Toward a Landmine-Free World Conference Marks 20 Years of the Mine Ban Treaty


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The Fourth Review Conference of the international Mine Ban Treaty opened in Oslo, Norway on November 25th, 2019. A total of 164 states have joined the treaty, committing to cease production, use, and transfer of antipersonnel mines, to destroy their stockpiles, clear mine-affected areas, and assist mine survivors.

It is worth celebrating the significant steps states have taken over the past 20 years to alleviate the suffering caused by antipersonnel mines through this treaty. Since the Mine Ban Treaty entered into force on March 1, 1999, 27 additional countries have joined, including many that possessed large stockpiles of or were significantly contaminated by landmines. New use of antipersonnel mines has decreased dramatically due to stigma created by the ban treaty. In 2018, only Myanmar, which has not joined the treaty, used antipersonnel mines. More than 50 states previously produced antipersonnel mines, but 41 have ceased production, including the United States and three others that have not joined the treaty. Governments have collectively destroyed more than 55 million stockpiled antipersonnel mines. A total of 31 countries once affected by antipersonnel mines have been declared mine-free. In 2018, funding for mine action totaled approximately $699.5 million, the second-highest yearly total to date.

However, considerable challenges remain. Thirty-three states have yet to join the Mine Ban Treaty, including China, Russia, and the US. In 2018, non-state armed groups used antipersonnel landmines, often improvised versions, in six countries. According to the annual Landmine Monitor report by the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, over 6,800 people were killed or injured by landmines or explosive remnants of war in 2018. Where the age of victims was recorded, more than half of the casualties were children. Around the world, 55 countries are still mine-affected.

States still outside the treaty should take steps to join. They should participate in the Review Conference and other meetings of the treaty, submit voluntary transparency reports, and vote in favor of the annual United Nations General Assembly resolution promoting universalization and implementation of the treaty.

As a co-founder of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, the 1997 Nobel Peace Laureate along with Jody Williams, Human Rights Watch challenges all states to step up their efforts to achieve a landmine-free world under the auspices of the Mine Ban Treaty.

 

 

 

Jacqulyn Kantack
Associate, Arms Division

Human Rights Watch

1275 K St. NW Suite 1100

Washington, DC 20005
Phone : +1 202 612 4351

LANDMINE MONITOR 2019- PSALM Students Concerned About Rising Casualties

 

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Mine Ban Success

Only one state not party to the Mine Ban Treaty—Myanmar—and a small number of non-state armed groups used landmines in 2018 according to Landmine Monitor 2019.

The findings point to the resounding success of the treaty since it entered into force 20 years ago and to the global stigma against use of the weapon. Today there are 164 States Party to the Mine Ban Treaty and a de-facto moratorium on the production and use of the weapon among most countries in the world. “The 20-year record of the Treaty is more than impressive. We believe it is the most successful disarmament and humanitarian treaty ever. It has created a strong stigma against the weapon that affects even those who have not joined, and it has made a tremendous difference on the ground in mine-affected communities. It has saved tens or even hundreds of thousands of lives, limbs, and livelihoods,” said Human Rights Watch Arms Division Director and Monitor Ban Policy Contributor, Steve Goose.

Troubling Casualty Trend

As the global mine ban norm progresses, an upswing in casualty rates since 2015 marks a disturbing trend. The Monitor reports that 2018 was the fourth year in a row with exceptionally high numbers of recorded casualties due to landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW). This includes improvised types that act as antipersonnel mines (also called improvised mines), cluster munition remnants, and other ERW.

In 2018, Landmine Monitor recorded 6,897 people killed or injured by mines and ERW. Armed conflict and large-scale violence, particularly in Afghanistan, Mali, Myanmar, Nigeria, Syria, and Ukraine, heavily influenced the high level of casualties recorded.

Accurate data gathering for active conflicts, however, remains challenging and casualties almost certainly exceeded those reported. “The continued high casualty rates in 2018 following years of life-saving Treaty success is a call to action as States meet next week for the twenty-year Review Conference in Oslo,” said Monitor Victim Assistance Specialist, Loren Persi.

Startlingly, the 2018 casualty total was nearly double the lowest number of annual casualties recorded by Landmine Monitor—3,457 casualties in 2013. For the third consecutive year, the highest number of annual casualties recorded was caused by improvised mines (3,789), while 2018 also marked the most improvised mine casualties recorded to date. “The Mine Ban Treaty has shown incredible impact in stigmatizing the weapon among states and thus reducing casualties, however the rising casualty trend related to non-state armed group use of improvised mines means we must refocus mine action efforts including mine risk education (MRE),” said ICBL-CMC Director Hector Guerra.

As in previous years, the vast majority of recorded landmine/ERW casualties during the 2018–2019 reporting period were civilians (71%) where their status was known.
Children accounted for 54% of all civilian casualties where their status was known. The child casualty rate represents a 12% increase over the past two reporting years according to the Landmine Monitor 2019 report.
 PSALM students find this information very troubling. One student was quoted as saying, “this is why it is important that all nations, including our own join the ban on these weapons”.

LANDMINE MONITOR 2019

LANDMINE MONITOR 2019

The Monitor has recorded more than 130,000 mine/ERW casualties since its global tracking began in 1999, including some 90,000 survivors.

Support for Mine Action

Donors and affected states contributed nearly US$700 million in combined international and national support for mine action in 2018. This represents a decrease in combined support of some $95 million compared with 2017, while international support decreased by approximately $53 million. This is still the second-highest combined total for international and national mine action funding ever reported by the Monitor. This funding was concentrated in five states—Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Croatia, and Lao PDR—which received 55% of all international support for mine action.

Similarly, while international donor support for victim assistance in 2018 increased by $17 million overall, half of all dedicated victim assistance funding went to just four countries: Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, and Syria, the Monitor report found. A continuous decline was recorded for most other recipients, jeopardizing the sustainability of essential programs, despite the life-long needs of victims.

Contamination and Clearance

Fifty-nine states and other areas are contaminated by antipersonnel mines as of October 2019 according to Landmine Monitor 2019 data. Contamination includes new use of antipersonnel mines reported in States Parties Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Yemen in 2018.

Massive antipersonnel mine contamination (defined by ICBL-CMC as more than 100km²) is believed to exist in States Parties Afghanistan, Angola, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Chad, Croatia, Iraq, Thailand, Turkey, and Yemen. One state not party, Azerbaijan, and one other area, Western Sahara, are also believed to have extensive contamination.

In the face of this challenge, mine clearance continued to progress in 2018 with at least 140km² of land reported clear of landmines. Over the past five years (2014–2018), overall clearance of landmines among States Parties is estimated to total some 800km², with at least 661,491 landmines destroyed, according to the 2019 Monitor report.

Non-technical and technical surveys by States Parties have contributed greatly to releasing significant amounts of land, over the last five years.

Mine-Free

Thirty-one States Parties, one state not party, and one other area have completed clearance of all mined areas on their territory since the Mine Ban Treaty entered into force in 1999, saving countless lives. Five of those—Algeria, Burundi, Mauritania, Montenegro, and Mozambique—have achieved mine-free status within the last five years.

As of October 2019, 27 States Parties have deadlines to meet their Article 5 mine clearance obligations, before and no later than 2025. 2025 is the aspirational target set by States Parties at the Maputo Review Conference in 2014, for global completion of mine clearance obligations. Four States Parties have deadlines after 2025: Croatia (2026), Iraq (2028), Palestine (2028), and Sri Lanka (2028).

Victim Assistance

In 2018–2019, despite ongoing efforts, most States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty with significant numbers of mine victims lacked suitable resources and practices to fulfill the commitments made in the 2014–2019 Maputo Action Plan.

In most States Parties, some efforts to improve the quality and quantity of health and physical rehabilitation programs for survivors were undertaken according to Landmine Monitor 2019. Nevertheless, the need for assisting victims remain great. “Significant gaps remain in access to employment, training, and other income-generation support activities in many of the States Parties where opportunities for livelihoods are most needed,” said Victim Assistance Specialist, Loren Persi.

Stockpile Destruction

States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty have destroyed more than 55 million stockpiled antipersonnel mines since the Treaty came into force, including more than 1.4 million destroyed in 2018. One state—Oman—completed the destruction of its landmine stockpile in September 2018.

In 1999, all states collectively (both treaty signatories and non-signatories) stockpiled about 160 million antipersonnel mines. Today, the global total of stockpiled antipersonnel mines could be less than 50 million.

Production and Transfer

Forty-one states have ceased production of antipersonnel mines according to the 2019 Monitor report, including four that are not party to the Mine Ban Treaty—Egypt, Israel, Nepal, and the US—demonstrating the strength of the global mine ban norm. However 11 states have yet to disavow future production and are therefore identified by the Monitor as landmine producers.

Landmine Monitor 2019 identifies NSAGs as producing improvised landmines in Afghanistan, Colombia, Myanmar, Nigeria, Pakistan, Tunisia, and Yemen during the reporting period, including mass production of victim-activated IEDs (improvised mines) by Houthi forces in Yemen during the period 2018–2019. There is no evidence, according to the Monitor, of state-to-state transfers of antipersonnel mines over the past 20 years and at least nine states not party to the ban have formal moratoriums on the export of antipersonnel mines.

As countries continue to work to clear mine-contaminated land, the Monitor identifies much that remains to be done, including support for the rights and needs of landmine survivors and their communities.

Countries both within and without the regime are contributing significant resources toward mine clearance and other mine action activities, affirming the impact that this first humanitarian disarmament treaty continues to have after more than two decades.

About the Monitor:

Landmine Monitor 2019 is released by the International Campaign to Ban Landmines in advance of the Fourth Review Conference taking place 25–29 November. Detailed country-specific information is available in online country profiles, while the chapters in the report provide global analysis and findings. The report focuses on calendar year 2018, with information included into November 2019 in some cases. This is the twentyfirst annual Landmine Monitor report.
Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor is the research arm of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines – Cluster Munition Coalition (ICBL-CMC). The ICBL was awarded the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize for its work to eradicate landmines. The Monitor is coordinated by a Monitoring and Research Committee comprised of ICBL-CMC expert staff, research team leaders, and representatives of five non-governmental organizations: DanChurchAid, Danish Demining Group, Human Rights Watch, Humanity & Inclusion, and Mines Action Canada.

Links:

• Landmine Monitor 2019 landing page, including new maps - http://bit.ly/LandMineMonitor19

• ICBL - www.icbl.org

• Mine Ban Treaty - www.apminebanconvention.org

• Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor Twitter – twitter.com/MineMonitor

• ICBL Twitter – twitter.com/minefreeworld

• ICBL Facebook - www.facebook.com/pg/minefreeworld/

For more information, a full copy of the report, related graphics, or to schedule an interview, contact:

• Jared Bloch, Advocacy and Communications Manager, (CET), Mobile/WhatsApp +41 (0) 78-683-4407 or email media@icblcmc.org

 

PSALM Students Make Presentations at West Virginia University Global Health/ Maldives accedes to Convention on Cluster Munitions

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PSALM: Proud Students Against Landmines and Cluster Bombs /West Virginia Campaign to Ban Landmines and Cluster Bombs made presentations to the visiting public during Global Health Week at West Virginia University, October 14-18th. The program at West Virginia University is designed to promote, support, and encourage awareness of global health. PSALM students joined international experts, WVU faculty, and students to share their experiences and perspectives on global health issues. PSALM students focused on the effects of the remnants of wars and conflicts on civilian populations. Student presentations were designed in hopes of garnering supporters for their new initiative, “Be the Change” which asks visitors to make contact with national and international political leadership for support of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and Cluster Munition Coalition’s endeavors. Students also worked to raise awareness and to advocate for the rights and needs of victims and the importance of support for victim assistance. Older PSALM students mentored younger, newer members on how to interact with the public and how to convey their message.

Students organize Awareness Day at school

Students organize Awareness Day at school

MALDIVES Accedes CCM 

As the Convention on Cluster Munitions Celebrates Nine Years Preventing Unacceptable Harm from Cluster Munitions, PSALM/WVCBL celebrates Maldives acceding to the CCM. Congratulations, Maldives and all campaigners!

Nine years after entering into force, the The Convention on Cluster Munitions is more relevant than ever, and the imperative greater than ever for all countries to cease production and use of this horrible weapon that overwhelmingly kills civilians.

PSALM Students Celebrate the International Day of Peace

psalm peace 19PSALM students celebrated the International Day of Peace by sponsoring a school-wide awareness event. Recognizing that disarmament is important in the process of peace-building, students met to discuss ways to raise awareness about landmines and cluster munitions, survivors issues and how to bring the United States aboard the treaties. Students sent press releases to publicize the events.

Students also initiated a membership drive which has resulted in 24 new members. Students are preparing for West Virginia University Health Science Center’s “Global Health Week” centered on global health issues. Students will be making presentations at the university in hopes of garnering supporters for their new initiative, “Be The Change” which asks visitors to make contact with national political leadership for support of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and Cluster Munition Coalition’s endeavors.

The Ninth Meeting of States Parties (9MSP) of the Convention on Cluster Munitions

The Ninth Meeting of States Parties (9MSP) of the Convention on Cluster Munitions was held place from 2 to 4 September 2019 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. PSALM/WVCBL has urged United States to send representation to this Meeting of States Parties.

During the three-day meeting States noted the Convention’s success in globally stigmatizing cluster munitions and preventing further civilian harm by these nefarious weapons, and the need to bring more countries on board immediately to achieve 130 States Parties by 2020 – a target set by States at the First Review Conference in 2015. States loudly condemned any use of cluster munitions, anywhere, by anyone. PSALM/WVCBL join in this condemnation of cluster munition use.

During the meeting, the 9MSP President, Aliyar Lebbe Abdul Azeez, officially handed over Presidency of the Convention to Swiss Ambassador, Félix Baumann. Switzerland will preside over the Convention’s Second Review Conference taking place in 2020.  

The Cluster Munition Coalition thanks the outgoing Presidency for their stewardship, and welcomes working with the Swiss Presidency in preparation for the Review Conference. 

To see the meeting agenda and States’ documents, visit the Convention on Cluster Munitions website.

Opening Statement By CMC 9th Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions 2-4 September 2019

Thank you, Mr. President. Dear friends–diplomats, representatives of civil society and intergovernmental organizations—with close to a decade of implementation and with its Second Review Conference rapidly approaching, I think we can agree the Convention on Cluster Munitions has come of age. Indeed, the Convention has established itself as an important international instrument that has helped to save lives, limbs and livelihoods. The CCM is also at a crucial juncture where new energy and commitment are needed to continue the successes of its first decade. At this moment, as Convention stakeholders, we need to ask ourselves some critical questions if we are serious about achieving a cluster-munition free 2030. • How do we feel about the slow rate of universalization? • Are our stigmatization efforts sufficient? • How do we feel about the shrinking resources available for Meetings of States Parties? Are the Convention and its community living up to the hopes and aspirations expressed on 23 February 2007 when the Oslo Process was launched and later captured in the text of the Convention? Mr. President, as time is of the essence in these two days of official work in the 9MSP, I will ask a final question: How does the commitment to Convention implementation and universalization reflect a larger commitment by the international community to the advancement of humanitarian disarmament and multilateralism in general? At the Cluster Munition Coalition, we are convinced that with strengthened political will and increased financial resources, the Convention on Cluster Munitions has great potential to deliver on its promises and to remain an important example of International Humanitarian Law that works. We look forward to working with you all to this end, here and in the lead up to the Second Review Conference. Thank you

cluster bomb detonation near school in Laos

cluster bomb detonation near school in Laos

August 1st Marks the 9th Anniversary of Entry into Force of the Convention on Cluster Munitions

We-Can-Stop-Cluster-Bombs180x_432x432The 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions entered into force on 1 August 2010 and bans all use of cluster munitions as well as requiring clearance of cluster munitions remnants, destruction of stockpiles, and the provision of assistance for victims. Members of PSALM/WVCBL urge all countries, including the United States, to join the treaty, work towards clearance and assist survivors.

The Convention on Cluster Munitions is a humanitarian imperative-driven legal instrument which prohibits all use, production, transfer and stockpiling of cluster munitions. In addition, it establishes a framework for cooperation and assistance to ensure adequate assistance to survivors and their communities, clearance of contaminated areas, risk reduction education and destruction of stockpiles.

By ratifying or acceding to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, States Parties commit to never use, produce, stockpile or transfer cluster munitions. Furthermore States Parties commit to destroy existing stockpiles in eight years; clear contaminated land in ten years; assist victims; provide technical, material and financial assistance to other States Parties; undertake transparency measures; adopt national implementation measures; and promote universal adherence to the Convention.

Cluster munitions are unacceptable for two reasons. Firstly, they have wide area effects and are unable to distinguish between civilians and combatants. Secondly, the use of cluster munitions leave behind large numbers of dangerous unexploded ordnance. Such remnants kill and injure civilians, obstruct economic and social development, and have other severe consequences that persist for years and decades after use.

Adopted on 30 May 2008 in Dublin, Ireland and signed on 3-4 December 2008 in Oslo, Norway, the Convention on Cluster Munitions entered into force on 1 August 2010. To date 120 states have committed to the goals of the Convention, of which 106 have become States Parties and 14 are Signatories.

Five-year road map (2015-2020)

To guide States Parties effectively implement the provisions of the Convention on Cluster Munitions from the First to the Second Review Conference, States Parties adopted a five-year roadmap called the Dubrovnik Action Plan (DAP).

World Cup Soccer Inspires Children to Work for World Free of Landmines and Cluster Bombs

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Every World Cup tournament inspires young people worldwide to be the soccer players/ footballers of tomorrow. Yet for those living in cluster munition, landmine and UXO contaminated countries, this dream remains a difficult reality. 

Displaying IMG_0873.JPGA cluster munition, also known as a cluster bomb, is a weapon containing multiple explosive submunitions. Like landmines, these submunitions can remain a fatal threat to anyone in the area long after a conflict ends.

Cluster munitions are dropped from aircraft or fired from the ground or sea, opening up in mid-air to release tens or hundreds of submunitions, which can saturate an area up to the size of several football fields. Anybody within the strike area of the cluster munition, be they military or civilian, is very likely to be killed or seriously injured. The fuze of each submunition is generally activated as it falls so that it will explode above or on the ground. But often large numbers of the submunitions fail to work as designed, and instead land on the ground without exploding, where they remain as very dangerous.

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Indiscriminate Weapons

  • Cluster bombs are designed as anti‐personnel, anti‐armor weapons, but the primary victims have been innocent civilians. More than 95% of known cluster bomb victims are civilians and 40 percent are children, who are drawn to the small, toy‐like metal objects. 
  • Cluster bomb casings release hundreds of bomblets—the size of a soup can or orange—over wide areas, frequently missing intended military targets and killing nearby civilians.
  • Commonly used cluster bombs are designed to explode into hundreds of pieces of razor‐sharp shrapnel that rip through bodies. Displaying IMG_0350.JPG                                                                  A soccer player from Laos, Mini Phanthavong, lives in an area that is heavily contaminated with cluster munition remnants. For Mini and his football friends, kicking the ball off the football pitch could be lethal. “When we kick the ball into a bush or the forest lawn, we have to go out of the playing field to collect the ball,” says Mini, “with every step that I walk outside of the marked pathway, I am always concerned and scared.”     Displaying IMG_0872.JPG           Every country in the world, including the United States, can and should join the CONVENTION ON CLUSTER MUNITIONS and THE MINE BAN TREATY. To accomplish that, we need you! Your voice is needed… JOIN WVCBL/PSALM AND CONTACT your elected officials (https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials) and let them know we aren’t going to win a war or defend our country with a weapon that kills civilians, especially children. It is a question of political will and of prioritizing the protection of civilians over using outdated and indiscriminate weapons.Displaying IMG_0222.JPG

ICBL DIRECTOR JOINS YOUTH CAMPAIGNER EXCHANGE IN WEST VIRGINIA

 

The West Virginia Campaign to Ban Landmines and Cluster Munitions facilitated a series of exchanges on Mine Ban advocacy and youth, with ICBL-CMC Director Hector Guerra.

On Tuesday, May 7, the Director joined WVCBL member, Dr. Larry Schwab for a discussion with Proud Students Against Land Mines and Cluster Munitions (PSALM). The group presented their longstanding work advocating for the elimination of landmines and cluster munitions in the U.S. after which they asked about campaigning at an international level.

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ICBL-CMC Director with PSALM students and WVCBL member, Dr. Larry Schwab (right).

For the past 20 years, the student organization from St. Francis de Sales School in Morgantown, West Virginia, has generated public awareness on the life saving impact of the Mine Ban Treaty (MBT) and since 2008, the Convention on Cluster Munitions. PSALM comprises students from grades 3-8, meaning many of the 8th grade students will have spent 5 years advocating for an end to landmines and cluster munitions.

PSALM students present art and gifts

PSALM students sharing advocacy work.

PSALM forms an integral part of the West Virginia Campaign to Ban Landmines (WVCBL).

This year, PSALM students are celebrating their 20th anniversary as a student-led organization. As part of the celebrations, the group hosted an exhibit of art and photosdedicated to 20 years of advocacy around the treaties.

PSALM, HECTOR AND WVU PRESIDENT, GORDON GEE

On Wednesday 8 May, West Virginia University hosted ICBL and the PSALM students for a discussion on advocating for a world free of landmines and cluster munitions. Specific topics included the international push for disinvestment from production of the weapons to providing assistance to victims. The panel discussion was joined by West Virginia University president, Dr. Gordon Gee, who commended the ICBL-CMC on its work.

Global Action for Mine Awareness Day

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On Mine Awareness Day 2019, PSALM (PROUD STUDENTS AGAINST LANDMINES AND CLUSTER BOMBS) joined the International Campaign to Ban Landmines in celebrating twenty years of Mine Ban Treaty success and the role of civil society and mine action partners in Taking Action for a Safer World.

The Treaty remains one of the most successful disarmament instruments ever. With 80% of the world’s countries on board, and many other countries in de facto compliance, the Treaty has nearly eliminated the production and use of antipersonnel landmines by states, while contributing to saving people’s lives and limbs every day.

Global Action

This year, in preparation for the Fourth Review Conference on a Mine Free-World, we are taking action and calling on all States Not Party to join the Treaty without delay and help end the suffering caused by landmines, within a few short years.

During the past month over 40 ICBL campaigns in some 32 countries around the world, including PSALM, have sent letters calling for five targeted countries: Cuba, Lebanon, Singapore, Georgia and Marshall Islands to accede to the Mine Ban Treaty. These countries have already shown support for and worked on behalf of Treaty aims and should take immediate steps to accede to the Treaty and to announce this to the global mine ban community at the conference taking place November 25-29 in Oslo, Norway.

  • Cuba is the last country in Latin America and the Caribbean still remaining outside of the Mine Ban Treaty, it has expressed support for the humanitarian aim of the Treaty, and has participated in a number of Treaty meetings. In addition Cuba is a State Party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, which is guided by the same humanitarian principles as the Mine Ban Treaty. Cuba’s accession to the Treaty would be of great significance – bringing all of Latin America and the Caribbean onboard of the Treaty.
  • Georgia is one of only 32 states that still remain outside of the Treaty. Contaminated by landmines, Georgia has taken a number of important steps in the spirit of the Treaty, including clearing its land, providing assistance to victims, voting in favor of the annual UNGA resolution calling for universalization of the Treaty, as well as attending some treaty meetings. Since landmines still continue to take a toll on Georgia’s land and people.
  • Lebanon is among the 32 states that still remain outside of the Treaty. Heavily contaminated by landmines, Lebanon has taken a number of important steps in the spirit of the Treaty, including clearing contaminated land, providing assistance to victims, attending treaty meetings and speaking in favor of accession.  In addition Lebanon is a State Party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, which is guided by the same humanitarian principles as the Mine Ban Treaty. Since landmines still continue to take a heavy toll on Lebanon’s land and people.
  • Singapore is also among the small number of states that still remain outside of the Mine Ban Treaty. Singapore has voted in favor of the annual UNGA resolution calling for the universalization of the Treaty and has participated in a number of Treaty meetings. In addition, we understand that Singapore has ceased to produce antipersonnel mines and has a moratorium on their export. As a modern state and nation, actively supporting disarmament initiatives, Singapore’s accession would greatly contribute to regional peace and human security.
  • The Republic of the Marshall Islands signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 4 December 1997 when it first opened for signature. As of today the Marshall Islands is the last and only remaining signatory that has not ratified the Treaty. The Marshall Islands does not stockpile antipersonnel landmines and has repeatedly voted in favor of the annual UNGA resolution calling for universalization of the Treaty. Marshall Islands should take the final step to join the Treaty and its 164 States Parties.

In addition to these efforts to bring countries onboard the Mine Ban Treaty in 2019, ICBL and PSALM looks forward to working with states and mine ban partners to amplify the following messages and ensure a strong plan of action for the Fourth Review Conference for a Mine-Free World:

  • We sound an alarm and reiterate the urgency to address continued casualties from antipersonnel mines;
  • We stress that use of antipersonnel mines, including improvised mines, is absolutely unacceptable by anyone, anywhere, constitutes an international humanitarian law crime, and should be strongly condemned and stopped;
  • We continue to focus on the aspirational goal of a mine-free 2025;
  • We emphasize the crucial role of state ownership in Finishing the Job

Mine Ban Treaty 20th Anniversary of Entry into Force

 

March 1 2019 marked 20 years since the life saving Mine Ban Treaty entered into force following much hard work and the cooperative efforts of civil society, the ICRC, States and the United Nations.

We celebrate the progress made, lives saved and rights ensured for landmine survivors since the treaty became international law. We also welcome renewed commitment by States and the mine ban community at large, towards a Mine Free 2025.

To mark the occasion, ICBL and network partners such as PSALM/WVCBL participated in Mine Ban Treaty 20th anniversary events undertaken in Geneva and in affected countries worldwide.

On 1 March, ICBL joined Treaty champions including States, #UNHumanRightsUNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and UNICEF in an event highlighting the impact of the lifesaving treaty and what remains to Finish the Job for a Mine Free World.

UN High Commissionner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet addressed the meeting emphasizing links between the Mine Ban Treaty and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the need to ensure all landmine survivors are able to enjoy their human rights. “We still have much to do to ensure the rights of survivors on 20th anniversary of the Mine Ban Treaty”.

ICBL Ambassador Margaret Arach Orech also spoke to the gathering hosted by the Norwegian Mine Ban Presidency, via a video address highlighting 20 Years of Mine Ban Treaty success and the importance of ensuring survivors’ rights now and into the future. The gathering also heard from a Colombian mine survivor who stressed the positive impact of the treaty for the country’s more than 11,000 landmine survivors.

Speaking at the event, ICBL Director Hector Guerra noted “The participation of landmine survivors and members of affected communities has always been essential to the mine ban movement, from the onset in the 1990s. It still is today, and it is a central component of our advocacy work”. 

“We trust that the Review Conference to be held this year in Oslo will be a success, helping to guide the efforts of this community from now until 2025″, he added. 

At the 2014 Review Conference in Maputo, Mozambique, States committed to achieving a mine free world, to the fullest extent possible, by 2025.

Since its launch in 1992, the ICBL has been the voice of civil society in the diplomatic arena, pushing for changes in government policies and practices on addressing the suffering caused by landmines. The campaign includes national and international NGOs, as well as dedicated individuals, across many disciplines including human rights, development, refugee issues, and medical and humanitarian relief.

“THE ROAD TRAVELED” A COLLECTION OF PAINTINGS AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY PSALM: PROUD STUDENTS AGAINST LANDMINES AND CLUSTER BOMBS.

You have probably heard expression “the road less traveled”. It implies a choice in life but in many places around the world the real paths and roads of life are strewn with the remnants of war and there are no choices of which paths and roads to take. People of all walks of life must travel these paths and roads to home, school, and work, to retrieve water or farm and forage for food. These paths pose dangers to all who encounter them.

ROAD TRAVELED

 Contamination from landmines, cluster munitions and other explosive remnants of war terrorizes civilians in more than half of the world’s countries and are a significant cause of disability. These weapons instill fear in whole communities, deepening poverty and acting as a lethal barrier to development.

the road traveled

The Road Traveled

 Our exhibit features painted landscapes from around the world as well as some of the stories of survivors whose life paths were forever altered by their encounters with these remnants of wars and conflicts, in many cases, decades old. “The Road Traveled” hopes to educate all about the life threatening decisions people make around the world each day and the importance of banning these weapons and removing them so that all may travel without fear.

Monongalia Arts Center (MAC) in Morgantown, West Virginia, USA is hosting the annual PSALM (Proud Students Against Landmines and Cluster Bombs) exhibition, “The Road Traveled,” which features paintings of landscapes from across the world. There will be an opening reception on Friday, February 8 from 5:30-7:30 PM. 

The landscapes featured in “The Road Traveled” will be accompanied by the stories of survivors whose life paths were forever altered by their encounters with remnants of wars and conflicts.

For the past 20 years, St. Francis de Sales School’s PSALM (Proud Students Against Landmines and Cluster Bombs) chapter has generated public awareness and worked towards the elimination of landmines and cluster bombs. 

“The Road Traveled” will be on display in the Benedum Galley of MAC from Friday, February 8 until Saturday, February 23, 2019. MAC is located at 107 High Street, Morgantown, WV