opening and several Chilean newspapers – including El Mercurio and the Santiago Times – sent reporters to do in-depth standalone stories on the conference including interviews with CMC members and survivors. Chile’s invitation to Peru to ratify the CCM jointly and a report by Amnesty International alleging the use of US cluster bombs in Yemen boosted regional and international media coverage on cluster munitions during the first week of June. ??At the Santiago conference and campaigners’ forum, the CMC and ICBL distributed "Getting Coverage: A practical media guide for CMC and ICBL campaigners," and the CMC screened a new short film, "Banning Cluster Bombs: the campaign and the treaty" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPV8M_yh-zI). After Chile, the next major media hook will be the entry into force of the Convention on 1 August, and planning is currently under way to secure coverage of campaign events and the broader story on the national and international level.Contact: Conor Fortune, CMC staff: conor@stopclustermunitions.orgMedia highlights of the monthReliefWeb, 28 June 2010Africa boosts momentum of the Convention on Cluster Munitionshttp://www.reliefweb.int/rw/rwb.nsf/db900SID/ASAZ-86UHKQ?Financial Times (UK), 19 June 2010Laos’s backpacking nirvana goes upmarket?http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/c40c1928-7a60-11df-9cd7-00144feabdc0.htmlScandAsia.com (Scandinavia), 17 June 2010Norwegians clearing cluster bombs in Quang Tri?http://www.scandasia.com/viewNews.php?coun_code=vn&news_id=6549 Russia Today, 16 June 2010Bancos siguen dando créditos a productores de armas mortíferas?http://actualidad.rt.com/actualidad/internacional/issue_10004.html ??EarthTimes, 14 June 2010Laos to host cluster munitions meeting in November?http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/news/328913,cluster-munitions-meeting-november.html Phnom Penh Post (Cambodia), 10 June 2010Clock ticking on approval of cluster bomb ban?http://www.phnompenhpost.com/index.php/2010061039627/National-news/clock-ticking-on-approval-of-cluster-ban.html ??IRIN (UN), 10 June 2010GLOBAL: "Much work left to do" on cluster munitions?http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?ReportID=89434 ??Associated Press (USA), 9 June 2010Chile: International plea to join cluster bomb banhttp://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iBYRVbBvRPYQ3Mq6SBaWE9qaQqpgD9G82TCO0Agence France Presse, 9 June 2010Piden a Brasil que suscriba la convención contra las bombas de racimo?http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jjZZlsTfN1SdimdAeOytWooHDPNg ??The Santiago Times (Chile), 8 June 2010Chile Hosts International Conference On Cluster Bombs?http://www.santiagotimes.cl/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=19018:-chile-hostsinternational-conference-on-cluster-bombs&catid=1:other&Itemid=38 The Christian Science Monitor (USA), 7 June 2010US cluster bombs in Yemen: The right weapon in Al-Qaeda fight??http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2010/0607/US-cluster-bombs-in-Yemen-The-right-weapon-in-Al-Qaeda-fight EFE (Spain), 7 June 2010Instan desde Chile a un plan de acción para eliminar las bombas de racimo?http://www.google.com/hostednews/epa/article/ALeqM5gKvGoDC8sUhQVwez22jSPyvt2slQ ??GlobalPost (USA), 7 June 2010?In Vietnam, cluster bombs still plague countryside?http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/vietnam/100602/cluster-bombs-landmines-demining-quang-tri7. 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 20108-12 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