Celebrating our success in 2016; Supporting ICBL-CMC Efforts in 2017
2016 was an important year for advancing bans on both landmines and cluster munitions, requiring swift responses to ongoing conflicts that threatened gains made in previous years. Thanks to everyone who supported the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and the Cluster Munition Coalition (ICBL-CMC) for contributing to this success. Here are just a few highlights from what we achieved together this year:
Cuba and Palau joined the Convention on Cluster Munitions, bringing the total number of States Parties to 100, with progress towards ratification advanced in dozens of other countries
The US government halted the transfer of cluster munitions to Saudi Arabia while Textron, the last US-producer of cluster munitions, announced a halt to this production
A peace agreement in Colombia made possible important advancements in mine clearance, supported by significant new commitments of international support, and contributed to a decline in new mine victims
Sri Lanka announced plans to accede to the Mine Ban Treaty while government representatives from Myanmar engaged in discussions in Geneva for the first time, around joining the Treaty
Poland completed destruction of over one million stockpiled landmines a year before treaty deadline, bringing the total number of destroyed stockpiled landmines to more than 51 million
Some 60 countries made progress in clearing minefields and cluster munition remnants from past and ongoing conflicts
In 26 countries, national campaigns, including mine/cluster munition survivors, actively campaigned for improved recognition of their rights and access to necessary services
Unfortunately, our work is not done. In 2017, when we will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the campaign, these are some of the biggest challenges that we will face:
There was a sharp rise in people killed or injured by mines and ERW, mainly due to acute conflict in Libya, Syria, Yemen and Ukraine.
Use of improvised landmines by non-state armed groups increased, even while use by States continued to be extremely limited; significant and ongoing use of cluster munitions was recorded in Syria and Yemen.
While there were several extraordinary pledges to support mine action in Colombia, Iraq and Laos, overall financial contributions to mine action were down, challenging efforts to achieve a mine-free world in 2025
79 states have still not joined the Convention on Cluster Munitions and 35 have not joined the Mine Ban Treaty.
Improvements have been made in services and programs available to landmine and cluster munition victims but more must be done to ensure that victims are reaching these services and that their rights are upheld.
The ICBL-CMC is committed to continue working for a world that is free of both landmines and cluster munitions. We hope you will continue to support us through all of your efforts. We also ask that you consider making a donation of whatever you can to support the ICBL-CMC and its members from around the world in 2017 and beyond.
Thank you and all the best for 2017!
You are invited to watch this short video, depicting achievements and challenges facing us as we work toward a Mine-Free World
States overwhelmingly support UN resolutions against landmines and cluster bombs
On December 5th 2016 the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution to support the implementation and universalization of the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions. 141 states supported the resolution, while 39 states abstained from voting and Russia and Zimbabwe voted against the resolution.
On the same day, the General Assembly adopted another resolution to promote full implementation and universalization of the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty. 164 states voted in favor, 20 states abstained from voting and none voted against this resolution.
While the two resolutions focus on implementation of the treaties, they also urge States outside of the Mine Ban Treaty and the Convention on Cluster Munitions to join as soon as possible. The resolution on the Convention on Cluster Munitions highlights the need to destroy all stockpiled cluster munitions, remove and clear all lands contaminated by the remnants of cluster munitions and to address the needs and rights of all victims, including through implementation of the Dubrovnik Action Plan. The second resolution on landmines exerts on the need to achieve the goals of the Maputo Action Plan and Maputo +15 declaration which aims to complete the Mine Ban Treaty’s obligations by 2025.
The International Campaign to Ban Landmines and Cluster Munition Coalition and their members have worked closely with states and strongly advocated for adoption of these two resolutions by all states.
15th Meeting of States Parties
Two weeks ago close to one hundred nations’ representatives and campaigners came together in Santiago, Chile for the 15th Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty. States reported on progress and plans to implement the treaty. The meeting granted landmine clearance extension deadlines to Ecuador, Niger and Peru. Non-signatories Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Palestine and United States of America participated in the meeting and expressed their support for a mine-free world.
Austria volunteered to preside over the next treaty meeting, the 16th Meeting of States Parties in 2017 and Afghanistan’s request was accepted to lead the 17th Meeting of States Parties to be held in 2018. The meeting was informed primarily by the information provided by 2016 Landmine Monitor report that was launched days prior to the conference.
Poland gets rid of over 1 million landmines
On 28 November 2016 Poland announced that it has completed destruction of over one million stockpiled antipersonnel mines in April 2016, a year ahead of its Mine Ban Treaty mandatory deadline.
Poland signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 4 December 1997 and ratified on 27 December 2012, becoming a State Party on 1 June 2013.
To date collectively governments have destroyed a total of more than 51 million stockpiled landmines