Landmine Monitor 2005

International Campaign to Ban Landmines

The International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) is a coalition of 1,400 NGOs in 90 countries. It was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for its work in creating the Mine Ban Treaty. The ICBL maintained a high level of activity in 2004 and the first half of 2005 in its continued efforts to eradicate antipersonnel mines worldwide. The Nairobi Summit on a Mine-Free World (First Review Conference of the Mine Ban Treaty) held in Nairobi in November-December 2004 proved to be a powerful motivating force for the ICBL, which used it as a target date for numerous advocacy, treaty implementation, and awareness-raising goals. In turn, governments, journalists and the public at large showed heightened interest in the landmines issue in the lead-up to this event. Through the joint efforts of the ICBL, States Parties, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and others, the Nairobi Summit produced a set of forward-looking documents that will help orient future ICBL activities. ICBL campaigners met at the end of the summit to start planning how to build on the momentum created by the Nairobi Summit and start advocating for the early implementation of the Nairobi Action Plan.

The ICBL also continued to participate fully in the implementation mechanisms established by the treaty, including meetings of the intersessional Standing Committees (SCs) and the associated Coordinating Committee of co-chairs and co-rapporteurs. In addition, ICBL staff organized regional and global awareness-raising events; issued several action alerts; lobbied and wrote to key decision-makers; maintained regular contact with dozens of governments, regional and international organizations and the treaty’s Implementation Support Unit; drafted press releases and reached out to the media; engaged in capacity-building activities with campaigners; and continued to coordinate the global coalition’s overall campaigning activities. Several ICBL activities reports, the quarterly Landmine Update/ICBL News, Action Alerts, CD ROMs, and other advocacy materials were produced and disseminated in this period. A new and improved ICBL website was launched and is now continuously updated. Landmine Monitor Report 2004 was released, translated and distributed in dozens of countries.[1]

Following a 2003 review of the ICBL’s goals, structure and activities for the period after the Nairobi Summit, the ICBL’s General Meeting of campaigners and membership endorsed the ICBL’s continued engagement in the same types of activities as in the past, but in a gradually more decentralized fashion with national campaigns, organizations and focal points playing an enhanced role. A Transition Committee led a transition process that re-organized the ICBL’s structure. In November 2004, the ICBL Coordinating Committee held its last meeting and was subsequently replaced by a 21-person Advisory Board and a Management Committee of four. A series of staffing changes were gradually implemented in 2004 and 2005 as staff positions were reduced from six to four with revised job titles and job descriptions.[2] The ICBL Working Groups remained unchanged and continued to provide leadership and coordination on their areas of work (Treaty, Mine Action and its sub-group on Mine Risk Education, Victim Assistance, and Non-State Actors).

In this new phase of the ICBL, it is envisaged that national campaigns will take on more responsibilities in implementing actions, and more exchanges between campaigns will be encouraged by ICBL staff in order to foster cooperation and sharing of ideas.


Nairobi Summit on a Mine-Free World

The ICBL contributed to the entire preparatory process for the Nairobi Summit, in close partnership with key government leaders, the Implementation Support Unit, the UN and the ICRC. From the ICBL perspective, the main purpose of the Review Conference was to re-invigorate the international community’s political and financial commitment to eradicating antipersonnel mines by increasing governmental and public awareness of what remains to be done. For both governments and NGOs, the refrain in the lead-up to and during the Review Conference was that much has been accomplished, but much remains to be done. The ICBL believes that the next five years may be even more important than the past five years, and that both governments and NGOs must remain committed to promoting the mine-ban in order to ensure that it becomes universal, that stockpile destruction and mine clearance deadlines are met, and that the rights and needs of mine survivors and affected communities are adequately met. ICBL produced the “Nairobi Summit on a Mine-Free World Report on Activities.”


Preparation for the Nairobi Summit

The ICBL worked closely with governments partners during the formal preparations for the Nairobi Summit.[3] It participated in the Nairobi Task Force; Preparatory Meetings for the Review Conference held on 13 February, 28-29 June and 24 September 2004; and communications meetings. It coordinated the ICBL Working Groups’ input into each draft of the Review Conference documents. In large part, the ICBL’s extensive comments on these texts were included in the final documents that emerged from the Review Conference, often verbatim.

The ICBL also presented its expectations for the Summit at the end of each of the regional preparatory meetings held by States Parties in Romania, Burkina Faso, Ecuador, Kenya, Tajikistan, Lithuania and Thailand. Campaigners from the region, ICBL staff, Landmine Monitor coordinators and the ICBL diplomatic advisor made these interventions. In addition to speaking publicly, ICBL ensured that campaigners from the relevant region were present and able to discuss the issue at stake with participants. In addition, ICBL sent letters and contacted the relevant governmental bodies to raise issues of concern in preparation for these meetings.

Through its Landmine Monitor initiative, the ICBL held its own ambitious series of meetings in heavily mine-affected States Parties (Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi and Colombia) and strategically significant non-signatory countries (Kyrgyzstan and United Arab Emirates) that reinforced and reaffirmed the ICBL’s pledge to continue tackling major challenges both in the period leading to the Nairobi Summit and the one following it. The ICBL’s sixth annual report, Landmine Monitor Report 2004: Toward a Mine-Free World, was launched prior to the opening of the Nairobi Summit on 17 November in three major events, bringing additional media attention to the Summit (see ICBL/Landmine Monitor Activities below).

In order to help ICBL campaigners prepare for the summit, the ICBL launched a series of “countdown action alerts” beginning on 24 August 2004.[4] The alerts provided campaigners with information on ICBL messages to be delivered to their governments, including advocating for them to support strong language on fast and effective mine clearance and encouraging them to send a high level, well-prepared delegation. The alerts prompted extensive media and advocacy activities by member organizations. With the assistance of ICBL staff, many country campaigners held events drawing attention to the Nairobi Summit, while others spoke about the importance of the Summit at global and regional events. The ICBL’s slogan for the Nairobi Summit, “WANTED: a Mine-Free World” was integrated into all its media events, statements and other materials during 2004.

The ICBL’s Summit-related messages were also communicated by ICBL members during activities throughout the year. In the months leading up to the summit, the ICBL took part in joint media briefings, including in Geneva and Nairobi. The ICBL media team also did a great deal of preliminary outreach with the media, particularly the African press. Five ICBL press releases were issued in 2004 prior to the Summit, and a media page was created on the website for campaigners and journalists.[5]

A special role was played in the logistical and substantive preparations by the Kenya Coalition Against Landmines (KCAL). The KCAL Coordinator, Mereso Agina, represented civil society in the host country organizing committee. From 15-17 September 2004 the KCAL Coordinator and a representative from Norwegian People’s Aid made presentations at the 2nd Continental Conference of African Experts on Landmines in Addis Ababa, where African states developed an African Common Position on the Ottawa Convention.

During the Nairobi Summit

The ICBL delegation to the Summit included over 371 participants from 82 countries and 112 organizations, including more than 50 landmine survivors, who actively participated in the summit. ICBL staff and campaigners had formal meetings with 91 of the 135 states attending the Summit to talk about particular issues in those states and to discuss how the Nairobi Action Plan would be implemented. The ICBL held internal meetings throughout the week to present and discuss messages and priorities as well as sharing reports on meetings with governments and share questions/concerns. KCAL and other member NGOs present in Nairobi assisted the ICBL in the hosting of this impressive group of ICBL participants and used their presence as an opportunity to create awareness among local NGOs. The ICBL delegation was hosted by the Handicap International office in Kenya.

ICBL played an active role in the Opening Ceremony, including statements by ICBL ambassadors Jody Williams and Song Kosal and testimonies from 17 survivors. During the Summit, the ICBL made a general statement to the plenary. It commented twice on the Review Document and different thematic representatives made statements on the draft Action Plan relative to mine action, mine risk education, victim assistance and non-state actors. Another statement was made during the high level segment of the Summit, and Jody Williams made a final statement during the closing ceremony.

In addition to statements and meetings, ICBL and its member organizations organized a series of side events and briefings around the Nairobi Summit on a Mine Free World in order to raise critical issues and challenges regarding the mine ban crisis and to propose various solutions. Three key events were a meeting of Nobel Peace Prize women laureates attending the summit (Jody Williams; Shirin Ebadi, 2003 Nobel prize winner and founder of a new Iranian campaign against mines; and Wangari Maathai, 2004 winner for her work in Kenya with the Green Belt Movement) followed by a general Nobel Laureates' Panel Discussion; a Survivors' Summit (a gathering of government representatives and around 50 landmine survivors to discuss survivors’ rights and needs and to demonstrate survivors’ commitment to the Mine Ban Treaty); and the first ever International Youth Symposium on landmines with the participation of over three dozen youth from two dozen countries. Participants in the latter two events presented a Survivor Summit Declaration and a Youth Declaration, respectively, to the President of the Summit during the closing ceremony.[6]

Other side events included a Landmine Monitor Report 2004 release event, a preview screening of the documentary film Disarm, an interfaith service, a 10 km race and Mine Free World Walk including massive participation of ICBL campaigners and landmine survivors, and a Dancing without Fear Extravaganza organized by KCAL and hosted by the Kenyan government. ICBL members organized briefings on the landmine situation in Iran, Iraq, and the United States, as well as on themes such as landmines and human security, economic integration of survivors, and compensation for landmine victims. The ICBL also organized exhibits of pictures and other artwork, including sculptures by landmine survivors.

The ICBL’s Advocacy and Communications Officer led a media campaign that resulted in the most extensive coverage of a landmine meeting since the treaty was opened for signature in December 1997. Media activities included press releases, press conferences, interviews, and a media kit with a list of ICBL members, particularly ambassadors, survivors, youth and campaigners with regional or thematic expertise. The Survivors' Summit and Nobel Peace Prize women laureates' meeting attracted particular media interest. As a result of ICBL media work, media coverage was generated in at least 63 countries in at least nine different languages, including five UN languages. Many stories were published in donor countries as well as in states not party to the treaty, particularly the Gulf States.


Outcome of the Nairobi Summit

Overall, the ICBL was very pleased with the outcome of the Nairobi Summit. It met the ICBL’s primary goals, which included achieving reinforced political will and encouraging financial commitments to ensure that the treaty’s great promise turns into reality on the ground. The large number of high level government participants—including representatives from 110 States Parties and 25 states not party to the treaty—and representatives from NGOs was testament to the continued commitment to the landmine ban worldwide. The Review Document was thorough and highly detailed, and the Action Plan and Nairobi Declaration were strong and comprehensive, providing a solid framework for ensuring ongoing progress in implementing the Mine Ban Treaty and in tackling all aspects of the global mine problem. In addition, numerous calls were made on states not party to the treaty to join and for non-state actors to become engaged, and states were encouraged to take it upon themselves to implement the treaty fully without waiting for pressure from NGOs.

At the same time, the ICBL was disappointed that there were not more concrete commitments to sustained or higher levels of funding for mine clearance and victim assistance. It was also disappointed that the Action Plan was not strengthened during the Summit. ICBL was dismayed that States Parties could not agree on fundamental issues of interpretation and implementation of the treaty, including what acts are banned under the prohibition on assistance in Article 1, what landmines are banned under Article 2, and what quantities of landmines are appropriate to retain under Article 3. Some states’ reference to working by consensus and other indicators prompted fears that governments were trying to slip back into a pattern of “business as usual.”


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 in Maputo, Mozambique. The goal of the intersessional work is to provide a space for discussions and activities on the Mine Ban Treaty throughout the year. The week-long intersessional Standing Committee (SC) meetings, held twice a year until 2005 and now held once a year, provide a forum for States Parties to give updates on their implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty as well as to discuss issues of concern for them or the community at large. The intersessional work has succeeded in maintaining continuous international attention on the global antipersonnel mine problem, as well as providing a forum to mark, measure and stimulate progress in achieving the goal of a world free of antipersonnel mines. These original objectives remained as valid in 2005 as they were in 1999.

In addition to the goals outlined above, the primary focus of the February and June 2004 SC meetings was the extensive preparations for the First Review Conference. SC meetings covered in this Landmine Monitor reporting period took place on 21-25 June 2004 and 13-17 June 2005. The goal of the 2005 SC meetings was to measure and encourage implementation of the Nairobi Action Plan agreed to at the 2004 Summit. These meetings fulfilled their goals as well-prepared government representatives—both States Parties and states not party—attended in large numbers and provided details of their work on stockpile destruction, demining, and aid to survivors, as well as their views on some policy issues.

ICBL’s participation in the SC meetings included strategizing on the meetings’ goals, providing input to agendas, arranging speakers for the SC meetings, and providing comments on the Standing Committee reports. In addition to bilateral meetings throughout the year, the ICBL was invited, with the ICRC, to participate in the monthly Coordinating Committee meetings held in Geneva of the Standing Committee co-chairs and co-rapporteurs, the chairs of the Contact Groups (Universalization, Articles 7 & 9 and Resource Mobilization) and the Sponsorship Group. The Coordinating Committee was chaired in 2004-2005 by the President of the Nairobi Summit, Ambassador Wolfgang Petritsch. ICBL participated in briefings for the Geneva-based missions prior to the intersessional weeks and in press briefings prior to and following the preparatory meetings.

In order to promote a close working relationship with government representatives in Geneva, in 1999 ICBL created the ICBL Intersessional Contact Group (IICG, formerly known as “20 + 2”), which brings together the present and past SC co-chairs and co-rapporteurs, with the ICBL, ICRC and the Implementation Support Unit. This series of informal and off-the-record meetings has proven invaluable in updating States Parties on the ICBL’s activities and issues of concern. The 11th meeting of the IICG was held in June 2004, and included representatives from the 35 States Parties that have served as co-chairs and co-rapporteurs of the intersessional Standing Committees since 1999.

ICBL campaigners attended the intersessional SC meetings in large numbers, with over 45 campaigners from 18 countries attending the June 2004 meetings, and over 65 from over 20 countries attending the June 2005 meetings. During these weeks, daily ICBL NGO meetings were held, and the ICBL Working Groups each met at least once. ICBL participants also had dozens of bilateral meetings with governments and international organizations. Several ICBL lunchtime briefings and meetings were also held. In addition, Landmine Monitor Fact Sheets were issued on Articles 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 and 9, and the ICBL distributed copies of its quarterly update (re-named the ICBL News in 2005), the latest list of States Parties, signatories and states not party to the treaty, the ICBL calendar of events and other resources, including Landmine Monitor Report 2003 and Landmine Monitor Report 2004. Several other informational documents were issued by individual NGO members of ICBL.

Equally important, by listening to the government delegations’ presentations ICBL staff, campaigners and researchers were able to learn firsthand about States Parties’ plans, progress, problems and priorities (the “4 Ps”) on key aspects of treaty implementation, as well as their positions on controversial provisions.

SC on General Status and Operation of the Convention (2004 co-chairs: Mexico and Netherlands; 2004 co-rapporteurs: New Zealand and South Africa; 2005 co-chairs: New Zealand & South Africa; 2005 co-rapporteurs: Belgium & Guatemala). The ICBL, under the leadership of its Treaty Working Group (TWG), continued to highlight key issues, including Article 1 (interpreting the terms “assist and encourage”), Article 2 (the definition of “antipersonnel mine”), Article 3 (the numbers and use of mines retained for training and development), Article 4 (stockpile destruction), Article 7 (universal and comprehensive annual reporting), Article 8 (operationalizing the treaty to prepare for eventual compliance issues), and Article 9 (implementing measures required of all States Parties), as well as universal adherence to the treaty. In June 2005, the TWG Chair began to underscore the connection between Articles 5 and 8, noting that some cases of improper implementation of Article 5 could be seen as compliance issues.[7] While only a few States Parties commented on Articles 1 and 2 during the 2005 intersessional meetings, 15 states reported on the numbers and intended purposes of mines retained under Article 3.

In addition, the ICBL is a key and active participant in meetings of the Contact Groups on universalization (chair: Canada), on Articles 7 and 9 (chair: Belgium) and on Resource Mobilization (chair: Norway).

SC on Mine Clearance, Mine Risk Education and Mine Action Technologies (2004 co-chairs: Cambodia & Japan; 2004 co-rapporteurs: Algeria & Sweden; 2005 co-chairs: Algeria & Sweden; 2005 co-rapporteurs: Jordan & Slovenia). The ICBL Mine Action Working Group (MAWG) and its membership of mine clearance organizations assisted in maintaining the focus of this Standing Committee on the 10-year deadlines for clearing mined areas; urging mine-affected States Parties to ensure their national mine action plans are established and progressing; and seeking to determine the extent of the work that has been completed, what remains to be done and what will be required to accomplish this important treaty-obligation. MAWG members made presentations at both SC meetings on mine clearance effectiveness and efficiency. In 2005, in a new format for the SC meeting, a member of the MAWG was invited to provide direct responses to reports made by States Parties. Some of the mine-affected States Parties reported on their plans, progress, problems, and priorities in meeting their 10-year mine clearance deadline.

SC on Stockpile Destruction (2004 co-chairs: Guatemala & Italy; 2004 co-rapporteurs: Bangladesh & Canada; 2005 co-chairs: Bangladesh & Canada; 2005 co-rapporteurs: Japan and Tanzania). The Treaty Working Group led ICBL’s participation in the Standing Committee on Stockpile Destruction, and the TWG Chair provided the global overview in the opening sessions of both the 2004 and 2005 meetings, in which he noted a few States Parties’ failure to report on their stockpile status, the need for States Parties to include in their transparency reports stockpiled mines discovered after completion of the destruction program, and special technical issues related to the destruction of PFM and ADAM mines. Emphasis in the SC meetings was placed on hearing progress reports from States Parties, identifying problem areas—including a lack of resources for stockpile destruction and the safety of stockpiles—and ensuring compliance with the four-year deadline to destroy stockpiles.

SC on Victim Assistance and Socio-Economic Reintegration (2004 co-chairs: Australia & Croatia; 2004 co-rapporteurs Nicaragua & Norway; 2005 co-chairs: Nicaragua & Norway; 2005 co-rapporteurs: Afghanistan & Switzerland). The ICBL Working Group on Victim Assistance (WGVA) continued to play an important role in setting the agenda for this Standing Committee. The WGVA co-chairs made statements at both intersessional meetings in this reporting period, noting that the existing programs for landmine survivors are still far from meeting their needs, and existing laws do not adequately protect their rights. In 2004, Handicap International reported to the SC on a "lessons-leaned" workshop, held in May, called A Review of Assistance Programs for War Wounded and other Persons with Disabilities Living in Mine-Affected Countries. In 2005, in a new format for the SC meeting, a member of the WGVA was invited to provide direct responses to reports made by States Parties. During the SC meetings, States Parties with particularly large numbers of landmine victims presented information on their problems, plans, progress and priorities in addressing the needs of mine victims.


Other Campaign Activities


ICBL/Landmine Monitor Activities

The release of the Landmine Monitor Report 2004 was by far the most successful to date. Media coverage was more extensive than ever, as was high level political participation and widespread public involvement. Taking a new approach, the report was first released at three major events on 17 November 2004, each with a particular thematic focus. A well-attended press conference at NATO headquarters in Belgium focused on issues related to mine ban policy and use, and was accompanied by a meeting between ICBL representatives and the Secretary-General of NATO, who pledged his broad support. In Mozambique, over 300 people including the Foreign Minister attended the launch, which focused on the report’s findings on mine clearance and risk education. The launch sparked the first-ever Demining Week in Mozambique. In Cambodia, over 4,200 people attended the report’s release that focused on landmine casualties and survivor assistance issues, including King Norodom Sihamoni in one of his first public engagements, as well as numerous ambassadors and other politicians, and many mine survivors.

In the following days, launches and events focused on individual countries were held in dozens of nations and regions, including Abkhazia, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Canada, Colombia, Egypt, France, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Laos, Macedonia, Malawi, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Somaliland, Spain, Switzerland, Syria, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda and Zambia. All of these events drew attention not only to Landmine Monitor, but to the Nairobi Summit and the need for re-doubled efforts to address the landmine problem.


Other Events, Field Missions and Advocacy Efforts

The ICBL participated in and/or organized numerous regional and international events and advocacy activities in 2004 and 2005, many of which are cited here.[8]

From 4-5 June 2004, the Colombian Campaign Against Landmines (CCCM), Geneva Call and the Colombian Congress hosted an International Forum on Antipersonnel Mines, Non-State Actors and Humanitarian Accords, at the Colombian Senate in Bogotá. Participants included government officials, international organizations and civil society representatives.

ICBL campaigners and researchers from Brazil, Canada, Colombia and Ecuador participated in the Americas Regional Mine Action Seminar “Un paso más hacia un hemisferio libre de minas antipersonal” in Quito, Ecuador from 12-13 August 2004, making statements on the Nairobi Summit preparations and survivor assistance.

ICBL campaigners also participated in the Regional Workshop on Development Challenges of Mine Clearance and Victim Assistance in Southeast Asia, jointly organized by the governments of Thailand as well as Australia, Canada and Norway from 30 August to 1 September 2004 in Bangkok. They also published a press release calling on Thailand and Cambodia to address the rights of landmine survivors.

The ICBL Government Relations Officer, also a member of the French National Commission for the Elimination of Antipersonnel Landmines (CNEMA) participated in a visit to Lebanon organized by CNEMA on 2 and 3 September 2004. She met with the Lebanese Defense Minister—previously Minister of Foreign Affairs—and stressed the importance of Lebanon continuing to address the landmine problem on its territory and eventually joining the treaty. The Landmines Resource Center, a member of the ICBL, organized a briefing to introduce the delegation to the work being done on landmines by the Lebanese NGOs and Red Crescent.

Jody Williams and the ICBL participated in the New Tactics in Human Rights International Symposium which took place 29 September-2 October 2004 in Ankara, Turkey. Nearly 500 activists from 80 countries around the world, working in areas as diverse as human, civil, social, political and environmental rights, took part and discussed tactical and strategic cases, sharing experiences of use of various tactics in national and international campaigns and social change efforts.

On 28 October 2004, Handicap International unveiled a seven-meter high doll with one leg at the Belgian Parliament. Brussels was the doll’s first stop on a tour aimed at demonstrating the huge task remaining to ensure that all landmine survivors and mine-affected communities receive the assistance they need.

Early in November, the Landmine Monitor-Algeria researcher/ICBL campaigner participated in Algeria’s first stockpile destruction event and handed a copy of the Landmine Monitor report in Arabic to the Algerian president, chief of staff and foreign affairs officials. In November, the Egyptian NGO Protection of Armaments and Consequences organized in Cairo a regional seminar on mine victims and mine action in the Middle East, including the participation of landmine survivors from many Arabic-speaking countries.

On 16 December 2004, the Canadian Ambassador to Indonesia, H.E. Randolph Mank, hosted the Indonesian government, the diplomatic community, UN bodies, NGOs and media during a dinner to support the work towards Indonesian ratification of the Mine Ban Treaty. This event was held in cooperation with the Indonesian Campaign to Ban Landmines, which at the same time also launched the Indonesian translation of the Landmine Monitor Report 2004.

In January 2005, Sustainable Peace & Development Organization (SPADO), a member of ICBL based in Pakistan, organized a workshop in Peshawar called Landmine in the perspective of Islam. The speakers, all with a religious background, exchanged their views on how the use of landmines violated the tenets of Islam, noting that “Islam being a religion of peace and brotherhood forbids its followers from hurting women, children and aged citizens of the enemy country during war.”

Mines Action Canada, in conjunction with the Youth Mine Action Ambassador Program, held its sixth annual Canadian Landmine Awareness Week from 28 February to 5 March 2005. Events included a cross-country speaking tour, a national butterfly ribbon campaign, and a march of shoes.

On 1 March 2005, in Copenhagen, Denmark Against Landmines hosted a seminar on “Mine Action after the Nairobi Summit. DanChurchAid gave a presentation on challenges for mine action in the period leading up to the first mine clearance deadlines. The discussion included important issues such as: criteria for extensions of the clearance deadlines, Denmark’s plans to fulfill its commitments under the treaty, a debate about mechanical versus manual demining, and a discussion about the obligation of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty to become mine-free as opposed to “mine-safe.”

Taking advantage of the invitation extended to ICBL by the Bilgi University of Istanbul, ICBL organized an advocacy mission in Turkey from 12 to 18 March 2005, in collaboration with the local NGO Initiative for a Mine-Free Turkey. The ICBL delegation met with NGOs, students and academics and gave interviews to local media. ICBL discussed implementation issues with representatives of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, two members of Parliament and representatives of States Parties based in Ankara. ICBL also met with mine survivors and their families, as well as with authorities of Nusaybin, a mine-affected town in southeast Turkey.

From 10 to 13 April 2005, ICBL participated in a training on the Mine Ban Treaty for journalists from the Gulf states. The training was organized by the Bahraini Human Rights Society, in collaboration with Protection, and with the financial support of Canada. A total of 33 participants attended from Bahrain, Egypt, France, Gambia, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and the USA. The journalists discussed the treaty and its relationship with international humanitarian and human rights law, how to organize a media campaign on landmines, and the role of civil society in promoting the landmine ban, including the work of the Landmine Monitor. In the margins of the meeting, ICBL met with Bahraini officials to call on them to support a ban on landmines and join the Mine Ban Treaty.

In April 2005, SPADO, in collaboration with the Department of Fine Arts, University of Peshawar, Pakistan, arranged a posters/sketches competition on the issue of landmines. Orientation sessions were conducted to provide information to the students about landmines and different themes were then developed for the contest. At the end the students developed posters related to landmines that will be used in exhibitions and other activities related to awareness-raising and lobbying.

In May 2005, the new Austrian Aid for Mine Victims/ICBL poster received the Golden Award of Montreux for public interest materials, one of the most prestigious prizes in the advertising world.

On 8 and 9 May 2005, ICBL participated in a symposium on the implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty in Algeria, followed on 10 May by attendance of Algeria’s third stockpile destruction ceremony. On 28 and 29 March, Handicap International, an ICBL member, witnessed the second stockpile destruction ceremony.

On 12 May 2005, ICBL participated in the Tripoli Seminar on Removing Landmines, sponsored by the National Program to Remove Landmines and Rehabilitate Land, the Gaddafi International Foundation for Charitable Associations, and the Canadian Embassy in Tripoli, Libya. The workshop created an opportunity for Libyan authorities to increase their knowledge about the Mine Ban Treaty, including the mechanisms in place to ensure its implementation, and international assistance available for mine-affected States Parties. During the opening ceremony, engineer Seif al-Islam Gaddafi, chair of the Gaddafi Foundation, publicly called on his country to join the treaty and launched a campaign for the removal of mines along Libya's borders with Egypt and Chad.

An ICBL and Landmine Monitor delegation conducted an advocacy/research mission in Azerbaijan from 19 to 22 May 2005, in collaboration with the Azerbaijan Campaign to Ban Landmines. They met with the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Araz Azimov, who said the Ministry was working internally to improve the government’s understanding of the treaty and to determine how Azerbaijan could accede to it. ICBL also met with the Director the Azerbaijani Mine Clearance Agency. The ICBL delegation discussed further support for the treaty with the Chairman of the Parliamentarian Commission on Social Policy, as well as with representatives of States Parties and the OSCE. In addition, ICBL held a meeting with NGOs in Baku and participated in a press conference.

From 22 to 27 May 2005, the Georgian Committee of the ICBL organized an advocacy/research mission in Georgia for an ICBL/LM delegation. They met with representatives of the newly elected government and parliamentarians to discuss the landmine problem in Georgia and to determine their position vis-à-vis the treaty. They also brought up the allegation of mine use during the 2004 conflict in South Ossetia. The delegation met with the chairman of the parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee, as well as representatives of States Parties, the UN, ICRC, European Commission (EC) and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). In addition, the LM coordinator for the CIS, together with the Abkhaz Committee to Ban Landmines, spent two days in Abkhazia to meet with officials and other actors involved in mine action, mainly the HALO Trust and the ICRC.

On 16 June 2005, the European Parliament (EP) organized a “Landmine Info Day” during which Luisa Morgantini, Chair of the European Parliament’s Development Committee appealed for “Zero Tolerance” for landmines and mine-like weapons. ICBL Ambassador Jody Williams, and Ambassador Wolfgang Petritsch, who presided over the Nairobi Summit in November-December 2004, also made interventions. Throughout the day, speakers representing NGOs, international agencies and institutions as well as European Union and other states took turns commenting on the outstanding challenges on the road towards a mine-free world: the need for accelerated clearance, for increased resources to be channeled to victim assistance and rehabilitation, as well as for renewed efforts to promote universalization of the Mine Ban Treaty and the involvement of non-state actors in the mine ban. The hearing—during which the European institutions were repeatedly urged to confirm their commitment to the struggle against landmines—was followed by an EP resolution, approved on 7 July, calling for a mine-free world.

From 1 to 31 July 2005, the Japan Campaign to Ban Landmines (JCBL) held a stand at the NGO Global Village at the Japan Global Exposition, EXPO 2005 Aichi, the first exposition of the 21st century. The JCBL pavilion focused on the success story of the civil society calling for the total ban of antipersonnel landmines. JCBL invited ICBL ambassador Tun Channareth and international campaigners Denise Coghlan from Cambodia, Freddy de Alwis and Ranawaka Arachchige from Sri Lanka, Purna Shova from Nepal and Jai-Kook Cho from Korea along with survivor Kim Su Min.

ICBL spoke at the Global Young Leaders Conference in Prague on 8 July 2005 on the theme: Landmines: a Hidden Human Rights Violation, Taking Action for Change. Ali Srour, a young survivor from Lebanon and a 2004 Raising the Voices Graduate started the conference off by explaining how the presence of mines in his country and his mine incident violated his human rights. Anne Capelle, ICBL Executive Director, presented the general effects of mines on victims and civilian populations in general. She also described the ICBL and the Mine Ban Treaty, highlighting in what ways the treaty was achieved through a unique process that created a new way of making social change.

On 21 July 2005, ICBL’s Diplomatic Advisor Satnam Singh unveiled a photography exhibition by Ray Bachtiar at the Indonesian National Museum in Jakarta. Ray Bachtiar’s photos featured the impact of landmines in Cambodia. More than 100 invited guests attended the opening of the exhibition. In his speech, Ambassador Singh urged the Indonesian government to ratify the Mine Ban Treaty, which it signed on 4 December 1997. He also met with senior high level officials during his stay in Indonesia. The event was organized by the Indonesian CBL.

The president of the Indian Institute for Peace, Disarmament & Environmental Protection, and the coordinator of the Indian Campaign to Ban Landmines, Dr. Balkrishna Kurvey, gave a lecture on 24 July 2005 on the landmine problem in India during a conference on the Prevention of Nuclear War and Its Effects - Role of Medical Fraternity, in Nagpur (India).


Coordinated Campaign Actions, Activities and Resources

The ICBL issued several action alerts and calls to action in 2004 and 2005. In addition to the Countdown to Nairobi alerts noted above, ICBL celebrated the 6th anniversary of the entry into force of the Mine Ban Treaty with a 1 March 2005 Call to Action—the Road beyond Nairobi. ICBL members were called to urge States Parties to implement the ambitious Action Plan they adopted in Nairobi; to encourage states not party to the treaty to take steps towards ratifying or acceding to the Treaty, and to publicize their message and share their plans within the whole network. A call to action was also issued on 7 April 2005 asking campaigners to contact their governments to remind them of the 30 April deadline for Article 7 annual reports and encouraging them to provide more comprehensive and detailed reports.

In response to the 1 March Call to Action, campaigners held briefings and issued press releases that were reported in their national newspapers in Cambodia, Ethiopia, Greece, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Pakistan, among other countries. Activities carried out in Cambodia and Ethiopia are illustrative of the work done by many national campaigns. In anticipation of the 1 March anniversary, the Cambodian Campaign organised a mine awareness day on 24 February, sending letters and materials to embassies calling for mine action funding. Campaigners organised awareness-raising programs in mine-affected villages in the Ba Ttambang, Siem Reap and Banteay Meanchey provinces.

Campaigners in Ethiopia, which announced its ratification of the treaty during the Nairobi Summit, took advantage of the treaty anniversary to engage their government on treaty implementation. Their activities included a forum on 1 March, during which stakeholders in treaty implementation were invited to present papers on the government’s recent activities on mine action and victim assistance. Participants included representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, Ethiopian Mine Action Office, Rehabilitation and Development Organization, and Landmine Survivors Network Ethiopia. Participants underlined the need for Ethiopia to implement the treaty and the Nairobi Action Plan. The event received very good media coverage.

During 2004-2005 ICBL continued and intensified its effort to build the capacities of campaigners in order to enable them to take on more responsibility in organizing activities at local, national and international levels in the post-Nairobi period of the ICBL. One key tool for campaigners is the ICBL website, which was completely redesigned in mid-2004. The new site allows campaigners to contribute directly to the content of the website, including posting articles on the homepage about important activities or developments in their region. Improvements were made to pages on the ICBL web site to make them increasingly accessible and user-friendly.

In addition, news articles were added regularly to the homepage, the database of resources in the Index on Landmines was expanded and the Image Library saw many new images added. A Nairobi Summit web page was created with extensive photo coverage added during and after the conference. More country-specific advocacy pages were added during the year. Landmine Monitor Report 2004 was made available online.[9] In addition, the 1999 and 2000 reports were reformatted and made available with one page per country reports, easily selectable throughout all LM pages with a year and country selector.

The ICBL supported campaigns as they developed country pages on the ICBL server. Training workshops were organized on the margins of regional and international campaign meetings and other forums to train campaigns on how to use online tools and software programs. Some 70 email accounts and 30 mailing lists are hosted on the ICBL server. In addition 15 lists are still active on Yahoo Groups.

On 30 August 2004, ICBL launched an international action alert calling for the immediate release of Rafique Al-Islam, the campaign's representative in Bangladesh and Landmine Monitor researcher. Rafique Al Islam was arrested at his home in Cox's Bazar on 21 August 2004. After immediate and strong mobilization of all ICBL members and the international peace and human rights movement, with crucial support from several States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty, Rafique Al-Islam was set free on 19 September 2004. The Bangladesh Court dropped charges against him for lack of evidence on 19 April 2005.


[1] The Major Findings of Landmine Monitor Report 2004 were translated into Arabic, Dutch, French, Khmer, Japanese, Norwegian, Russian, Spanish and Turkish. The translations can be found online at For translations of the Major Findings of Landmine Monitor Report 2005, see

[2] The new ICBL staff are: Anne Capelle, Executive Director; Sylvie Brigot, Advocacy Director; Tamar Gabelnick, Treaty Implementation Director; and Virginie André, Project Assistant. ICBL Coordinator Liz Bernstein stepped down in February 2005, ICBL Advocacy and Media Officer Sue Wixley departed in January 2005, ICBL Government Relations Officer Sylvie Brigot resigned to take on her new position in March 2005, ICBL Program Officer Jackie Hansen resigned to work for MAC as the Landmine Monitor’s Project Coordinator in March 2005, and ICBL Intersessional Officer Susan B. Walker departed in May 2005.

[3] For additional activities in preparation for the Nairobi Summit, see Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 1243.

[4] The action alerts can be found at

[5] The media page is found at:

[6] These declarations are available at and

[7] See the ICBL statement at

[8] Additional information on these and other events can be found at and in the June 2005 ICBL newsletter, online at

[9] Landmine Monitor Report 2004 can be found at