Issue 30, 8 September 2011

Push for acceding the Convention on Cluster Munitions more than ever
More than one year after entry into force of the Convention on Cluster Munitions we realize that this strong instrument of International Humanitarian Law has inspired affected states and motivated governments to adopt and start implementing the Vientiane Action Plan for the benefit of the victims. Unfortunately, it could NOT stop the use of cluster munitions, notably by Thailand in Cambodia and by the Kadhafi regime in Libya. Thanks to joint efforts of states and civil society, Thailand and Cambodia gave hopeful messages at the Intersessional Standing Committee meetings of the Convention on Cluster Munitions in June 2011 in Geneva. We encourage them to adhere to the Convention soon. In Libya, civil society is watching any use of cluster munitions or mines and Handicap International is warning civilians in danger of these weapons during their daily life. In this context, faced once again with the unacceptable harm those weapons pose for the civilian population, and with a convention in place, it is unbelievable and most disturbing that not only states in opposition to the Convention on Cluster Munitions but even state parties to this convention promote an instrument that will allow the use of cluster munitions for many years to come. Even the so-called “revised” chair’s text for a Protocol VI laying on the table during the negotiations on cluster munitions in the framework of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons allows cluster munitions, while forbidding some older types of them. The draft text leads therefore to the undermining of the Convention on Cluster Munitions. It allows states to use them and might stimulate them to postpone stockpile destruction instead of immediately destroying them. In this case, one has to conclude that NOT “anything is better than nothing”; on the contrary no Protocol VI on cluster munitions is better than a bad one.
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© A. Armand

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National Measures urgently needed
Therefore, Handicap International is strongly opposed to any protocol on cluster munitions that would give all those hesitating to adhere to the Convention on Cluster Munitions an easy way out. States should be realistic and lucid and prepare the end of those negotiations. This said we would like to make clear that we encourage any national measure taken by an individual state in the direction of banning cluster munitions. Handicap International therefore calls on States not Party to the Convention to take significant steps forward in the direction of a ban on cluster munitions now and to accede to the Convention on Cluster Munitions in the future.

Handicap International Update on the Convention on Cluster Munitions
The First Intersessional Standing Committee meetings on the Convention on Cluster Munitions from 27 to 30 June 2011, was attended by 79 states, UN agencies, ICRC and CMC with campaigners from 40 countries, including 36 States Parties, 29 signatories and 14 non-signatories, namely Argentina, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Egypt, Finland, Kuwait, Malaysia, Qatar, Singapore, Sudan, Tajikistan, Thailand and Vietnam. Read more on: en/Policy

For more information
© G. Turine

Handicap International Update on the Mine Ban Treaty
ICBL condemned Israel’s planting of new antipersonnel mines along the Syrian border with the Golan Heights – On 18 August 2011, ICBL announced on its website that “Recent reports have indicated that the mines are being laid to prevent the movement of protestors from Syria into the disputed territory .”
© S. Montanvert / Handicap International

On the website of Handicap International Belgium, you will find: HI Updates on the Convention on Cluster Munitions, the Mine Ban Treaty, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Survivor Inclusion, Victim Assistance and Victim Assistance Funding. "For Your Information" is an HI Update on reports, publications, articles, video's, films, blogs, websites etc. on the Mine Ban Treaty, the Convention on Cluster Munitions, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Armed Violence in general, Survivors, Ban Advocates, Victim Assistance etc. policy

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Handicap International is an international organization specialized in the field of disability. Non-governmental, non-religious, nonpolitical and non-profit making, it works alongside people with disabilities, whatever the context, offering them assistance and supporting them in their efforts to become self-reliant. Since its creation, the organization has set up programmes in approximately 60 countries and intervened in many emergency situations. It has eight national associations (Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States) which provide human and financial resources, manage projects and raise awareness of Handicap International's actions and campaigns. More:

Contact and coordination: Hildegarde Vansintjan, Advocacy Officer, Handicap International vzw-asbl, Belgium. Phone: + 32 2 233 01 06 / Fax: + 32 2 230 60 30 / Spastraat 67 / 67, Rue de Spa / B - 1000 Brussels Belgium /

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