12 September 2011

CMC newsletter August 2011

CMC August newsletterA player from the Lebanese survivors football team prepares for the team's weekly game in Saida, Lebanon. Players on the team are survivors of landmines, cluster munitions and other explosive remnants of war. Photo credit: Mariella Furrer/CMC Second Meeting of States Parties underway in BeirutThe Second Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions kicked off in Beirut, Lebanon on 12 September and will run until 16 September. At this meeting, States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions are giving progress updates on implementing their treaty obligations and are taking key decisions on items including the structures to support the implementation and universalisation of the Convention. States that have not yet joined the Convention are also present to give updates on steps they are taking towards joining. Meetings of States Parties will be held annually at least until the first Review Conference in 2015 – five years after the Convention’s entry into force.Updates on the meeting will be shared though:The front page of the CMC websiteThe 2MSP page on the CMC websiteCMC’s Facebook pageCMC’s Twitter accountCMC’s Flickr accountSenegal and Cook Islands ratify cluster bomb banSenegal and the Cook Islands ratified the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 3 and 23 August respectively becoming the 60th and 61st State Parties.Both Senegal and the Cook Islands participated in the Oslo Process that established the Convention and supported efforts to establish a strong treaty text during the formal negotiations in Dublin in May 2008. Neither country has used, produced, or stockpiled cluster munitions.In Africa overall, there are 17 States Parties, 22 countries that have signed but not yet ratified and 15 countries that have not yet joined the Convention. Seven Pacific Island Forum members have signed the Convention (Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, Nauru, New Zealand and Palau and Samoa), four of which have ratified, thus becoming full States Parties: the Cook Islands, Fiji, New Zealand and Samoa.The 2008 Convention comprehensively bans the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of cluster munitions, sets strict deadlines for clearance of contaminated areas and destruction of stockpiles of the weapon, and includes ground-breaking provisions for assistance to victims and affected communities. A total of 109 countries have joined the treaty, which entered into force as binding international law on 1 August 2010.Both countries will formally become States Parties on 1 February 2012 after the waiting period mandated by the treaty.For more information visit on Senegal click here and on Cook Islands click hereTAKE ACTIONThree events are coming up in New York, offering an opportunity to promote the Convention on Cluster Munitions, with the potential of getting new ratifications of and accessions to the treaty.1. UN Treaty Event - 20-21 and 26-27 September Each year the UN Treaty Office holds an annual Treaty Event, taking advantage of Heads of State or Government and Foreign Ministers participating in the high-level segment of the UN General Assembly. This event provide a unique opportunity for countries to ratify or accede without the full powers otherwise required.2. United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) – SeptemberThe UNGA opens on 13 September but the high-level segment – the General Debate – takes place on 21-23 and 26-27 September 2011. The General Debate is attended by Heads of State or Government and Foreign Ministers and is an opportunity for states to lay out foreign policy priorities.3. (UNGA) First Committee on Disarmament and International Security – OctoberThe First Committee on Disarmament and International Security takes place from 3 October – 1 November 2011. At the First Committee, governmental disarmament representatives give statements, hold discussions and adopt or vote on resolutions related to disarmament.TAKE ACTION!Take action, to make the most of these opportunities. Contact your Ministry of Foreign Affairs NOW and urge your country to:· RATIFY or ACCEDE to the Convention on Cluster Munitions at the annual UN Treaty Event (a fast track way of joining - see above)·PROMOTE universalisation and implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions by making special reference to the Convention in speeches at the UNGA and First Committee.For more information on these events and how to coordinate advocacy activity around them, contact Amy Little, CMC staff: amy@icblcmc.orgCAMPAIGN AND COUNTRY UPDATESDuring the month of August, Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) members worldwide took part in coordinated campaign actions to celebrate the first anniversary of entry into force of the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM). Cluster bomb survivors and communities affected by cluster bombs, as well as campaigners in more than 50 countries took part in sports events symbolising the global team of countries that have joined the treaty to ban cluster bombs. CMC called on governments to ‘join the team’ by acceding to and ratifying the Convention as well as ensuring its effective and timely implementation.Details and images of the actions in more than 50 countries can be seen using the links below – please click through and tell us your thoughts!On the 1 August website on detailed country specific pagesOn the CMC Flickr site where photos of worldwide actions have been uploadedOn the CMC Facebook and Twitter pages where actions were updated in live timeContact: Kimberly Brown, CMC staff: Kimberly@icblcmc.org DISINVESTMENTUnited Kingdom: Campaigners in the UK launched a media and e-petition campaign led by Amnesty International UK during the month of August. The campaign targeted the Royal Bank of Scotland and other UK banks on their investments in producers of cluster munitions. Amnesty International UK used information from the IKV Pax Christi/Netwerk Vlaanderen report Worldwide investments in cluster munitions: a shared responsibility for their action. Only weeks after the launch of the campaign the Royal Bank of Scotland committed to issue a new policy on investments in cluster munitions. RBS stated that it will suspend further involvement with companies where it cannot be sure that they are not complying with the spirit and the letter of the Convention on Cluster Munitions and the policy will be extended to all entities operating within a company's group. Coming after over 12,000 emails from Amnesty supporters, a major spread in the Independent (see media section) and the threat of a hard-hitting national advertising campaign, this was a significant win for UK civil society on cluster munitions. Campaigners in the UK plan to work with RBS to ensure that the policy is strictly implemented and to pressure the UK government to develop a code of conduct that will prevent any investments in cluster munitions in the future (including indirect financing).Contact: Oliver Sprague, Amnesty International UK, Oliver.sprague@amnesty.org.uk MONITOR CORNERCluster Munition Monitor will be globally released during a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland on 16 November. The report will be available in print, HTML, PDF, and ebook formats in English. Order copies of the report by completing the order form online here. Orders must be placed by 3 October.For more information contact monitor@icblcmc.orgMEDIAAustralia’s cluster bomb conundrum?The Conversation, 6 SeptemberRBS cuts ties with cluster bomb firmsMorning Star, 2 SeptemberCook Islands ban cluster bombsAustralia Network News, 29 AugustCluster munitions conference to take place next monthThe Daily Star, 26 AugustCluster bombs bill is a law of loopholes?The Sydney Morning Herald, 17 AugustUK banks fund deadly cluster bomb industry The Independent, 16 AugustThe women clearing Lebanon of cluster bombs?The Guardian, 12 AugustWANEP celebrates one year anniversary of cluster munitionsForoyaa Online, 12 AugustLao marks anniversary of cluster munition conventionLao Voices, 1 AugustContact: Kate Wiggans, CMC staff, kate@icblcmc.orgUPCOMING EVENTS2011 Global, regional and national datesSep: 12-16: Convention on Cluster Munitions 2nd MSP in Beirut, LebanonSep. 21: International Peace DayOct: First Committee (disarmament) of 66th UN General Assembly in NYNov. 14-25: Convention on Conventional Weapons 4th Review Conference in GenevaNov. 16: Geneva, Cluster Munition Monitor global report launch. Contact monitor@icblcmc.orgNov. 23: Bangkok, Landmine Monitor global report launch. Contact monitor@icblcmc.orgNov. 28-Dec. 2: Mine Ban Treaty 11th MSP in Phnom Penh, CambodiaDec. 3: International Day of Persons with DisabilitiesDec. 3: Three-year anniversary of the Convention on Cluster Munitions Signing ConferenceDec. 10: Human Rights Day 2011