The time period since release ofLandmine Monitor Report 2000has been marked by heightened ICBL activity and projects to ensure that landmines remain a focus of the international community until the weapon has been eradicated. The ICBL engaged in numerous major events, including the Second Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in September, Ban Landmines Week and the ICBL General Meeting in Washington DC in March, the meetings of the Intersessional Standing Committees of the Mine Ban Treaty in December 2000 and May 2001, as well as a series of ten regional ICBL and Landmine Monitor (LM) meetings. In addition, the ICBL participated in several other regional and thematic meetings; undertook ICBL advocacy missions; sent a variety of letters to decision-makers; issued numerous Action Alerts; published two activity reports (one on activities at the Second Meeting of States Parties and one on Ban Landmines Week); and issued quarterly Landmine Updates. Much of this information has been disseminated via the ICBL website.
Second Meeting of States Parties
The Second Meeting of States Parties (SMSP) to the Mine Ban Treaty was held at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, from 11-15 September 2000. The ICBL participated in the meeting with an official non-state delegation of nineteen people; additionally, 162 ICBL campaigners, researchers, deminers and survivors from fifty-three countries attended.
The ICBL viewed the SMSP as a very successful event on the road to a mine-free world. In preparing for these annual meetings, governments focus on the mine issue, which tends to move the work forward. For example, there were six ratifications and accessions in the week before the SMSP, and a total of thirteen ratifications and accessions in the three months leading up to the meeting.
The ICBL capitalized on the SMSP, and the months of preparation for it, to refocus its own energies as well as. An ICBL preparation team arrived in Geneva well before the meetings, and the ICBL participated fully in the Task Force with governments and the ICRC in planning to ensure a successful meeting. The ICBL also held several internal meetings to make best use of the opportunity afforded by the presence of 160 campaigners in Geneva. An ICBL Orientation Meeting was held the day before the SMSP opened, as well as daily morning briefings during the Meeting itself, to plan and assign daily tasks. Many ICBL working groups and regional groups took advantage of the time in Geneva to organize their own strategy and working meetings.
During the course of the week, campaigners held bilateral meetings with more than sixty governments, both in the Palais and in embassies and missions around Geneva. The ICBL addressed various sessions of the SMSP on many occasions, starting with the Opening Ceremony, the Opening Plenary and during informal consultations on various articles.
The ICBL participated in three media briefings and prepared news releases and media kits, in addition to government and ICBL delegate participant kits. Prior to the SMSP, the ICBL distributed action alerts to campaigners, urging them to encourage their governments' full participation in the Conference. In addition, signatory and non-signatory states were encouraged to ratify or accede to the Mine Ban Treaty by the time of the SMSP through several letters to government officials by the ICBL and to various embassies via member campaigns.
Members of the ICBL and the general public were kept informed throughout the preparation for and the week of the conference via a web page created in July and devoted to information regarding the SMSP and ICBL participation in it. In addition to theLandmine Monitor Report 2000, the ICBL distributed numerous publications at the Meeting. The ICBL, the Swiss Campaign and other NGOs based in Geneva organized numerous awareness-raising events including exhibits in the Palais des Nations as well as in the town. The Swiss Campaign to Ban Landmines organized the installation of a large hourglass outside the United Nations (the theme of the SMSP was “Every Minute Counts”), distributed publicity materials throughout the city and held several youth events. A number of ICBL national campaigns displayed printed materials, banners and posters outside the conference hall as well.
General Meeting of the ICBL and Ban Landmines Week in Washington, DC
The Third General Meeting of the ICBL, a biennial meeting of representatives of its national campaigns and member organizations, met in Washington DC, on 6-7 March 2001. Some 160 participants from 80 country campaigns of the ICBL and representatives of international organizations attended the General Meeting, as well as 20 NGO observers from an additional 10 countries. The Meeting, as well as a Landmine Monitor researcher meeting (see below) was scheduled to be an integral part of Ban Landmines Week.
Participants in the General Meeting received reports from the chairs of the various ICBL working and administrative groups, and its coordination committee on progress toward its goals since its last General Meeting in May 1999 in Maputo, Mozambique. Participants also met in working sessions of the various thematic working groups and in regional groups, in addition to plenary sessions of the Meeting.
At the Second General Meeting in Maputo, the ICBL had agreed to redouble its energy and efforts to achieve universalization of the Mine Ban Treaty, as well as ensure its full implementation, targeting the Treaty Review Conference in 2004. Toward this end, the Third General Meeting finished work on and adopted an “ICBL 2004 Action Plan.” The ICBL 2004 Action Plan lays out a detailed universalization and implementation strategy for its members. It can be followed by country, by region, by year and/or by mine-related issue (i.e., mine action, survivor assistance, etc).
The 2004 Action Plan was developed over the six months leading up to the General Meeting, based upon input from various National Campaigns, individual NGOs and working groups of the ICBL who contributed via email and fax, and through discussions that took place during regional meetings in the six-month period. In addition, the ICBL CC took advantage of December 2000 Standing Committee meetings (see below) to hold a special two-day session to review and develop the 2004 Action Plan in preparation for the General Meeting.
During Ban Landmines Week in Washington DC, two hundred mine survivors, deminers and campaigners from 90 countries came together in Washington, DC, marking the first time that the ICBL converged in the US. Simultaneously, 200 activists from 46 of the 50 states, including members of Students Against Landmines from schools nationwide, met in Washington for a USCBL national conference and four days of activities including over 300 meetings with their Congressional representatives. While in the US capital, international and US activists alike urged the US government to join the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty.
Some of the activities and awareness-raising events included a reception at the Organization of American States, embassy visits and a press conference, a shoe pyramid and an international demining demonstration on the capitol lawn. Exhibits in shopping malls and cafés; "landmine" coasters in bars; the first ever amputee hockey tournament; a screening of “Land of Iron,” a film about landmines in Korea; and a mine-related play are a few of the many events which culminated in a demonstration in Lafayette Park, across the street from the White House. There, young people from around the world and the US presented hundreds of thousands of signatures of young people calling for a ban. The week's events ended with an interfaith prayer service. Additionally, H.M. Queen Noor of Jordan, USCBL chair Jerry White and ICBL Youth Ambassador Song Kosal met with US Secretary of State Colin Powell during the week.
Also scheduled during this week, was the global meeting of Landmine Monitor researchers for review and submission of their draft reports forLandmine Monitor Report 2001. Unlike the past two years, this was the only meeting bringing together all the researchers. Instead of a second global meeting was a series of regional meetings of researchers, which were designed to generate more public awareness and researcher involvement in each region. These regional meetings were also coupled with ICBL activity in each region.
ICBL/Landmine Monitor meetings:This year the ICBL held day-long campaign seminars in conjunction with the new series of Landmine Monitor regional researcher meetings. At each ICBL session, campaigners strategized on work in the region, discussing campaign priorities, sharpening advocacy and media skills, as well as conducting events to raise public awareness. These meetings also provided an opportunity for regional campaigners to discuss and contribute to the ICBL 2004 Action Plan.
The series of meetings began in October 2000 in Yalta for campaigners from Former Soviet Union/Central Asia; there campaigners developed a regional action plan to contribute to the overall 2004 Action Plan. In November, a regional meeting in the Americas was held in Buenos Aires before the Second Hemispheric Conference on Banning Landmines. Campaigners participated in the Conference, held discussions with their governmental representatives, held a press conference, visited embassies of non-states parties in the region and began strategizing for the Third Meeting of States Parties. In Buenos Aires, the ICBL also challenged remaining signatories of the region to complete ratification of the Mine Ban Treaty, and challenged States Parties to complete destruction of stockpiles and submit outstanding Article 7 transparency reports by the Third Meeting of States Parties. At the conclusion of the seminar, the government co-chairs from Argentina and Canada issued these calls as the “Managua Challenge.”
In Djibouti a meeting was held, also in November, in conjunction with a Regional Conference on Landmines for the Horn of Africa and Gulf of Aden. Here ICBL participants also discussed regional action plans. Tokyo was the venue for another regional meeting of campaigners in November, held to coincide with stockpile destruction and a fundraising marathon run by Chris Moon to generate funds for demining in Cambodia. The last regional meeting of that month was held from 28-30 November in Lomé, Togo, for Francophone African campaigners. They held a public seminar on landmines, a press conference and discussed regional strategies and information sharing.
European campaigners met in Geneva during the Intersessional Standing Committee meetings, and they also held a regional campaign meeting in Geneva in May 2001 to further strategize and coordinate advocacy plans for the region. Campaigners from the Middle East and North Africa met in Beirut in January 2001, where activities included an advocacy session, and a public event where Lebanese mine action organizations showcased their work. Campaigners from Southern Africa met in Johannesburg in January while those from Southeast Asia met in Bangkok. There they participated in a stockpile destruction ceremony and held a roundtable to present their research to diplomatic representatives in Bangkok. Their neighbors from South Asia met in Kathmandu in Nepal, where they also held roundtables, an advocacy seminar and a media briefing.
Other seminars:In addition to the series of Landmine Monitor and ICBL regional meetings, the ICBL also participated in numerous workshops, seminars and conferences throughout the reporting period. A few of them are cited here. In June 2000 ICBL members participated in an Asia-Pacific Roundtable, an annual conference held in Kuala Lumpur, and gave a presentation on landmines. In August 2000, ICBL Ambassador Tun Channareth, hosted by UNICEF Bangkok, traveled to Fiji to a meeting of Parliamentarians of the Pacific Island nations to urge accession and ratification among these states. In September 2000 the ICBL participated in the International Conference on War-Affected Children held by the Government of Canada in Winnipeg.
A Day for a Mine Free World, organized by the ICBL and members of the European Parliament was held on 21 September 2000 at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, immediately following the SMSP in Geneva. The day opened with an ICBL press conference, followed by the signing of a “Call for a Mine Free World” petition, by parliamentarians, campaigners, and citizens at the Parliament building.
The Brazilian Campaign to Ban Landmines represented the ICBL participating in the World Social Forum 2001 held in Port Alegre, Brazil from 25-30 January 2001. The campaign held a workshop and staffed an information booth with exhibits and materials throughout the forum.
The ICBL participated in the Seminar on the Destruction of the PFM1 mine which was held in Budapest 1-2 February 2001, as well as in the Seminar on Universalization and Implementation of the Ottawa Convention in Africa, held in Bamako, Mali 15-16 February 2001. The Bamako meeting, co-hosted by the governments of Mali, Canada, and France, marked the first time since May 1997 that countries from all of Africa came together to discuss the landmine ban. Members of the ICBL, including landmine survivors, deminers and campaigners from throughout the continent, participated in this Conference. The ICBL prepared a fact sheet on Africa and press releases for the seminar.
In March 2001, the ICBL participated in the UN Asia Pacific Regional Disarmament Conference in Wellington, New Zealand, and delivered an address to the Conference, as well as attended bilateral meetings with treaty non-signatories and a workshop reviewing the difficulties some Pacific States have faced in moving to ratify or accede to the Mine Ban Treaty. Also in March, and in Asia, ICBL campaigners participated in a symposium on the Impact of Landmines in Sri Lanka hosted by the Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies. The symposium discussed the political situation and distribution of mines in Sri Lanka and the difficulties of getting aid to mine-affected areas.
National seminars or workshops were also held in countries including Afghanistan, Angola, Australia, Colombia, Georgia, Germany, India, Japan, Lebanon, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, South Africa, Yemen and the U.S. New campaigners have begun activities in Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Mongolia, Nagorno-Karabakh, Peru and Turkey.
Additionally, ICBL Ambassadors, staff and members undertook a number of advocacy and awareness-building missions, including to Australia, Canada, Fiji, France, Guatemala, Greece, India, Japan, South Africa, Spain, Taiwan and Belgium (for the European Council and Parliament). The ICBL sent letters to heads of state, issued media releases and engaged in other advocacy activities on the occasions of international events such as the Asia-Europe Summit, the UN General Assembly in New York, government summits such as of the European Union, the Francophonie, the Organization of American States, the Organization of African Unity, the Assembly of African Francophone Parliamentarians, the Rio Group, MERCOSUR, Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the Inter-Parliamentary Union.
Letters to heads of state and media releases were also issued on the occasions of bilateral visits of Heads of State, such as then-President Clinton to Vietnam, the President of the EU to the Koreas and President Bush to Europe. Letters to heads of state were also sent to mark 3 December and 1 March Mine Ban Treaty anniversaries urging governments to accede to or ratify the treaty. Letters were also sent congratulating new ratifications, and urging all signatories to ratify before the Third Meeting of States Parties in September 2001. Letters were also sent prior to the two meetings of the Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention highlighting issues of concern to the ICBL in preparation for the meetings.
As in previous years, the third anniversary of the opening for signature of the Mine Ban Treaty galvanized campaigners into action worldwide. On 3 December 2000, which coincides with the International Day for Disabled Persons, activities were held around the globe, from exhibits, to concerts, film screenings and hockey on prosthetics matches. Similarly the first anniversary of the entry into force of the treaty on 1 March 2001 further spurred action worldwide. A concerted campaign effort in anticipation of Ban Landmines Week targeted the United States, urging the newly-elected President Bush to join the treaty, and included a coordinated letter-writing campaign, virtual postcards, embassy visits, “a Shoe for Bush” campaign in France and Belgium and a Youth Against War petition-gathering effort in which 260,000 petitions were collected from 41 countries worldwide and sent to President Bush.
The ICBL also issued regular Action Alerts, including several Ratification Campaign Action Alerts, prior to 1 March 2001 and again in May 2001, in anticipation of the Third Meeting of States Parties to be held in September. Further information on ICBL activities can be found at its website, http://www.icbl.org and particularly through its quarterly publication Landmine Update, at http://www.icbl.org/update/landmines/.
ICBL Website Activities:Since its launch in 1998 the ICBL website has continually increased its scope. With a significant increase in time and resources spent on the website and related activities since June 2000 the coverage has significantly broadened. The website has been updated throughout the period with the latest news about landmines. Some notable developments during this period are:
- the Index on Landmines, a comprehensive guide to landmine resources on and off the internet (http://www.icbl.org/index);
- the ICBL Landmine Image Library, a tool to present the many images donated to the ICBL over time to the public and to serve the needs of the campaign for visual material (www.icbl.org/imagelibrary);
- special sections created to provide updated information on conferences and meetings, such as the SMSP, Intersessional Standing Committee Meetings, and ICBL General Meeting;
- an administrative interface to the ICBL website, which eases the updating of the pages themselves, and allows for regular staff members, working groups and others involved in the ICBL to directly update their parts of the website without assistance from the webmaster.
Campaign members have also been trained in the use of the website with related tools.
ICBL Participation in the Intersessional Work Program
The ICBL has been a key player in the intersessional work program since it was established in May 1999, at the First Meeting of States Parties (FMSP) in Maputo, in order to “consolidate and concentrate global Mine Action efforts...and to highlight the role of the Convention as a comprehensive framework for Mine Action.” The gathering of most of the relevant players in mine ban and related issues through the regular meetings of the Intersessional Standing Committees (SCs) offers a unique opportunity to seriously address the landmine problem and related victim assistance, socio-economic reintegration, mine awareness and humanitarian mine clearance needs. The SCs were created to provide a clear picture of needs, gaps and available resources – as well as measure progress in achieving the goal of a mine-free world.
The intersessional process is conducted with input, recommendations and action points resulting from NGO-IO-government collaboration. Strategizing, planning agendas and ICBL participation and speakers was coordinated by the ICBL Government Relations Liaison (now known as the ICBL Intersessional Programme Officer) working closely with the ICBL Chairs from the Victim Assistance, Mine Action and Treaty Working Groups, as well as the ICBL Coordinator and governmental Intersessional Standing Committee Co-Chairs and Co-Rapporteurs (Australia, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Germany, Honduras, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Peru, Slovakia, Thailand, Yemen and Zimbabwe) and the President of the Second Meeting of States Parties. This included bringing the present and past ISC Co-Chairs and Co-Rapporteurs together with the ICBL, ICRC and GICHD in the 4th and 5th meetings of the ICBL Intersessional Contact Group (IICG, formerly known as “20 + 2”) in December 2000 and May 2001. This series of meetings has proven invaluable in preparing for the Intersessional Standing Committee meetings, both in substantive and practical matters.
The four Standing Committees -- Mine Clearance and Related Technologies (formerly two SCs, these were combined after the September SMSP); Victim Assistance, Socio-economic Reintegration and Mine Awareness; Stockpile Destruction; and General Status and Operation of the Convention -- each met during two, one-week long periods of intersessional meetings (December 2000 and May 2001) between the annual Meetings of State Parties held in September. Action points identified from the first year of the intersessional work program were included in the SMSP’s President’s Action Program and served as the basis for planning for the second year of intersessional work. Implementation and work on these Action Points are ongoing.
Attendance at the restructured meeting session in December 2000 was even more substantial than the first year, with more than 330 persons participating, representing more than 75 countries, dozens of members of ICBL, Landmine Monitor researchers, academic institutions and international, UN and regional organizations. In May 2001, there were 350 participants representing more than 80 countries and dozens of organizations. At each meeting there were between 65 and 75 ICBL Campaigners, landmine survivors and LM researchers.
At theSC Meetings on General Status and Operation of the Convention the ICBL, under the leadership of its Treaty Working Group, highlighted important issues which were discussed during the two meetings: foreign stockpiles and transit of mines and joint operations with non-signatory states in which AP mines could be used (Article 1 – interpretation of “assist”); antivehicle mines with antihandling devices (Article 2 - definitions); mines retained for training and development (Article 3); timely destruction of APM stockpiles (Article 4); provision of assistance for mine clearance and victim assistance (Articles 5 and 6); the need for comprehensive Article 7 reporting; compliance issues (Article 8); and the obligation to enact national implementation measures (Article 9). ICBL was a key participant in the Universalization Contact Group led by Canada, which coordinates efforts to promote universalization by about 15 governments, along with ICBL, ICRC and UNICEF. ICBL is also part of the Article 7 Contact Group chaired by Belgium.
The Treaty Working Group also led ICBL’s participation in theSC on Stockpile Destruction, with the TWG Chair moderating sessions of the meetings. Emphasis was placed on progress reports, identifying problem areas, including lack of resources for stockpile destruction, and the approaching four-year deadline to destroy stockpiles. ICBL and Landmine Monitor urged countries to provide more information on existence, numbers and types of APM stockpiles worldwide.
At theSC meetings on Mine Clearance and Related Technologies, the ICBL Mine Action Working Group (MAWG), as well as its member mine clearance organizations, made concrete and informative interventions on several thematic topics discussed by the SC, including: "Standards and Criteria (IMAS and IMSMA)," "Measures of Impact and Benefit," "Planning and Prioritization," "Coordination," "Building National Capacity" and “Technologies”. The Mine Awareness subgroup of MAWG recommended that Mine Awareness be moved to the SC on Victim Assistance following the 3MSP.
The ICBL Working Group on Victim Assistance, as well as its member organizations, made concrete and informative presentations and interventions during the Standing Committee on Victim Assistance on issues that had been identified for follow-up and action during the first year of intersessional meetings. These included six thematic areas: (a) raising the voices of landmine survivors; (b) linking resources with needs (including encouraging use of a new voluntary reporting form, “Form J,” approved at the SMSP and submissions for the Portfolio of Victim Assistance Programmes); (c) implementing lessons learned related to the coordination of victim assistance; (d) guidelines, information dissemination (Canada produced a compilation of existing guidelines for the May 2001 meeting) and information management (IMSMA); (e) social and economic reintegration (with a special emphasis on vocational and psycho-social rehabilitation); and, (f) mine awareness.
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 These include: Afghan Campaign to Ban Landmines, Association for Aid and Relief/Japan, Cambodia Campaign to Ban Landmines, Colombia Campaign Against Mines, German Initiative to Ban Landmines, Kenya Coalition Against Landmines, Handicap International, Human Rights Watch, Landmine Survivors Network, Lutheran World Federation, Mines Action Canada, Norwegian People’s Aid, and South African Campaign to Ban Landmines.