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Newsletter on Landmines & Cluster Munitions
ISSUE 23 SEPTEMBER 2008
On 30 May 2008, 107 states adopted the Convention on Cluster Munitions. This sounds simple. It is not. The adoption of this new convention is the result of years of efforts and the progressive construction of “clusters of cooperators”1 made of individuals from different backgrounds and affiliations. It also demonstrates for the second time that by working together states, civil society and international organizations can rid the world of indiscriminate weapons. Together with many others, we feel privileged to have been part of this incredible process. We would like to draw a few lessons from this experience. Firstly, we learned how individuals affected by cluster munitions could play a key role in shaping what will now be a new international norm. When we launched the Ban Advocates initiative,2 we knew that we had a lot to learn from working with individuals whose lives have been dramatically changed because cluster munitions were once used against their community. More than us, cluster munition victims know what a cluster munition is and why it should be banned. They know what the needs of their communities are. And beyond the theoretical discussions that often take place in multilateral talks, they can inject a much-needed sense of reality. All along, we have been impressed by their intelligence, courage and determination. We believe that they played a crucial role in the whole process. In Dublin, the Ban Advocates team concentrated its time and efforts on working together with countries that had reservations about a comprehensive ban on cluster munitions. We rapidly realized that the regular meetings that the Ban Advocates had with delegations were having a major impact since we could see the positions and attitudes of those delegations evolving on a daily basis. This tells us something about human beings from different backgrounds connecting with each other and developing new policies for future generations. Secondly, we saw for the second time the huge potential of a partnership between states and civil society. As Norway put it in its closing statement in Dublin, “The key to the success of this partnership lies in the mutual respect for our different roles, while at
See www.regjeringen.no/upload/UD/Vedlegg/ClusterUNIDIR%20Lewis.pdf We launched the Ban Advocates initiative in October 2007 in order to enable women and men from cluster munitions affected communities to have a voice in the Oslo process. For more information, see www.banadvocates.org
IN THIS ISSUE:
EDITORIAL IN THIS ISSUE
107 STATES ADOPTED
THE CONVENTION ON CLUSTER MUNITIONS
MEASURES TO IMPLEMENT THE CONVENTION ON CLUSTER MUNITIONS
OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES ON CLUSTER MUNITIONS
MINE BAN TREATY UPDATE
UPDATE ON INVESTMENTS IN LANDMINES AND CLUSTER MUNITIONS SHORT NEWS
RECENT PUBLICATIONS AND WEBSITES PROVISIONAL CALENDAR
Research and writing: Policy Unit Handicap International 67, Rue de Spastraat 1000 Brussels BELGIUM Phone: +32 2 280 16 01
Founding Member of the ICBL, Nobel Peace Prize Co-Laureate
the same time being able to listen with an open mind thus creating a common perception of the problem and its response. Including civil society at the negotiation table is an efficient way of ensuring that what we do is checked against reality; the humanitarian organisations provide competence and experience as implementers of humanitarian assistance. As donors we know that seeing and being in affected countries changes the whole perception and gives understanding of the problems that no presentation can equal. Recognising this is an essential part of the partnership.” Thirdly, the Oslo process and the Convention on Cluster Munitions show once more that disarmament issues can be tackled from a humanitarian perspective. When we released our two reports, Fatal Footprint and Circle of Impact, we realized that the collection, publication and dissemination of information on the humanitarian impact of a weapon could have a significant influence on the perception – or the negation – of the problems associated with this weapon. Similarly, the involvement of countries affected by cluster munitions challenged user (and producer) states and obliged them to rethink the way they viewed their security. We believe that the voices of affected countries were of paramount importance in the whole process. Finally, eleven years after the adoption of the Mine Ban Treaty, we collectively produced a new set of rules concerning victim assistance. The provisions on victim assistance may be the most groundbreaking element of the new convention. These provisions are the result of concerted thinking and drafting by donor and affected states, cluster munition victims, researchers, victim assistance providers and legal experts. But these provisions now need to be implemented and all actors involved in the process must continue their concerted efforts to ensure that cluster munition survivors, affected families and communities actually receive the assistance they are now entitled to. In many ways, the work is now really beginning…
Photo : Mary Wareham
107 STATES ADOPTED THE CONVENTION ON CLUSTER MUNITIONS On 30 May 2008, after two weeks of negotiations held in Dublin (Ireland), 107 states3 adopted the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM).4 The CCM bans cluster munitions forever and provides groundbreaking provisions to assist victims. The CCM will be opened for signature in Oslo on 3 December 2008 and enter into force six months after 30 states have deposited their instruments of ratification with the UN Secretary General. A new international standard based on the voices of the victims At the final plenary meeting of the Dublin Conference, the Irish Foreign Minister said, “Rarely if ever in international diplomacy have we seen such single-minded determination to conclude a convention with such high humanitarian goals in such a concentrated period of time.” Norway described the CCM as “a strong convention that will have concrete impact on the ground” and said, “there will not be another minute before we start implementing the Convention. In practical terms the implementation starts today and will prove the value of our work. (…) In essence, this process and the new Convention on Cluster Munitions, is disarmament as humanitarian action.” Cambodia also called for the effective implementation of the Convention’s provisions on victim assistance and clearance, “very important articles for Cambodia.” Lebanon spoke of the CCM as a “new way” to tackle humanitarian concerns and paid tribute to the victims “thanks to whom future suffering will be avoided.” The Lebanese ambassador then thanked all delegates in the name of Zahra, a 12-year old girl from South Lebanon and Raed, a member of the Ban Advocates team present in Dublin and the father of a five-year old boy who was killed by a submunition. The United Kingdom said, “Finally, and most importantly of all, this delegation would like to pay tribute to the victims of cluster munitions; both those who have come here to Dublin and those around the world whom they represent. What each and every one of them has done: to raise awareness; to make us all think; and now, together, to act, represents an outstanding service to the citizens of the world. Their extraordinary courage, cheerfulness and sheer human dignity can never be forgotten by any here who have had the privilege to witness it. It is they who have been our inspiration. It is they who have made this happen.” In a written message of the Secretary-General, the United Nations spoke of “a new international standard that will enhance the protection of civilians, strengthen human rights and improve prospects for development.” He encouraged States “to sign and ratify this important agreement without delay.” Groundbreaking provisions on victim assistance Under the leadership of Austria, the victim assistance provisions of the CCM grew in detail and strength as we got closer to the Dublin negotiations. In our May 2007 report Circle of Impact, we had identified challenges for victim assistance; we also made a series of suggestions and established a number of principles, “which need to be addressed in treaty text.”5 At the Wellington Conference (February 2008), many states described victim assistance as a “core obligation” of the future treaty and victim assistance provisions could
3 Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chad, Chile, Comoros, Republic of Congo, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Holy See, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lao PDR, Lebanon, Lesotho, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia (FYR), Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Timor-Leste, Togo, Uganda, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela and Zambia. 4 The Dublin Diplomatic Conference was attended by 127 States, including 20 observers: Colombia, Cyprus, Egypt, Greece, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Latvia, Libya, Oman, Poland, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine and Vietnam. 5 See also “A way forward to comprehensive victim assistance,” in Handicap International, Circle of Impact: The Fatal Footprint of Cluster Munitions on People and Communities, Brussels, May 2007, pp.12-14.
be found under four different articles of the draft treaty: this included a specific article on victim assistance, as well as a broad definition of “victim” that covered “those persons directly impacted by cluster munitions as well as their families and communities.” In Wellington though a cluster munition survivor from the Ban Advocates team said, “I challenge States Parties to the future Treaty to work with us, the victims, so that victim assistance provisions in the treaty will really make a positive difference to our lives. (…) A few practical steps to improve victim assistance implementation would be: Establish or use an existing victim assistance implementation framework; Nominate a focal point with responsibility for the implementation framework; Develop and implement a national plan of action with clear objectives and timelines, as part of the framework; Incorporate national and international laws as well as public policies into victim assistance planning and implementation. Last but not least: Guarantee the inclusion of survivors, their families and communities in all aspects of victim assistance planning and implementation. Furthermore, and this is an especially important point, clear reference should be made to the full participation of survivors and persons with disabilities in decision-making, monitoring and implementation of the future Treaty.”6 In Dublin, a group of 14 countries tabled a proposal to reinforce the implementation of victim assistance.7 This proposal was discussed, received broad support and was even strengthened. As a result, the final text of the CCM now includes a detailed list of actions that each State Party must complete “in fulfilling its [victim assistance] obligations.” A cluster munition survivor from the Ban Advocates team welcomed the new text on victim assistance: “The text of the new treaty on CM victims is based on our experiences and our expectations. I expect, and as a survivor I request, that States Parties accept their obligation to provide assistance to the victims, including affected families and communities. I want to see full responsibility taken for victims by affected states and at the same time by the international community, especially the countries that use cluster munitions. The text on victim assistance is a great victory of human rights and solidarity. We can be proud of this, especially my friends from the CMC. The new text is very strong because CM survivors have been involved in writing it. I hope that other remaining issues will also take our views into account.”8 “A comprehensive ban on cluster munitions as a class of weapons” The treaty prohibits “all cluster munitions ever used in armed conflict.”9 The treaty “does not cover new weapons which do not carry the same risk to civilians because of their larger size, low numbers and the fact that they have sensor targeting and two fail-safe systems.”10 The Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) welcomed the “effects oriented language” used to define cluster munitions, but said that it would “watch closely” to ensure that the treaty “does not allow the use or future development of any weapons that could cause the indiscriminate area effects or unexploded ordnance risks of cluster munitions.”11 Interoperability: “the only stain on the fine fabric of the treaty text” The final text of the treaty includes an article on “Relations with States not Party to this Convention.” According to this article “(…) States Parties, their military personnel or nationals, may engage in military cooperation and operations with States not party to this Convention that might engage in activities prohibited to a State Party.” On 28 May, the CMC described the “clumsy wording”12 of this article as a “stain on the fine fabric” of the convention and called on all states to clarify for the diplomatic record that Article 21 does
The full statement is available on http://blog.banadvocates.org/index.php?post/2008/02/20/Dejans-Statement-WellingtonFebruary-2008 See www.clustermunitionsdublin.ie/pdf/CCM70.pdf 8 See http://blog.banadvocates.org/index.php?post/2008/05/27/Ban-Advocates-Press-Conference-Dublin-Monday-26-May2008 9 See www.clustermunitionsdublin.ie/pdf/CoW16May28pm.pdf 10 See www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2008-06-05b.208648.h#g208648.r0 11 See www.stopclustermunitions.org/news/?id=303 12 See http://disarmamentinsight.blogspot.com/2008/06/cluster-ban-treaty-interoperability-in.html
not allow indefinite foreign stockpiling or intentional assistance and added that it would be “watching very carefully to ensure that no state party engages in deliberate assistance with prohibited acts, or allows foreign stockpiling of cluster munitions on their territory in perpetuity, or undermines the fundamental obligations of the treaty in any way.” On 30 May 2008, Canada referred to Article 21 as “an essential element of legal protection, to accommodate situations in combined operations which may be beyond our control” and said, “If these circumstances ever obtain, we believe they will be rare. Why? Because we are in the midst of a major paradigm shift in how the world regards cluster munitions; Because this Convention when it enters into force will render all cluster munitions illegal for States Parties - and we speculate that close to two thirds of the world’s nations will likely assume these legal obligations from the beginning of the formal process of signature and ratification. And more will join over time as we work to universalize the Convention; Because some very large producers of this weapon have already ceased production, ended export, and are phasing it out of there own arsenals; Because we know, and will ensure, that our allies take our legal obligations seriously and will try not to put us in situations where they might be abrogated.” On 30 May, the Ambassador of Iceland – the international legal expert Gudmundur Eiriksson – made the only interpretive statement of the diplomatic conference, stressing that “States Parties will thus be guided in their interpretation and application of the Convention by the rules of international law, in particular, International Humanitarian Law and the Law of Treaties, including the overarching principle of good faith performance (1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, article 26), with the concomitant rules on State Responsibility, including on attributability (e.g. International Law Commission Articles on State Responsibility, Chapter II). (…) While the article sets out an appeal to States which are not parties to join the regime of the Convention, it recognizes the need for continuing cooperation in what is hoped will be a short transition period. This intention is captured clearly in paragraph 3 of the Article which should not be read as entitling States Parties to avoid their specific obligations under the Convention for this limited purpose. The decision to reinforce this position by listing some examples in paragraph 4 cannot therefore be interpreted to allow departures in other respects.”13 On the same day, Norway noted that “delegations from all regions agree that this convention does not hinder future international military operations, even if some participating states may not be party to the convention. Moreover, we note that the expression of this principle in the convention does not create loopholes that could have diminished confidence among other States Parties.” Zambia also expressed its understanding that Article 21 would not create a loophole allowing “stockpiling, investing and transit of cluster munitions.” The British Defense Minister said on 5 June, “in keeping with our commitment to uphold the norms of the treaty, we will be discussing with the US the longer-term status of their stockpiles on UK territory.”14 In addition, the British Foreign Minister said on 3 June: “The reading of the treaty indicates that there are overriding political reasons to expect that there will be no such weapons on British territory at the end of that eight-year period. That includes other people’s bases situated on our territory” and he concluded that “even a country such as the US, were it not a signatory, would no longer be able to keep such weapons on UK territory.”15 Although the article “limits the scope of the prohibition of assistance in the use of cluster munitions contained in the Convention,” according to the ICRC “The potential impact of this provision is limited to some degree by the requirement on States Parties to discourage use of cluster munitions in joint operations.”16 Nevertheless, the CMC warned: “We will be watching very carefully to ensure that no State Party to this treaty ever intentionally assists another state with a prohibited act and we will press hard to ensure
13 14 15
See www.clustermunitionsdublin.ie/pdf/IcelandStatementGE.pdf See www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2008-06-05b.208648.h#g208648.r0 See www.landmineaction.org/resources/cluster_munitions_on_us_bases_in_the_uk.pdf 16 See www.icrc.org/web/eng/siteeng0.nsf/html/cluster-munitions-interview-290508?opendocument
foreign stocks of cluster munitions are removed or destroyed within the 8-year stockpile destruction deadline.” Cluster munitions stigmatized The Irish Foreign Minister said on 30 May, “(…) even though we all know that there are important states not present, I am also convinced that together we will have succeeded in stigmatizing any future use of cluster munitions.” Austria stated on 7 July, “In our view, there is no doubt that with the adoption of the new Convention on Cluster Munitions in Dublin we have entered a new era: cluster munitions can no longer be regarded as legal, let alone legitimate weapons. Cluster munitions are banned weapons: they are illegitimate and they will be illegal.” The way forward After adopting the Convention on Cluster Munitions, the Irish Foreign Minister called upon states to set themselves three immediate goals, namely: “First, we need to do all that is necessary nationally to allow us to ratify the Convention as soon as possible after signature. (…) The second goal must be to ensure the greatest possible number of accessions to the Convention. (…) Third, we need to plan to do what is necessary to implement the Convention in full, not least in regard to victim assistance and clearance.”
More information: • Ban Advocates blog: www.banadvocates.org • Cluster Munition Coalition: www.stopclustermunitions.org • Convention on Cluster Munitions and Oslo process: www.clusterconvention.org • Dublin Conference: www.clustermunitionsdublin.ie • International Campaign to Ban Landmines: www.icbl.org
MEASURES TO IMPLEMENT THE CONVENTION ON CLUSTER MUNITIONS
Belgium announced on 19 May that “the process of destruction of stockpiles of cluster munitions is well under way and will be finalized at the latest by spring 2009. The Belgian experience, involving concerted offers and bidding, shows that a multilateral approach to stockpile destruction can be advantageous, considering the size of the stockpiles and the destruction deadlines.” Belgium added that “the financial cost is approximately 2.8 million euro.” On 30 May, the European Commission stated in a press release that it “stands ready to assist in implementing the convention.”17 Germany announced on 29 May that it “will, with immediate effect, unilaterally renounce the use of all types of cluster munitions and will destroy its remaining stocks as fast as it can.”18 Ireland announced on 30 May that “the preparation of the required domestic legislation” in order to ratify the CCM as soon as possible “has already begun.” In Japan the Asahi Shimbun reported on 6 August that the Ministry of Defense was going to destroy its stockpile of cluster munitions.19 The Netherlands announced on 30 May that it “will now destroy all the remaining cluster munitions in its possession (the CBU-87 aircraft bomb and the M-261 rocket used by Apache helicopters). (…) Once the convention has been signed, the Netherlands will call on the countries that were not represented in Dublin to accede to it.’20 Various sources reported in July that Spain was about to pass legislation banning the production, use and storage of cluster bombs and would then destroy about 5,000 cluster bombs.21 In the United Kingdom the Minister of State for the Armed Forces said on 5 June, “In line with the Prime Minister’s statement of 28 May 2008 and the Convention text adopted by 109 states in Dublin on 30 May 2008, the UK is withdrawing from service its sub-munitions;
See www.europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/08/826&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en See www.bundesregierung.de/Webs/Breg/EN/Service/Search/Functions/FilterFormular,templateId=processForm.html See www.asahi.com/english/Herald-asahi/TKY200808060047.html 20 See www.minbuza.nl/en/news/newsflashes,2008/05/Verhagen--ban-on-cluster-bombs-is-boost-for-law-of.html 21 See www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/07/08/europe/EU-Spain-Cluster-Bomb.php; www.eitb24.com/new/en/B24_104634/life/LEGISLATION-Spain-will-ban-production-use-and-storage/
18 19 17
namely the L20A1 Extended Range Bomblet Shell (M85) and the CRV-7 Multi-Purpose Sub-Munition (M73). The UK armed forces will no longer use them operationally.”22
OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES ON CLUSTER MUNITIONS
In a paper tabled in Dublin, Ethiopia stated, “The fact that Ethiopia has, for the time being, opted to take an observer seat at this Conference should not, however, cast any doubt on its acceptance of, and commitment to the Oslo Process, (…) the Convention should be able to offer solid legal guarantees that could be invoked in the event of its possible contravention by a state party, as well as through the manipulative manoeuvrings of third/external parties (…).” In a press release issued on 30 May, Finland described the CCM as “a major step forward in international efforts to address the problems cluster munitions cause to civilian populations” and stated that it “will define its own stand on the agreement” by the time of the signing in December 2008. The statement continues, “An important role has been designed for cluster bombs in the development of the military capacity of the Finnish Defense Forces. The agreement will have an immediate impact on the international cluster munitions market and, consequently, it will also affect Finland’s acquisition plans in any case.”23 Finnish members of the parliamentary assembly of the OSCE meeting in Kazakhstan on 1 July declined to commit to the appeal to member countries to ban the use of cluster munitions and destroy stockpiles.24 India stated in July that “the use of cluster munitions is lawful and legitimate if such use takes into account existing IHL rules (…) of distinction, proportionality and prohibition of indiscriminate attacks.” India focuses on an “effective regulation rather than the prohibition of the use” of cluster munitions. India opposed “a definitional approach (…) that excludes one class of cluster munitions only to allow technology more advanced types” and asked to consider a provision for the “transfer of technology for increasing the reliability and accuracy of cluster munitions.” India supported “a ban on transfer of all cluster munitions to non-state actors.” In Israel Haaretz reported in June about cluster munition use by Israel Defense Forces: “(…) the senior army command was not aware that lower echelons, in the artillery corps more than in the air force, had ignored their instructions. Similarly, when there was a shortage of other munitions, some officers opted to use cluster bombs, if for no other reason than to prevent any criticism that they were unable to carry out their mission.” Concerning the CCM, Haaretz commented, “Even if Israel has avoided being tied up in an international treaty that would certainly include an invasive battery of foreign inspectors, it must behave as if it has joined the treaty - and limit the use of this non-discriminating weapon to rare and extreme occasions when its use is fully justifiable.”25 The Republic of Korea stated in July that the problem of cluster munitions “lies in their irresponsible and indiscriminate use rather than in the weapon system itself” and insisted on “stricter application, implementation and enforcement of the existing IHL. (…) The Republic of Korea possesses cluster munitions for self-defense because of the unique security environment if faces.” The Russian Federation restated in July 2008 that “it is prepared to support only those proposals that will not lead to a reduction of its defense capabilities in connection with the use of cluster munitions.” On 15 August Human Rights Watch reported, “Russian aircraft dropped RBK-250 cluster bombs, each containing 30 PTAB 2.5M submunitions, on the town of Ruisi in the Kareli district of Georgia on August 12, 2008. Three civilians were killed and five wounded in the attack. On the same day, a cluster strike in the center of the town of Gori killed at least eight civilians and injured dozens, Human Rights Watch said. Dutch journalist Stan Storimans was among the dead. Israeli journalist Zadok Yehezkeli was seriously wounded and evacuated to Israel for treatment after surgery
See www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2008-06-05b.208648.h#g208648.r0 See www.government.fi/ajankohtaista/tiedotteet/tiedote/en.jsp?oid=230910 See www.yle.fi/news/left/id95144.html 25 See www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/990786.html; http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5i-WlP8tRtrFLHi92hEjCQ3CxhMQD920SP703
23 24 22
in Tbilisi. An armored vehicle from the Reuters news agency was perforated with shrapnel from the attack.”26 Speaking at a press conference on the same day, a Russian senior military official said, “We never use cluster bombs. There is no need to do so.”27 In the runup to the Dublin negotiations, the United States lobbied at least 114 states to dissuade them from joining the new treaty.28 According to a memorandum issued on 19 June by the Secretary of Defense, after 2018 the U.S. “will only employ those cluster munitions containing submunitions, that after arming, do not result in more than 1% unexploded ordnance UXO across the range of intended operational environments. Until the end of 2018, use of cluster munitions that exceed 1% UXO rate must be approved by the Combatant Commander. After 2018 the Department will not seek to transfer cluster munitions that exceed the 1% UXO rate.”29 In December 2007 however, the U.S. Congress banned the export of cluster munitions in fiscal year 2008.30 On 3 June, three members of Congress introduced a joint resolution, co-sponsored by 4 other senators, calling on the U.S. to “embrace efforts to protect innocent civilians from cluster munitions and sign the Convention on Cluster Munitions when it becomes open for signature in December 2008.”31 Vietnam attended the Dublin negotiations as an observer and stated on 30 May 2008 that “Vietnam believes that, as any other international treaty on disarmament, the development of such an instrument should involve a broad range of countries and take into account the specific characters as well as the legitimate needs to manufacture, import and retain conventional weapons for self-defense and security purposes of each state.” Vietnam is “still studying and considering this Convention,” a spokesman of the Foreign Ministry told reporters on 4 June 2008.32
MINE BAN TREATY UPDATE
As of 15 August 2008, 37 states remain out of the Mine Ban Treaty: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Burma/Myanmar, China, Cuba, Egypt, Finland, Georgia, India, Iran, Israel, Kazakhstan, DPR of Korea, Republic of Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Lao PDR, Lebanon, Libya, Micronesia, Mongolia, Morocco, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tonga, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, United States, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. The Marshall Island and Poland have signed but have yet to ratify the Mine Ban Treaty. Concerning Poland, the ICBL reported in June that “landmines do not feature in Poland’s defence doctrine (…) and that the armed forces are planning to destroy over three-quarters of existing stockpiles in the next three-four years, as these weapons are not needed for national defence.“ In addition, Poland has a moratorium in place and “is abiding de facto by the treaty’s obligations.” Therefore, the ICBL believes that accession is possible by the treaty’s Second Review Conference in November 2009.33 According to media reports the Taleban have recently laid antipersonnel and antivehicle mines in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan.34 Landmine use by the Taleban has been reported on a regular basis in recent years. In 2006, 796 landmine/ERW casualties were recorded in Afghanistan.35
See www.hrw.org/english/docs/2008/08/14/georgi19625.htm See www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article4539186.ece http://en.handicapinternational.be/Five-weeks-before-the-conclusion-of-the-Cluster-Munition-Treaty_a524.html; diplomatic sources. 29 “Memorandum for the Secretaries of the military departments etc on DOD Policy on Cluster Munitions and Unintended Harm to Civilians,” Secretary of Defense, 19 June 2008. 30 See Ban Newsletter n°22, p.11. 31 See http://leahy.senate.gov/press/200806/060308a.html 32 See www.mofa. gov.vn/vi/ tt_baochi/ pbnfn/ns08060416 0144 33 See www.icbl.org/news/pl0608 34 See www.icbl.org/news/taliban_mines; www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?ReportID=78869 35 Landmine Monitor Report 2007, p.101.
27 28 26
According to a Landmine Monitor fact sheet released in June, children accounted for just over one-third of recorded casualties in 2006 (34 percent or 1.445).36 Three countries missed their 1 March 2008 stockpile destruction deadlines: Belarus, Greece and Turkey. Landmine Monitor indicated in a fact sheet released in June that the three countries “have so far failed to indicate when they anticipate being in compliant status.”37 Concerning clearance deadlines and extension requests, the ICBL said on 6 June that states “such as Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela clearly asked for much more time than it should take if the political will were there to get the job done as soon as possible” and some, “such as Thailand and Zimbabwe, still do not have a clear picture of the size of the remaining problem or a plan on how to raise the large amount of money it will take to finish the job.”38 On 9 June Iraq (a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty since August 2007) and Iran (a nonsignatory) signed a security agreement that calls for the clearance of landmines remaining from the 1980-1988 war.39
UPDATE ON INVESTMENTS IN LANDMINES AND CLUSTER MUNITIONS
The Swedish pension fund AP7 said on 1 June to the Associated Press that it will sell all its holdings in companies making cluster bombs and nuclear weapons, including EADS, Lockheed Martin Corp. and General Dynamics Corp. The decision would affect the fund's holdings in around 10 companies in total.40 On 3 June, a representative of Handicap International in Brussels was invited by Dexia Asset Management to provide a detailed briefing on cluster munitions to a group of key European investors. The Irish National Pensions Reserve Fund wrote on 23 July to the NGO Afri, “the Fund proceeded to divest from (…) Alliant Techsystems Inc.; General Dynamics Corp.; Lockheed Martin Corp.; L3 Communications Holdings Inc.; and Raytheon Co. The Fund has also excluded two firms in which it did not have investments: Hanwha Coorperation and Poongsan Corporation.” On 4 April, the New Zealand Superannuation Fund announced that it would exclude companies that remain involved in the manufacture of cluster munitions.41 On 29 May, the Dutch pension fund for the oil group Shell, Stichting Shell Pensioenfonds, one of the largest in the Netherlands, reported that it had disinvested from one company that makes landmines and is currently reviewing companies producing cluster munitions.42
The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities entered into force on 3 May, 30 days after the 20th ratification. As of 15 August 2008, 34 states had ratified the Convention and 20 the Optional Protocol. Currently, there are 130 signatories to the Convention and 71 signatories to the Optional Protocol.
More information: www.un.org/disabilities
See www.icbl.org/content/download/30322/478642/version/1/file/June+08+Children+and+Landmines+Factsheet.pdf See www.icbl.org/content/download/30321/478639/version/1/file/June+08+Stockpile+Destruction+Factsheet.pdf See www.icbl.org/news/art50608 39 See www2.irna.com/en; www.reuters.com/article/GCA-GCA-iraq/idUSL0925785720080609 40 See www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/06/01/business/EU-FIN-Sweden-Pension-Fund.php; www.ap7.se 41 See www.nzsuperfund.co.nz/news.asp?pageID=2145831983&RefId=2141736138 42 See www.shell.com/home/content/pensioenfondsnl/news_pensfund/nl/2008/beleid_verantwoord_beleggen_29052008.html; www.efinancialnews.com/homepage/content/2451087478
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RECENT PUBLICATIONS AND WEBSITES
A convention beyond the Convention: Stigma, humanitarian standards and the Oslo Process, Landmine Action, May 2008. See also Landmine Action’s series of papers on the Convention on Cluster Munitions.
PROVISIONAL CALENDAR September 18-19: regional conference on the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Sofia, Bulgaria 29-30: regional conference on the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Kampala, Uganda October 27: Global Week of Action to Ban Cluster Bombs November 21: Global launch of the Landmine Monitor Report 2008 24-28: 9th Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty, Geneva, Switzerland December 3: International Day of Persons with Disabilities and 11th anniversary of the Mine Ban Treaty’s signature 3: Signature of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Oslo, Norway
“Aotearoa New Zealand Cluster Munition Coalition.” CMC New Zealand’s blog.
“Ban Advocates Blog.” Voices from communities affected by cluster munitions, including regular updates on the Dublin negotiations and the road to Oslo.
“Cluster munitions: decades of failure, decades of civilian suffering,” ICRC, April 2008. This ICRC kit includes a 15 minutes film and a series of fact sheets on cluster munitions.
Counting the cost: The economic impact of cluster munition contamination in Lebanon, Landmine Action, May 2008.
“Clustermunitie proces.” The blog of the Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant on the Oslo process (in Dutch).
“Disarmament Insight,” the blog created by the Geneva Forum and UNIDIR wrote extensively about the Oslo process on cluster munitions, in particular during the Wellington Conference and the Dublin negotiations.
“Dodgy Deals: Cluster Munitions producers,” Banktrack, May 2008.
“La Convention sur les armes à sous-munitions est née: Quand le désarmement va de pair avec l’action humanitaire," Groupe de recherche et d’information sur la paix et la sécurité, Brussels, June 2008.
Landmine Monitor Fact Sheets: - February 2008: “Victim Assistance in Countries with Cluster Munitions Casualties,” “A Prohibition on Assistance in a Future Treaty Banning Cluster Munitions: The Mine Ban More information: Treaty Experience;” www.stopclustermunitions.org/c alendar - May 2008: “Countries that Produce Cluster Munitions,” “Countries that Stockpile Cluster www.icbl.org/campaign/calendar Munitions,” “Transfers of Cluster Munitions,” “Cluster Munition Contamination and Clearance;” - June 2008: “Stockpile destruction,” “Mines Retained for Training and Research,” “Article 7 Reports Received for 2007,” “Landmines and Children,” “Article 5 Deadline Extension Requests.”
“Sensor-fuzing and SMArt submunitions. An unproven technology?” Austcare and Handicap International, February, 2008.
“Small States and New Norms of Warfare,” Margarita H. Petrova, European University Institute, Florence, 2007. The author was present during the process to ban cluster munitions in Belgium.
“The Ban Bus.” Blogging from Belgrade to Oslo to ban cluster munitions.
“You Tube CMC Page.” This page contains footage and daily updates of the Dublin negotiations.
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