13 January 2011

CMC Newsletter December 2010

CMC December Newsletter1. INTERNATIONAL NEWSChile becomes 49th country to ratify the Convention on Cluster MunitionsChile ratified the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 16 December 2010, becoming the 49th country to do so worldwide, and the seventh in Latin America.People in Santiago sign a petition calling on Chile to destroy its stockpile of cluster munitions. Photo credit: Mary Wareham"We welcome Chile’s commitment to this landmark international treaty and we are calling on other Latin American countries to follow their lead," said Thomas Nash, CMC Coordinator. "Chile now has a unique opportunity to encourage other countries in the region to get on board the ban and make a difference for cluster bomb victims and affected communities around the world."The 2008 Convention comprehensively bans the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of cluster munitions, sets strict deadlines for clearance of contaminated land and destruction of stockpiles of the weapon, and includes groundbreaking provisions for assistance to victims and affected communities. A total of 108 countries have signed the treaty, of which 49 have ratified.The treaty entered into force as binding international law on 1 August 2010, and its historic First Meeting of States Parties was held from 9-12 November in Lao PDR – the most heavily cluster-bombed country in the world. In June 2010, Chile hosted a meeting in preparation for the Lao conference.In the Americas, 19 countries have signed the Convention and seven Latin American countries have ratified (Chile, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and Uruguay). Brazil, the only remaining producer of cluster bombs in the region, and Argentina, a former producer and stockpiler, have yet to sign the Convention.Itself a stockpiler and former producer of cluster munitions, Chile is now obliged to destroy its remaining stockpiles and must assist affected countries to clear land contaminated by cluster munitions and help victims and affected communities.2. CAMPAIGN AND COUNTRY UPDATESAustralia: CMCA organised two workshops in Melbourne and Sydney during the month of December. The workshops were held to discuss the response to the Australian draft legislation on the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Mary Wareham of HRW/ANZCMC presented a legal analysis of the proposed Australian legislation with recommendations for change. The workshops had representation from Act for Peace, ANBLC, Apheda, Australian Pugwash, Ban Bus, CBM, MAPW, NPA, Oxfam, and ICAN. Participants discussed how to get involved and many of them will make submissions to the Senate Committee by January 21 2011. In addition CMCA has been in contact with several other organisations (Australian Lawyers for Human Rights etc.) and individuals that are expected to make submissions. A number of actions to promote strong legislation are planned for February.Contact: Mette Eliseussen, CMCA/Ban Bus: mette@eliseussen.comAzerbaijan: On 2 December 2010, Azerbaijan Campaign to Ban Landmines held a press conference to launch the Cluster Munition Monitor 2010 and Landmine Monitor 2010. Nine journalists from a variety of news agencies, newspapers and public television channels attended. Nine newspapers published lengthy articles on the event and the issue.Contact: Hafiz Safikhanov, ACBL: azerbaijan@icbl.orgPress conference in Azerbaijan. Photo Credit: Hafiz SafikhanovBurundi: Campaigners in Burundi held an event on 3 December to celebrate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, which included media interviews, a roundtable discussion with stakeholders on victim assistance, a dancing ceremony including people with disabilities, and a speech by a Ministry of Defence delegate.Contact: Eric Niragira, CEDAC: ericniragira@gmail.com Campaigners in Burundi on 3 December. Photo credit: Eric Niragira Colombia: On 2 December, the eve of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the wheelchair rugby exhibition match "Rumble in Cartagena" won the 2010 Sports Event for Peace Award. The international organisation Peace and Sport grants the award annually under the patronage of Prince Albert II of Monaco. Co-hosted by the Cluster Munition Coalition, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, Survivor Corps, Fundación Arcángeles and the International Wheelchair Rugby Federation, the Rumble in Cartagena event took place on 2 December 2009 during the Cartagena Summit on a Mine-Free World, and marked the anniversary of the signature of the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty and 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions, as well as the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.Contact: Juan Pablo Salazar, Fundación Arcángeles: juansalazar@arcangeles.orgColombia: On 9 December, the Colombian Campaign Against Landmines (CCCM) launched the Cluster Munition Monitor 2010 and Landmine Monitor 2010 in Bogotá. Government agencies and non-governmental organisations involved in mine action in the country discussed the reports’ main findings. Government representatives explained the cluster munition stockpile destruction process and the steps that remain for Colombia to ratify the Convention on Cluster Munitions.Contact: Ángela Sanabria, CCCM: info@colombiasinminas.orgGeorgia: On 3 December, ICBL Georgian Committee and Youth for Peace and Development (Y4PD) alongside the Union of Afghan and Other War Veterans organised an event to celebrate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The event, titled "Don’t Forget" was a call to not forget people with disabilities, war veterans, and civilian victims both during and after armed conflicts. More than 500 people attended the event, including politicians, students, and representatives of non-governmental organisations and international organisations. The event started with a performance by the youth organisation and then a play called "Red Line" that was produced especially for the day. Participants decided to establish a youth movement called "Don’t forget" and their first activity will be to donate books to the school library in Karbi village, which was affected by cluster bombs in the August 2008 conflict between Russia and Georgia over South Ossetia.Contact: Maia Buchukuri, ICBL Georgia: maia.buchukuri@gmail.com 3 December performances in Georgia. Photo credit: Maia Buchukuri India: At the National Convention of the Sunrise Peace Mission in Nagpur and Delhi on 21 and 22 November respectively, Balkrishnha Kurvey was invited to participate and provide a speech on disarmament. He spoke on the topic of "Weapons of mass destruction in slow motion - landmines and cluster munitions," and gave information on the Mine Ban Treaty and the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Members of parliament, politicians, bureaucrats, and policy makers attended the event. After the formal programme, a special briefing on landmines and cluster munitions was held for participants. As a result, members of parliament have agreed to take the issue to the central and provincial parliament.Contact: Balkrishnha Kurvey, Indian Campaign to Ban Landmines and Cluster Munitions: iipdep_ngp@sancharnet.inParticipants at the Convention. Photo credit: Balkrishnha KurveyIraq: The Iraq Alliance for Disability (IADO) and Handicap International held a national celebration for the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3 December. Attendees included the deputy president, the deputy prime minister, director of Iraqi mine action and rehabilitation centres, people with disabilities, and representatives from a number of government ministries. Moaffak Alkhafaji of IADO opened the event, thanking participants for their interest in the issue and calling for Iraq to join the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Presidential representative Jalal Altalabani spoke about the plan for continued government support for persons with disabilities. The event included music, activities and distribution of certificates and gifts.Contact: Moaffak Alkhfaji, IADO, maffak62@yahoo.comThe event in Iraq on 3 December. Photo credit: Moaffak AlkhfajiLao PDR: On 10 December, campaigners in Lao PDR delivered almost 900 "beat the drum" drums used during entry into force celebrations in Norway to the Donkoi Children’s Centre in Vientiane. The children were extremely happy with the drums and welcomed their guests with a small performance using the drums and a poem that was especially written for the occasion. The centre will distribute the drums throughout the four other children’s centres in Vientiane and to the provinces in Lao PDR. The text of the poem is as follows:Come we comeWe beat the drumto ban the bombsto help the worldto help childrennot getting hurtTo all peopleAll over the worldThank you thank youto Cope to copeto NPA to NPAand to all to allChai yo, chai yochai yo , chai yoContact: Conny Fuchs, COPE: conny.fuchs@gmail.com Children at the Donkoi Children’s Centre in Vientiane. Photo credit: Conny FuchsNepal: In celebration of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3 December, the Nepal Campaign to Ban Landmines held a painting competition with the theme "Paintings for Universalisation of the Conventions". The paintings spread the message that all states should join the Mine Ban Treaty, the Convention on Cluster Munitions and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Thirty-eight youth and students from 20 schools took part in the competition and more than 300 people from government authorities, NGOs and journalists viewed the paintings. Minister of Justice and Law Prem Bahadur Shing gave a speech at the event and delivered prizes to the winners. There was wide coverage of the event in Nepalese media.Contact: Purna Chitrakar, NCBL: ncbl@mamil.com.npNigeria: On 3 December, the youths of IANSA Women Network Nigeria organised a one-day sensitisation workshop for youths and persons with disabilities, to mark the 13th anniversary of the Mine Ban Treaty, the 2nd anniversary of the Convention on Cluster Munitions and the 2010 International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Media were invited to the event, which was widely covered in electronic, print and broadcast media, including during the network news on Nigeria’s national television station.Contact: Nken Menkiti, IANSA Nigeria: iansawomennig@yahoo.co.uk Workshop participants in Nigeria. Photo credit: Nken Menkiti Syria: On 4 December, during the Amman meeting on disability projects in the region, Dr. Ghassan Shahrour, Coordinator of the Arab Net for Research on Landmines & explosive remnants of war (ANROLM) circulated a press release to mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. In its press release, ANROLM called on states to join and fully implement the Mine Ban Treaty and the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Shahrour also met Jahda Abu Khalil, Director-General of the Arab Organisation of Disabled People (AODP) and briefed her on the treaties, especially the articles on victim assistance. They both agreed that it will be important to highlight the needs of landmine and cluster bomb survivors in future meetings on disability in Arab countries.On 29 December a ceremony took place in Dara’a city in the south of Syria to recognize the work of volunteers in disability issues including landmine and cluster munition victim assistance. Many volunteers, youth committee members, governmental and non-governmental organisations took part in the event. Dr. Ghassan Shahrour gave out awards during the event which was covered by Syrian TV.Contact: Dr. Ghassan Shahrour, ANROLM: Ghassan.dr@gmail.comUK: From 1st-10th December, Handicap International UK held the ‘Forgotten 10 Challenge’ - ten days of action in support of the victims of landmines and cluster munitions. Across the UK, local Soroptimist International groups took action, putting on photographic exhibitions, film screenings and other public events to raise awareness. This was accompanied by an online campaign sharing the personal stories of survivors through films and testimonies. Thank you to everyone who took part!Contact: Tom Shelton, Handicap International UK, tom.shelton@hi-uk.orgUSA: PSALM students hosted a photo exhibit at the St. Francis de Sales Parish Meeting Hall in Morgantown, West Virginia on 4 and 5 December. This event was sponsored by a grant from Mines Action Canada/ICBL. The exhibit consisted of photographs from the First Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions (1MSP) in Lao PDR, of PSALM students in action and of a painted "shoe sculpture". The shoes were placed on tables with articles about the Mine Ban Treaty and the Convention on Cluster Munitions, and materials collected from 1MSP and past Mine Ban Treaty meetings. Students arranged presentations and hosted a reception linked to the exhibit. More than 250 people attended the exhibit and some requested to transport the exhibit to other venues and cities.Contact: Nora Sheets, PSALM/WVCBL: noracat@yahoo.comPSALM student at the art show. Photo Credit: Nora Sheets 3. DISINVESTMENTABC (Australia), 6 December 2010Not quite so superhttp://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/41758.htmlInsights (Australia), 6 December 2010ANZ turns its back on cluster bombshttp://www.insights.uca.org.au/news/2010/anz-cluster-bombs_06-12-2010.htmInvestments & Pensions Europe, 10 December 2010When does it stop being responsible?http://www.ipe.com/home/login.php?type=noaccess&extra=&page=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ipe.com%2Fmagazine%2Fwhen-does-it-stop-being-responsible_27909.php****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.Contact: Laura Cheeseman, CMC staff: laura@stopclustermunitions.org****5. MEDIAMedia updateLess than a month after the historic First Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, the cluster bomb issue made world headlines again in December when several US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks focused on cluster munitions. Britain’s Guardian newspaper broke the news with a front-page story alleging that secret diplomatic discussions undermined the UK’s treaty obligations by allowing exceptions to store and transfer US cluster munitions in UK overseas territories. A media frenzy ensued, with coverage in mainstream UK and global media including AFP, BBC, CNN, The Independent, IPS and the Press Association. The CMC issued an online response to the leaked cables and was quoted in several major stories.Additional coverage of the cluster bomb problem in Laos continued this month, including in several Asian publications and the large US weekly news magazine, Time. There was national coverage of talks held in Beirut on Lebanon’s decision to host the Second Meeting of States Parties in 2011, on ratification progress in several countries including Costa Rica and the Czech Republic, and on a cluster bomb incident that injured a 13-year-old boy in the Nagorno-Karabakh. Numerous stories were published in national media on events held to mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3 December, and the International Rugby Board and national media outlets in Colombia covered the 2010 Sports Event for Peace Award, which went to the "Rumble in Cartagena" quad rugby match held during the Cartagena Summit on a Mine-Free World.Contact: Conor Fortune, CMC staff, conor@stopclustermunitions.orgMedia highlights of the monthTime (United States), 31 December 2010How deadly weapons continue to rule daily lifehttp://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2040323,00.htmlNews.am (Armenia), 16 December 2010A 13-year-old boy injured by bomb in Karabakhhttp://news.am/eng/news/41999.htmlPhnom Penh Post (Cambodia), 16 December 2010Secret war film on DVD next yearhttp://www.phnompenhpost.com/index.php/2010121645432/Lifestyle/secret-war-film-on-dvd-next-year.htmlEl País (Costa Rica), 16 December 2010Aprobado en segundo debate Convención sobre Municiones en Racimohttp://www.elpais.cr/articulos.php?id=38179Daily Star (Lebanon), 15 December 2010UN lauds move to host cluster-bomb meet in Beiruthttp://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=1&article_id=122557#axzz18B2uuDK0Prague Daily Monitor (Czech Republic), 15 December 2010Government approves ban on cluster ammunitionhttp://praguemonitor.com/2010/12/15/government-approves-ban-cluster-ammunitionDaily News and Analysis (India), 11 December 2010India strikes deal with US for cluster bombshttp://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_india-strikes-deal-with-us-for-cluster-bombs_1479604The Diplomat (Asia-Pacific), 7 December 2010Vietnam’s cluster bomb shadowhttp://the-diplomat.com/2010/12/07/vietnams-cluster-bomb-shadow/Southeast Asia Globe (Cambodia), 9 December 2010What lies beneathhttp://www.sea-globe.com/southeast-asia/109-laos/578-what-lies-beneathSalon (United States), 6 December 2010U.S. angry that Afghans banned cluster bombshttp://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2010/12/06/wikileaks_afghanistan_cluster_bombsHa’aretz (Israel), 6 December 2010Wikileaks: Israel weapons manufacturer listed as site vital to U.S. interestshttp://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/wikileaks-israel-weapons-manufacturer-listed-as-site-vital-to-u-s-interests-1.329222FN News Network (Nepal), 4 December 2010Solidarity against lethal weapons demandedhttp://www.nepalrus.com/2010/06/17/solidarity-against-lethal-weapons-demanded/CNN (United States/global), 3 December 2010Cable: UK offered exceptions for U.S. cluster munitions despite treatyhttp://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/europe/12/02/us.britain.munitions/International Rugby Board (Ireland/global), 3 December 2010‘Rumble in Cartagena’ match wins peace awardhttp://www.irb.com/newsmedia/regional/newsid=2041174.html#rumble+cartagena+match+wins+peace+awardBBC (United Kingdom/global), 2 December 2010US ‘cannot rely on cluster bomb deal’ with Britainhttp://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-11897980The Independent (United Kingdom), 2 December 2010Ex-minister: Was US misled on cluster munitions?http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/exminister-was-us-misled-on-cluster-munitions-2149108.htmlBBC (United Kingdom/global), 2 December 2010WikiLeaks: UK allowed US to use cluster bomb ‘loophole’http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-11894759The Guardian (United Kingdom), 2 December 2010WikiLeaks cables: Secret deal let Americans sidestep cluster bomb banhttp://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/01/wikileaks-cables-cluster-bombs-britain?CMP=twt_fdAgence France Presse (France/global newswire), 2 December 2010Britain ‘allowed US cluster bombs’http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jCAQUn57nRx1u4NVnyNXPy3RzN_Q?docId=CNG.347958328eebaf1a5122e531750726d6.7f1IPS (Global newswire), 1 December 2010WikiLeaks bolsters claim of deadly U.S. attack in Yemenhttp://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=53739****6. UPCOMING EVENTSDecember 20102011 Global DatesFeb. 28-Mar. 4: Arms Trade Treaty 2nd preparatory meeting in New York (NY)Mar. 1: Mine Ban Treaty anniversary (1999 – 12th year)Mar. 8: International Women’s DayMar: Mine action program managers’ meeting in GenevaApr. 4: International Day for Mine ActionApr: Global Day of Action to Stop Explosive Investments/report launchMay 9-13: UN Programme of Action on Small Arms experts meeting in NYJun. 20-24: Mine Ban Treaty intersessional meetings in Geneva, SwitzerlandJun. 27-30: Convention on Cluster Munitions intersessional meetings in GenevaJul. 11-15: Arms Trade Treaty 3rd preparatory meeting in NYAug 1: Convention on Cluster Munitions 1st anniversary EIFAug. 12: Remembrance action and one-month countdown to 2MSPAug 1-30: Ramadan (Eid al-Fitr on Tuesday, 30th August)Sep 7-9: Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities 4th conference in NYSep: 12-16: Convention on Cluster Munitions 2nd MSP in Beirut, LebanonSep. 21: International Peace DayOct. 3: Two-month countdown to 11MSPOct: First Committee (disarmament) of 66th UN General Assembly in NYNov. 14-25: Convention on Conventional Weapons 4th Review Conference in GenevaNov. 28-Dec. 2: Mine Ban Treaty 11th MSP in Phnom Penh, Cambodia2011 National and Regional DatesFirst half 2011: Regional meeting on CCM in Guatemala (Marie Eugenia/Hector)Feb: 17-18: SEHLAC workshop in Buenos Aires, Argentina (Maria Pia)Feb: Regional ATT meeting in MoroccoApr: Caribbean meeting on CCM in Antigua and Barbuda (Folade)Mar/Apr: Inter-Arab Parliamentarian Union annual meeting in Doha, Qatar (Ghassan)Mar: Pacific regional workshop on CCM and MBT in Fiji – tentative (Ema)May: Regional meeting on CCM in Nigeria – tentative (Mimidoo)Jul: African Union meetingAug: Iraqi Alliance for Disabilities annual conference in Baghdad (contact Muoffak)Dec: International Conference on AIDS in Africa incl. CRPD in Ethiopia (Daniel)