15 August 2011

CMC newsletter July 2011

CMC July newsletter1. INTERNATIONAL NEWSCampaigners worldwide celebrate first anniversary of entry into forceFootball tournament in Lebanon. Photo credit: Khaled El EzziOn 1 August 2011, 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.The Vice Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) said that they are working to ensure that the DRC ratifies the Convention on Cluster Munitions before the Second Meeting of States Parties (2MSP) to the Convention on Cluster Munitions that will take place from 12-16 September in Beirut, Lebanon. In the Gambia the Permanent Secretary of Defence announced that a draft bill on the ratification of the Convention has been prepared and will be submitted to Cabinet shortly. The Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs in Guatemala confirmed that he would attend the 2MSP in Beirut.Sitting volleyball tournament in Serbia. Photo credit: Jelena Vicentic In Lebanon, where 4 million submunitions were dropped during the 2006 war, a football match between keen footballers, including some cluster bomb survivors, was held to celebrate the progress of the ban. In Lao PDR where unexploded cluster bombs still affect thousands of people decades after they were dropped campaigners held a football tournament with 16 teams competing for the "Adieu Bombie" cup. Elsewhere there were wheelchair basketball matches in Australia, the Gambia, and Switzerland; a sitting volleyball tournament in Serbia; a cheerleading event in the Hague, Netherlands; a chess game in Macedonia; and many more!Details and images of the actions in more than 50 countries can be seen here – please click through and tell us your thoughts!• On the 1 August website on detailed country specific pages• On the CMC Flickr site where photos of worldwide actions have been uploaded• On the CMC Facebook and Twitter pages where actions were updated in live time2. TAKE ACTION‘Join the team’ to build momentum for Beirut: One month countdown starting 12 AugustThe CMC is running a one month countdown campaign action starting on 12 August to mobilise governments’ active participation ahead of the Second Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions (2MSP) in Beirut, Lebanon 12-16 September 2011, and to raise awareness of the global meeting.The CMC is calling on all states to send government delegates to the Beirut meeting from 12-16 September, and to come ready to announce progress on the universalization and implementation of the Convention.Mid-August also marks the anniversary of cluster bomb use in Lebanon five years ago. Campaigners will remember the victims of cluster bombs in Lebanon and worldwide and will remind governments that joining the Convention on Cluster Munitions is crucial to prevent new victims in the future.For further information and to download campaign materials, visit http://www.stopclustermunitions.org/2mspcountdown.Follow our actions on Facebook and TwitterWe look forward to working with you closely over the coming month to build the momentum to ensure the 2MSP inspires significant progress on the campaign to ban cluster bombs.Contact: Amy Little, CMC staff, amy@icblcmc.org 3. CAMPAIGN AND COUNTRY UPDATESAustralia: CMC Australia continued to campaign for amendments to the proposed Australian cluster munition legislation. Since parliament was in recess, the emphasis was on contacting and visiting politicians in their home electorates. Contact was made with the Afghan community in Victoria and a postcard campaign to politicians is underway.Peter Gration, the former Commander of the Australian Defence Force was interviewed by a national radio program entitled "The National Interest that aired on Friday July 29 and is available hereAn extensive article on cluster bombs and the Australian legislation can be seen hereContact: Lorel Thomas, CMC Australia, lorelt@optusnet.com.au India: The Indian Campaign to Ban Landmines and Cluster Munitions along with the Association of Medical Women in India arranged a workshop for women on 14 July at Morshi and Nagpur, Maharashtra, India. The theme of the workshop was "Effects of Landmines & Cluster Munitions on Women and Children: What women can do to minimize the effects". Participants heard from Dr. Nalini Kurvey, President of the Association of Medical Women in India, Dr. Ragini Kshirsagar, Gynacologist and Obstretician, Dr. Yamini and Balkrishna Kurvey. During the workshop participants discussed the socio-medial impact of landmines and cluster munitions in particular on women and children.Contact: Balkrishna Kurvey, Indian Campaign to Ban Landmines and Cluster Munitions, iipdep_ngp@sancharnet.inGermany: Handicap International hosted a summer event with exhibitions and games about cluster munitions and the needs for victim assistance. There was a focus on disinvestment where signatures of the guests of the events sent a letter to relevant members of parliament asking for a law on disinvestment.Contact: Eva Maria Fisher, Handicap International Germany, EFischer@handicap-international.de ****4. DISINVESTMENTNetherlands: On 27 May, a Member of Parliament for Green Left (GL) submitted questions in parliament to the Ministers of Finance and Foreign Affairs about RBS (the bank of the Dutch government) and its investments in cluster munition producers. The Finance Minister responded on 12 June, referring to RBS that says it "will not knowingly honour any request for financing or financial services that directly goes against these standards" (referring to the Convention on Cluster Munitions). According to the Minister, RBS says that they do not support nor want to support companies that are involved in the direct production of cluster munitions. Regarding the specific companies linked to RBS in the report Worldwide investments in cluster munitions; a shared responsibility, RBS confirmed that they fully endorse the Oslo Convention. The Member of Parliament from the Green Left felt these answers were unsatisfactory and insufficiently addressed the issue of how financial links can exist between RBS and companies that are known producers of cluster munitions while RBS has guaranteed the Dutch government they would not be involved with these types of companies.Contact: Miriam Struyk, IKV Pax Christi, struyk@ikvpaxchristi.nlUnited Kingdom: On 2 August Amnesty International UK hosted a meeting with the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), attended by Thomas Nash of Article 36, Kimberly Brown on behalf of the CMC, Esther Vandenbroucke from Netwerk Vlaanderen, Suzanne Oosterwijk from IKV Pax Christi, and Oliver Sprague and Verity Coyle from Amnesty International UK. The discussion focused on on-going concerns about RBS investments in Alliant Techsystems and Lockheed Martin, listed as cluster munition producers in the May 2011 report Worldwide Investments in Cluster Munitions: a shared responsibility by IKV Pax Christi and Netwerk Vlaanderen.Contact: Kimberly Brown, CMC staff, kimberly@icblcmc.org ****5. MEDIAMedia overview1 August anniversary of Conventions entry into forceBelow is a selection of articles and web stories that promoted the events ran by the CMC’s members and national campaigners all over the world on or around the first anniversary of the entry into force of the Convention – great work to everyone involved!Setem (Spain), 1 August 2011Suma't a l'equip! 1 d'agost, un any sense bombes de dispersionhttp://www.setem.org/blog/cat/catalunya/suma-039-t-a-l-039-equip-1-d-039-agost-un-any-sense-bombes-de-dispersioApa.az (Azerbaijan), 1 August 201124 countries including Azerbaijan suffer from cluster munitionshttp://en.apa.az/news.php?id=152572France Culture (radio interview), 1 August 2011http://www.franceculture.com/player?p=reecoute-4290957#reecoute-4290957Kurir, 29 July 2011Kasetne bombe u još 16 opština u srbijihttp://www.kurir-info.rs/vesti/drustvo/kasetne-bombe-u-jos-16-opstina-u-srbiji-107218.phpPhnom Penh Post, 2 August 2011Call for action over cluster bombshttp://www.phnompenhpost.com/index.php/2011080250796/National-news/call-for-action-over-cluster-bombs.htmlPrachatai. 3 August 2011Activists condemn Thai military’s use of cluster bombs at first anniversary of banning treatyhttp://prachatai.com/english/node/2687Voxy.co.nz, 1 August 2011Cluster bomb campaign call to join treatyhttp://www.voxy.co.nz/politics/cluster-bomb-campaign-call-join-treaty/5/96689E-PAO, 10 August 20111st Anniversary of the Entry into Force of the Convention on Cluster Munitionshttp://e-pao.net/epSubPageExtractor.asp?src=announcements.Ann_2011.Anniversary_of_Entry_into_Force_of_Convention_on_Cluster_Munitions_20110729There has also been significant coverage in Australia of the national campaign’s on-going work to urge the Senate not to pass the weakened version of the CCM text when they reconvene after recess.ABC Australia, 29 July 2011Former defence chief fears cluster bomb stockpilehttp://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2011/s3280907.htmPodomatic, 5 August 2011Dangerous Loopholes in Cluster Bomb Legislationhttp://2ser.podomatic.com/entry/index/2011-08-05T23_29_58-07_00In other news….CNN report on the ongoing deadly legacy cluster bombs from the Vietnam War pose in S E Asia:CNN, 28 July 2011U.S. cluster muntions haunt Southeast Asiahttp://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2011/07/28/u-s-cluster-munitions-haunt-southeast-asia/The CMC explains how the use of cluster bombs in Libya poses a serious risk to civilians, many of whom have already been injured by unexploded ordnance:IPS, 17 July 2011Hidden Bombs Hit Libyanshttp://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=56511Contact: Kate Wiggans, CMC staff, kate@icblcmc.org****6. UPCOMING 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: Cluster Munition Monitor global report launch, Geneva. Contact monitor@icblcmc.orgNov. 23: Landmine Monitor global report launch, Bangkok. 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