Landmine Monitor 2003

International Campaign to Ban Landmines

In 2002 and the first half of 2003, the ICBL continued to contribute significantly to the strengthening of the rapidly emerging international norm against the antipersonnel landmine, by working for full universalization and effective implementation of the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty. It did so with the explicit goal of reducing the impact of landmines on communities worldwide. The ICBL continued to implement its 2004 Action Plan and undertook an extensive consultation and review process in the first half of 2003, to discern the coalition’s objectives, activities and structure for the period following the December 2004 Review Conference. The ICBL continued to take full advantage of the implementation mechanisms established by the treaty. It actively participated in the Fourth Meeting of States Parties, where it released Landmine Monitor Report 2002, intersessional meetings, and four regional and one global ICBL/Landmine Monitor meetings. The ICBL Ambassadors, staff, working group chairs, and members undertook numerous advocacy missions, and participated in several other regional and thematic meetings.Since it was formally launched by six nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in 1992, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) has remained focused on its call for a ban on the use, production, transfer, and stockpiling of antipersonnel mines, and for increased resources for mine clearance and victim assistance. The ICBL is a broad-based coalition of over 1,400 organizations in 90 countries worldwide, coordinated by a committee of thirteen member organizations and a staff of six.[1]

The ICBL staff engaged in numerous training endeavors, capacity-building and partnership projects together with the campaign membership, and expanded the ICBL’s vibrant youth project, in order to develop and enhance the advocacy skills of ICBL members. ICBL staff disseminated Action Alerts, wrote decision-makers, published reports, including the quarterly Landmine Update, and produced other advocacy materials. All these materials and more were distributed electronically via the campaign’s sophisticated system of electronic mail groups and its all-inclusive website:

Fourth Meeting of States Parties

The most significant landmine event in 2002 was the Fourth Meeting of States Parties (4MSP) to the Mine Ban Treaty held in Geneva, Switzerland from 16-20 September 2002. This was the most widely attended States Parties meeting yet, with participation by 131 countries.[2] In the months leading up to the meeting, the ICBL called on all remaining treaty signatories to ratify the treaty by the opening of the meeting, targeting a dozen countries in particular. The ICBL wrote to the government leader of each country and issued an Action Alert urging letter-writing, embassy visits and other actions. Several targets (Afghanistan, Cameroon, Cyprus, The Gambia, São Tomé e Príncipe, and Timor-Leste) subsequently ratified the treaty. The ICBL also urged key pro-ban governments to use the opportunity presented by the 4MSP to speak out against continued use of antipersonnel mines and follow-up on measures to ensure effective compliance with the treaty. ICBL members contacted their own government delegations to ensure their full and active participation in the meeting, and drew media attention to the event.

The ICBL released its fourth annual report, Landmine Monitor Report 2002: Toward a Mine-Free World, on 13 September 2002, just prior to the opening of the 4MSP, with release events held in ten countries, including at the United Nations in Geneva. The ICBL generated considerable local and international media coverage, including in most major wire services and print, radio and television services worldwide. ICBL press statements condemned antipersonnel mine use by India and Pakistan, and warned against possible antipersonnel mine use in military operations in Iraq. The ICBL held press briefings jointly with the 3MSP and 4MSP Presidents at the opening and with the 4MSP and 5MSP Presidents at the conclusion of the meeting.

In total, 143 ICBL campaigners and researchers representing 59 countries participated in the 4MSP. As in previous years, the ICBL spoke on numerous occasions during the 4MSP itself. Two landmine survivors spoke during the opening ceremony, as well as representatives of the Swiss Campaign to Ban Landmines and Handicap International. ICBL Ambassador and 1997 Nobel Peace Prize Co-Laureate Jody Williams addressed the opening plenary, and the ICBL’s Head of Delegation, Steve Goose of Human Rights Watch, delivered a statement on behalf of the campaign during the general exchange of views. Representatives of the ICBL Working Groups made numerous interventions throughout the week. The ICBL held numerous regional and thematic meetings and briefings on the sidelines of the diplomatic conference, as well as daily campaign briefings. The ICBL’s Non-State Actor Working Group and the Swiss NGO, Geneva Call, sponsored a roundtable discussion on engaging non-state actors in the landmine ban. ICBL representatives met separately with every government delegation present at the meeting.

During the week of the 4MSP, the Swiss Campaign to Ban Landmines welcomed participants to Geneva with landmines-themed flags on buses, posters and postcards, and a unique advocacy activity called Tapis Roulant, in which ban supporters could “step toward a mine-free future” on treadmills located throughout the city. Handicap International opened its Mine Toons exhibition during the 4MSP, which featured a collection of 69 landmine-related political cartoons and drawings from around the world. Long-time landmines photographer John Rodsted unveiled his new exhibition on landmines and UXO in Afghanistan, Clearing the Path to Peace, at the United Nations during the 4MSP. The ICBL has published a separate report on its activities during the 4MSP and all documents are on the website at

Intersessional Work Program

The architects of the Ottawa Process have ensured that significant progress is made in implementing the Mine Ban Treaty through the establishment of various structures including: the intersessional work program and Universalization Contact Group (established in 1999); the States Parties Coordinating Committee, the Sponsorship Program, and theArticles 7 & 9 Contact Group (in 2000); the Implementation Support Unit (in 2001); and the Resource Mobilization Contact Group (in 2002).

The ICBL continued its key role in the intersessional work program established in May 1999 at the First Meeting of States Parties to carry the work of the Mine Ban Treaty forward between the annual Meetings of State Parties. The regular intersessional Standing Committees (SC) meetings have become one of the most exciting activities in the Geneva-based diplomatic scene. The meetings are widely respected for their unique, informal and practical organization that encourages continuity, transparency, inclusiveness and a cooperative spirit; all key elements in the success of global mine ban movement.

The President of the Fourth Meeting of States Parties, Ambassador Jean Lint of Belgium, issued an Action Program, which has served as the basis for planning for the fourth year of intersessional work.The 2003 intersessional Standing Committee meetings focused more than ever before on the needs, gaps and resources available for the implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty, especially its mine action components, in the period leading-up to the first Review Conference in November 2004.

The four Standing Committees -- Victim Assistance and Socio-Economic Reintegration; Mine Clearance, Mine Risk Education and Mine Action Technologies; Stockpile Destruction; and General Status and Operation of the Convention -- each met during one-week long periods in February and May 2003 at the Geneva International Center for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD). Participation in the intersessional Standing Committees in February and May 2003 again reached record levels. More than 500 persons representing 126 countries (96 States Parties and 30 non-States Parties), ICBL members, and international, UN and regional organizations attended both sets of meetings. More than 70 ICBL members from 44 countries attended the January 2002 meetings, while over 60 members from 26 countries participated in the May meetings. During the intersessional weeks, the ICBL held daily meetings for NGOs attending the official meetings, as well as several midday briefings and other sessions. Campaigners met individually with nearly every government attending the intersessional meetings, as well as with the international organizations.

SC on General Status and Operation of the Convention (Co-Chairs: Austria & Peru; Co-Rapporteurs: Mexico & the Netherlands). The ICBL, under the leadership of its Treaty Working Group (TWG), highlighted the following issues, all of which were included on the agendas during the February and May meetings: possible antipersonnel mine use by non-signatories in joint military operations with States Parties, as well as foreign stockpiles and transit of mines (Article 1 – interpretation of “assist”); antivehicle mines with antihandling devices (Article 2 - definitions); mines retained for training and development (Article 3); timely destruction of stockpiled antipersonnel mines (Article 4); the need for comprehensive and timely transparency reporting (Article 7); compliance issues (Article 8); and the obligation to enact national implementation measures (Article 9). The ICBL continued to participate in the Universalization Contact Group chaired by Canada, which coordinates efforts to promote universalization by governments, ICBL, ICRC, and other international organizations. The ICBL was also an active participant in the Article 7 Contact Group chaired by Belgium, which expanded in 2002 to include Article 9, and the new Resource Mobilization Contact Group chaired by Norway.

SC on Stockpile Destruction (Co-Chairs: Romania & Switzerland; Co-Rapporteurs: Guatemala & Italy). The Treaty Working Group also led ICBL’s participation in this SC and the TWG Chair provided a global overview in the opening sessions of both meetings. The TWG emphasized the need for States Parties to provide regular progress reports (in addition to timely and comprehensive Article 7 transparency reporting), identified problem areas including resource constraints for stockpile destruction, and warned States Parties to take the rapidly approaching four-year deadline for destruction of stockpiles seriously as this constitutes one of the visible and essential aspects of treaty implementation. The ICBL also urged countries to provide more information on existence, numbers and types of antipersonnel mine stockpiles worldwide.

SC on Mine Clearance, Mine Awareness and Related Technologies (Co-Chairs: Belgium & Kenya; Co-Rapporteurs: Cambodia & Japan). The Co-Chairs introduced the “4P” framework to encourage mine-affected States Parties to report on their “Plans, Priorities, Progress and Problems.” This proved to be successful with 28 mine-affected countries (24 States Parties and 4 States not Party) reporting on the situation in their respective countries, which will contribute to determining the extent of progress, what remains to be done and what will be required to accomplish the clearance obligation. The ICBL’s Mine Action Working Group (MAWG) provided overview presentations drawing attention the ten-year clearance deadline established by Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty, which is approaching for many States Parties in 2009.

SC on Victim Assistance and Socio-Economic Reintegration (Co-Chairs: Colombia & France; Co-Rapporteurs: Australia and Croatia). The 2003 Standing Committee concentrated on strategies to assist States Parties in meeting their obligations under Article 6.3 of the Convention; with a focus on measuring progress, over the next 18 months, prior to the 2004 Review Conference. The Co-Chairs encouraged States Parties to report on national implementation plans using the “4P” framework and requested all States Parties that may require assistance to report during Standing Committee meetings. Topics discussed in the 2003 meetings included an overview of the status of implementation, national updates on implementation (15 States Parties and one State not Party intervened), regional efforts, updates on assistance and cooperation, and the initial negotiations on a disability rights convention. Raising the Voices, a leadership training for landmine survivor advocates, continued into its third year; sixteen landmine/UXO survivors from Asia (Afghanistan, Cambodia, India, Laos, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand) participated in the intersessional meetings in February and May 2003.

The presence of the ICBL Intersessional Program Officer in Geneva, Susan Walker, contributed to the ICBL’s impact in, and the overall success of, the intersessional work program. Walker continued to promote the intersessional work, bringing together present and past SC co-chairs and co-rapporteurs, as well as the Presidents of the annual meetings of States Parties, together with the ICRC, the ISU and ICBL Coordinator and working group chairs for meetings of the ICBL’s Intersessional Contact Group (IICG, formerly known as “20 + 2”) in February and May 2003. This series of meetings has proven invaluable in preparing substantively for the ISC meetings, as well as in serving as a forum for strategic planning with government partners. The ICBL also actively participated in the 4MSP President’s Consultations held on 31 January and 12 May 2003 to discuss the preparatory process leading up to the 2004 Review Conference.

The Coordinating Committee (CC) made up of States Parties also met monthly in 2002 and 2003, with the 4MSP President as its chair. The CC consists of the Co-Chairs and Co-Rapporteurs of the four intersessional Standing Committees. The chairs of the Universalization, Articles 7 & 9, and Resource Mobilization Contact Groups, and the Sponsorship Group (UK), also participated, as did the incoming President of the Fifth Meeting of States Parties (Thailand). The ICBL and ICRC continued to participate on a regular basis. The meetings discussed practical coordination matters relating to the intersessional work program and preparations for the annual Meetings of State Parties.

The Mine Ban Treaty’s Implementation Support Unit (ISU), established in September 2001 by the Third Meeting of States Parties, is intended to provide a value-added service, not replace the important efforts of States Parties. Since it became operational in January 2002, the ISU has more than proven its worth in ensuring better preparations for the intersessional meetings, in providing valuable and needed support to all interested States, in serving as an information source, and in contributing to strategic thinking on how to achieve the overall goals of the treaty. The ICBL works very closely with the ISU.

The Sponsorship Program, establishedin 2000 to ensure full participation of mine-affected countries with limited resources, continued to bring an average of 70 representatives from mine-affected and less developed countries to the intersessional meetings in 2003.

Updated information and background on the intersessional work program is available on the ICBL website at and on the GICHD website at

Other Campaign Activities

ICBL/Landmine Monitor meetings

Campaign training, strategy discussions, and advocacy activities were more integrated than ever before into the 2002-2003 meetings held to prepare Landmine Monitor Report 2003.

The Azerbaijan Campaign to Ban Landmines hosted the first regional meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan from 7-9 November 2002. ICBL members from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) region of the former Soviet Union engaged in internal discussions on advocacy strategies and research challenges. They traveled overnight to Fizuli region in the far west of the country, where they discussed the socio-economic impact of the landmines on local communities and visited a mine clearance operation conducted by a national NGO, Relief Azerbaijan, and the Azerbaijan National Agency for Mine Action. The group also had a two-hour meeting with the deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan, Araz Azimov. The regional meeting received good media coverage, including on national and regional television.

African campaigners and researchers from twenty-one countries met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 11-14 December 2002. Representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Africa Union (formerly the Organization of African Unity) addressed the meeting’s opening plenary, which was attended by over two dozen diplomatic representatives, as well as members of Ethiopia’s mine action community The group, which included several newcomers from Francophone African countries, deliberated on research problems and advocacy challenges. Rehabilitation and Development Organization, a national NGO hosting the meeting, then took the group to view its mine risk education efforts in the heavily mine-affected Tigray region in the north of the country, using funds provided by the British Embassy and African Union. In Tigray, the participants visited a mine clearance project conducted by the Ethiopian Mine Action Office.

The Sri Lanka Campaign to Ban Landmines hosted the third regional meeting Colombo, Sri Lanka from 27- 31 January 2003. Prime Minister, Hon. Ranil Wickremasinghe welcomed the ICBL in a statement provided to the opening plenary on the meeting, which included speakers from the government, UNDP, UNICEF, mine action NGOs, diplomatic representatives and religious dignitaries from the Inter-Religious Peace Foundation, coordinator of the campaign. After two days of closed meetings, the participants traveled to the mine-affected Vanni region in the north of the country. At the town of Killinochi, which is under the control of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the group viewed a demining training by the Humanitarian Demining Unit of the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization. The regional meeting received widespread media coverage on national television, as well as print and radio.

European campaigners and researchers met in Geneva during the intersessional meetings from 3-7 February 2003. They discussed their 2003 research, as well as advocacy plans for the coming year. The participants also attended Standing Committee meetings and met with their government representatives present in the meetings. Several Landmine Monitor researchers from the Middle East also participated.

The Italian Campaign to Ban Landmines hosted the global meeting needed to prepare Landmine Monitor Report 2003 in Rome from 7-9 April 2003, with support provided by the Disarmament, Non-Proliferation and Arms Control division of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Over 70 researchers from 65 countries and another 40 campaigners and guests came together for the meeting, which was split into two main areas: discussions and review of final country updates for the 2003 report and ICBL skill-building workshops. Participants also met twice in regional groups to discuss and to plan actions for the coming year.

Other seminars, awareness-building missions and advocacy efforts

The ICBL participated in numerous regional and international seminars and conferences during 2002 and the first half of 2003. A few of them are cited here. Two events commemorated treaty anniversaries. ICBL members participated in the international conferenceon the future of humanitarian mine action in Oslo, Norway in September 2002, which also marked five years since the Mine Ban Treaty was successfully negotiated in Oslo in 1997. The conference was organized by Norwegian People’s Aid, Norwegian Red Cross, and the International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO), with funding from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. ICBL representatives also spoke at events held in Ottawa, Canada in late November to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the Mine Ban Treaty’s opening for signature, including an international symposium hosted by Mines Action Canada addressing the challenges of achieving a mine-free world.

ICBL campaigners attended a Mine Ban Treaty seminar in Yerevan, Armenia in October, organized by Armenia, Canada and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Also in October, ICBL members observed the completion of Croatia’s stockpile destruction and spoke at a regional seminar on Mine Ban Treaty implementation in Dubrovnik, Croatia. In November, ICBL representatives from Armenia, Russia and the United States attended a regional conference on landmines and explosives remnants of war organized by the ICRC in Moscow, Russia. Also in November, the Chilean NGO, Instituta de Ecología Politica, and Landmine Monitor’s Americas region research coordinator accepted an invitation to participate in the Fifth Conference of the Ministers of Defense of the Americas. From 12-13 November, the ICBL participated in a seminar held in Brussels, Belgium on Article 7 transparency reporting by Central African countries.

The ICBL attended a Mine Ban Treaty seminar in Kiev, Ukraine from 11-12 February 2003. The Cambodia Campaign to Ban Landmines and other ICBL members participated in a seminar on the future of mine action in South-East Asia, held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia from 26-28 March. On 26 April, the ICBL participated in the first landmines conference event held in Istanbul, Turkey. The Sri Lankan and Japan country campaigns participated in a donor conference on reconstruction and development of Sri Lanka held in Tokyo, Japan from 9-10 June.

The ICBL Ambassadors undertook a number of advocacy and awareness-building missions. In February 2003, ICBL Ambassador Jody Williams became the first Nobel Peace laureate to meet with 1991 Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi at her home in Rangoon, Burma. ICBL Ambassador Tun Channareth and Canada’s Mine Action Ambassador, Ross Hynes, undertook a visit to Jakarta, Indonesia in May to urge for swift ratification of the Mine Ban Treaty. ICBL representatives participated in advocacy events in Poland in September 2002 and March 2003. A New Zealand ICBL representative joined a government-NGO visit to Papua New Guinea in April 2003. Also in April, ICBL staff undertook media and lobbying activities in Helsinki, Finland. Members of the ICBL’s Non-State Actors Working Group visited Kathmandu, Nepal in June 2003. ICBL members also witnessed several stockpile destruction events in countries including Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Djibouti, Japan, Jordan, Somaliland, Tanzania, Thailand and Uganda.

In 2002 and the first half of 2003, awareness-raising activities were held in countries including: Afghanistan, Angola, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Burma/Myanmar, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Lao PDR, Latvia, Lebanon, Malawi, Malaysia, Namibia, Nepal, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia and Montenegro, Singapore, Somaliland, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United States, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

The ICBL and member campaigns sent letters to heads of state, issued media releases and engaged in other advocacy activities to highlight the landmines crisis and remaining work to be done at international events and fora including the: African Union, Assembly of African Francophone Parliamentarians, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, European Union, Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, Francophonie, G8, Inter-Parliamentary Union, MERCOSUR, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Non-Aligned Movement, Organization for Security and Cooperatoin in Europe, Organization of American States, Third World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil and the Sixth Disabled Peoples' International World Assembly in Sapporo, Japan. ICBL staff, Ambassadors and leaders responded to numerous requests to speak on the landmine issue and lessons learned from the movement to ban them.

Coordinated campaign actions

In November 2002, the ICBL issued an Action Alert on banning landmines in Asia-Pacific, as part of its Asia Appeal build-up to the Fifth Meeting of States Parties, which will be held in Bangkok, Thailand in September 2003. In March 2003, the ICBL issued an Action Alert against antipersonnel mine use in Iraq and created a webpage to disseminate information on Iraq. On 3 December 2002, events around the world commemorated the fifth anniversary of the opening for signature of the Mine Ban Treaty. The ICBL wrote to every head of government on the eve of the anniversary, enclosing the ICBL’s Report on Activities at the Fourth Meeting of States Parties. Similar events were held in numerous countries on 1 March 2003, the fourth anniversary of the entry into force of the treaty. The ICBL also engaged in a capacity-building project, together with Landmine Action UK, to strengthen campaigning efforts in South Asia. The ICBL organized two information sessions on national implementation legislation for governments and campaigners in Africa and the Americas, in cooperation with the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Young people around the world continued to collect signatures for the Youth Against War Treaty, which in 2002 and 2003 focused on urging India and Pakistan to renounce antipersonnel mine use and join the Mine Ban Treaty. On Sunday, 6 April 2003, international and Italian campaigners distributed hundreds of Youth Against War balloons to children during an event outside Saint Peter’s Square at the Vatican. The ICBL organized a one-week youth campaigning seminar in Santiago, Chile in November 2002. In January 2003, members of the Brazilian Campaign to Ban Landmines and a youth campaigner from Uruguay participated in events at the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil. They hosted daily workshops and an information stand at the youth campground and distributed postcards urging Cuban President Fidel Castro to support the Mine Ban Treaty. The ICBL youth campaigners share news about upcoming events and activities on the Youth Action Forum website at

In 2002 and the first half of 2003, the ICBL issued quarterly “Landmine Updates,” the Report on Activities at the Fourth Meeting of States Parties, updated brochures, campaign kits and a CD Rom of visual images. It produced a brochure and webpages for its “Sponsor a Mine-Detection Dog” initiative. In December 2002, the ICBL Resource Center in Sana’a, Yemen closed and ICBL resources are now distributed by regional and thematic focal points. More information on the ICBL’s activities is available at

[1] The CC membership has not changed since it was approved by the last General Meeting of the ICBL network in March 2001: 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. The ICBL staff are: Elizabeth Bernstein, Coordinator; Sylvie Brigot, Government Relations Officer; Kjell Knudsen, Webmaster; Jackie Hansen, Project Officer; Susan B. Walker, Intersessional Program Officer; Sue Wixley, Advocacy and Communications Officer. Contact
[2] This included 94 States Parties and 37 non-States Parties. The non-States Parties attending included 11 signatories and 26 non-signatories.