Working for a world free of landmines and cluster munitions                                    View this email in your browser

23 December, 2015                                                                                              

News from the International Campaign to Ban Landmines – Cluster Munition Coalition

Celebrating our success in 2015; Supporting ICBL-CMC Efforts in 2016

2015 was a great year for advancing bans on both landmines and cluster munitions. Thanks to everyone who supported the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and the Cluster Munition Coalition for contributing to this success. Here are just a few highlights from what we achieved together this year:

  • 12 countries joined the Convention on Cluster Munitions, bringing the total number of countries on board with the Convention to 118.
  • Mozambique, a country once thought to need hundreds of years to complete mine clearance, finished clearing all known landmines.
  • For the first time ever, a resolution in support of the Convention on Cluster Munitions was approved in the UN General Assembly in New York by 139 states.
  • The numbers of people killed and injured from landmines and cluster munitions continue to go down and were a fraction of the number of casualties that occurred 10-20 years ago.
  • Programs and services that benefited survivors and other people with disabilities were launched or expanded in several landmine and cluster munition affected countries.
Unfortunately, our work is not done. In 2016, these are some of the biggest challenges that we will face:
  • Cluster munitions were used in five states during 2015. Landmines were used by governments in Myanmar, North Korea, and Syria and by non-state armed groups in 10 countries. All use of cluster munitions and landmines must cease.
  • 81 states have still not joined the Convention on Cluster Munitions and 35 have not joined the Mine Ban Treaty. Each new state that joins makes the stigma against these weapons stronger.
  • Many countries ask for more time to finish clearing landmines. The Mine Ban Treaty says that States Parties must finish clearance “as soon as possible”. Clearance deadlines for the Convention on Cluster Munitions are approaching fast and many States Parties have not yet presented plans for clearance. All efforts must be made to make sure landmine and cluster munitions clearance happens quickly and effectively.
  • 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.

Thank you and all the best for 2016!

Megan Burke, ICBL-CMC Director

Millions of submunitions and landmines destroyed

Finland completes destruction of its stockpile of APM © CMC
Germany and Italy announced that they have completed the destruction of their stockpiled cluster munitions, respectively three and five years ahead of their treaty deadline.

At the 14 Meeting of States Parties, Finland declared that it has completed the destruction of over one million stockpiled antipersonnel mines, ahead of its treaty deadline of 1 July 2016.

14th Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty (14MSP)

14th Meeting of States Parties © CMC
The meeting took place at the UN in Geneva and was opened by H.R.H. Princess Astrid of Belgium. Delegations reported on progress made since the Maputo Review Conference. Great news were shared during the 14MSP, including Mozambique formally announcing that it is now mine-free, and Sri Lanka stating that it is ‘considering seriously’ acceding to the Mine Ban Treaty in 2016.

Statements delivered by the ICBL during the 14MSP are available here.
News from the Campaign

2015 has been another important year of campaigning for the ban on landmines and cluster munitions. ICBL-CMC members around the world have actively advocated for progress in the fields of clearance, stockpile destruction, and victim assistance, as well as for the universalization of the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Here is a brief overview of the latest activities organised by member campaigns:
WANEP – The Gambia organised a two-day roundtable discussion on the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) in November. Participants included members of the security forces, Gambia Revenue Authority, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Assembly. The aim of the roundtable was not only to raise awareness about cluster munitions, but also to develop realistic targets to push the ratification process forward.
Ignitus Worldwide Guinea-Bissau is participating in a radio broadcast on a weekly basis, to raise public awareness about the Mine Ban Treaty and the Convention on Cluster Munitions. The Sri Lankan Campaign to Ban Landmines published and disseminated three books advocating for Sri Lanka's accession to the Mine Ban Treaty, the Convention on Cluster Munitions and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
The Indian Campaign to Ban Landmines & Cluster Munitions organized a Mine Ban Treaty and Convention on Cluster Munitions awareness seminar in Rajasthan on 6h December.
In Liberia, the Association of Disabled Females International (ADFI) remains mobilised in order to ensure that the country ratifies the CCM as soon as possible. Great progress has already been achieved, as the instrument of ratification is now with the President of Liberia, who is expected to submit it to the Parliament. The campaign in Turkey has been conducting Mine Risk Education trainings in refugee camps to prevent mines/ERW casualties among Syrian refugees. The Initiative for a Mine-Free Turkey has conducted media work and reached out to mine action authorities and parliamentarians to promote mine clearance and victim assistance. While, in Myanmar, the campaign continued raising awareness among members of parliament and key authorities, encouraging the government to ban landmines and join the Mine Ban Treaty.
National launches of the Landmine Monitor 2015 were organised in several countries, such as Afghanistan, Albania, AzerbaijanMyanmar and Senegal. Many national campaigns shared the Monitor press release and Major Findings with the press and on social media, including in Algeria, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Colombia, Iran, Pakistan, and in the MENA region.

Moreover, national campaigns celebrated the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3 December, to raise awareness about the rights and needs of persons with disabilities, including landmine and cluster munition survivors. Such events were organised in AfghanistanAlbaniaEthiopiaMozambique, NepalNigeriaRwandaSerbia, Uganda and the United States of America.

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