23 March 2017
Cooperating to implement the Convention on Cluster Munitions: the country coalition concept
The President of the 7th Meeting of States Parties (7MSP) to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Ambassador Michael Biontino of Germany, in collaboration with the EU European External Action Service, convened a seminar entitled “Cooperating to implement the Convention on Cluster Munitions: the country coalition concept” on 16 and 17 March in Bangkok. The seminar aimed to promote “future developments impacting the implementation of the Convention”. Representatives from Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand and the Cluster Munition Coalition’s campaigners from Cambodia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Thailand, as well as members Norwegian People's Aid, Mines Advisory Group and Handicap International led by CMC director, Ms. Megan Burke, actively took part in the seminar. Other key stakeholders such as GICHD, HALO Trust, UNDP and the ICRC were also represented.
CMC campaigners attending the seminar ©CMC
Ms. Wiboonrat Chanchoo a member of national campaign in Thailand delivered a statement to share survivors’ perspectives on the implementation of the convention and highlighted pressing needs of survivors that must be addressed. Ms. Chanchoo also called on governments of Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam to accede to the convention.
Ms. Wiboonrat Chanchoo (left) in her hometown, Tambon Pan Suek in Aranyaprathet District, Sakaeo Province with local survivors, 2014 ©Loren Persi/ICBL-CMC
Ms. Chanchoo is the leader of the Committee for Persons with Disabilities in her hometown, Tambon Pan Suek in Aranyaprathet District, Sakaeo Province. She has long worked with the ICBL and CMC; locally, as the head of an organization for landmine survivors and people with disabilities in her Subdistrict, as well as nationally and internationally, including representing Thai survivors at various coordination meetings here, in her home country of Thailand, and at several key meetings of the disarmament conventions in Geneva and around the world. She has also represented Thailand’s effort to promote the women, peace, and security agenda at the UN. Leading always by example, Ms. Wiboonrat, who herself stepped on a landmine in 1996 while cutting bamboo near the Thai-Cambodia border, determinedly works to safeguard the rights of persons with disabilities in her community and identify practical means to meet their needs, including through the formation of self-help groups and a network of survivors in her community.