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ICAN: THE INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN TO ABOLISH NUCLEAR WEAPONS, PSALM STUDENTS CONGRATULATE YOU!

congratulations to ICAN from PSALM students

congratulations to ICAN from PSALM students

psalm congrats to ican

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Congratulations from PSALM: STUDENTS AGAINST LANDMINES AND CLUSTER BOMBS TO ICAN: THE INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN TO ABOLISH NUCLEAR WEAPONS ON their Nobel Peace Prize!The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons was honored for its work to foster a global ban on the destructive weapons according to the Norwegian Nobel Committee. The Geneva-based coalition was modeled on international efforts to ban landmines!

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The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) is a coalition of non-governmental organizations in one hundred countries promoting adherence to and implementation of the United Nations nuclear weapon ban treaty. This landmark global agreement was adopted in New York on 7 July 2017.

PSALM students folded symbolic origami Peace Cranes with love and prayers for a more peaceful world for all!

THE ROAD TO OTTAWA

On November 18 and 19th, PSALM students presented their artistic installation, “THE ROAD TO OTTAWA: THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE MINE BAN TREATY”. PSALM artworks at the exhibit were inspired by the countries that “made it happen” and the continuing work to “finish the job” of a mine-free world. PSALM students acted as hosts and guides to the exhibit which depicts a visual timeline to the Ottawa Treaty.

Road to Ottawa paintings by PSALM students

Road to Ottawa paintings by PSALM students

 

 

 

 

 

 

One large scale artwork included the text of the treaty in various languages.

MINE BAN TREATY PAINTING BY PSALM STUDENTS

MINE BAN TREATY PAINTING BY PSALM STUDENTS

 

September 18, 2017 marked 20 years since the Mine Ban Treaty was adopted, when the international community agreed to end the scourge of landmines once and for all. Following the adoption, on December 3, 1997 the treaty was signed by 122 States; it entered into force on  March 1, 1999. To date, 162 nations have formally joined the treaty.

 

 

 

The exhibit has been requested to be displayed in February 2018 at the Monongalia Arts Center in Morgantown, West Virginia.

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY MBT!

Group Photo At Brokenchair ISU

On 18 September 1997, nations from around the world came together in Oslo to adopt the Mine Ban Treaty. On December 4th, 1997, the Mine Ban Treaty was signed in Ottawa.  This year, we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the treaty!

Banning landmines would have not been possible without great partnerships among civil society and governments. As Archbishop Desmond Tutu once said “if the Mine Ban Treaty has made a difference in the world, it is because the partnership between governments and civil society forged through the process that created the treaty has continued to this day”. Since its inception in 1992, the ICBL— representing hundreds of NGOs, landmine survivors, mine action operators and experts — has been working closely with governments and other actors to achieve a mine-free world.

The adoption of the treaty 20 years ago was a milestone start to an end of suffering caused by landmines. To date, the Mine Ban Treaty has been at the heart of many achievements.

More than 80 per cent of the world’s countries outlawed landmines by joining the treaty. The stigma against landmines has grown strong. Landmine trade is virtually eliminated. Sixty-five (65) non-state armed groups have pledged not to use landmines. At least 39 states that once produced landmines have stopped producing them. Twenty-seven (27) countries finished clearing and destroying landmines. More than fifty-one (51) million stockpiled landmines have been destroyed. New landmine casualties have been dramatically reduced from the 40-55 people a day that were killed or injured in the 1990s. The rights of landmine victims have been increasingly recognized.

But millions of people are still threatened by landmines and unexploded bombs worldwide and on-going conflicts in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere have created a new ‘landmine emergency’. Meanwhile development opportunities and food security in countries such as Angola, Cambodia and Zimbabwe are being undermined by millions of mines left over from conflicts that ended decades ago.States party to the Ottawa Treaty have set a deadline of 2025 to clear remaining mine contamination. After 20 years of success we have a lot to celebrate, but the work is not done. JOIN US AS WE DEDICATE OURSELVES TO THIS WORK!

Mine Ban Treaty: Facts, achievements and challenges

  • The Mine Ban Treaty was the first international treaty to ban a weapon of war that had been in widespread use.
  • Thanks to pressure created by civil society the treaty did not allow for any loopholes, exceptions or reservations.
  • The Mine Ban Treaty was highly unusual in being both a humanitarian and a disarmament treaty. It was the first international treaty to include provisions for victims of the weapon along the provisions related to the use, production, transfer and stockpiling of the weapon itself.
  • The Ottawa Process was so successful in quickly achieving its aims that this process has been used as a model for other lifesaving movements – such as the Oslo Process to ban cluster bombs and the campaign to stop the use of child soldiers and most recently, nuclear weapons.
  • Achievements: 80% of the world has joined the Treaty.  The stigma on antipersonnel mines holds firm. Over the past 20 years since the Treaty’s adoption there has been a dramatic decrease in worldwide use, production, and transfer of antipersonnel mines, the number of casualties reported annually has been massively reduced since the campaign began; more than 51 million mines in stockpiles have been destroyed; large tracts of land have been cleared and 26 states have been declared mine-free. Crucially, any use of antipersonnel landmines is also today widely recognized as being unacceptable, and is resoundingly condemned.
  • States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty have embraced an aspirational deadline of 2025 to complete their treaty obligations.
  • Based on these achievements, we know a world without landmines is possible, but the international community must remain fully committed to this goal and continue to work diligently to achieve this by 2025.
  • Challenges: 35 states, including the United States, still remain outside of the Treaty and instances of new landmine use, though rare, are reported every year. Some 6,000 people are reported to be maimed or killed by these weapons every year. Some 60 countries and territories remain affected by landmines. Assistance and services for landmine victims are scarce and insufficient in the majority of affected countries.
  • Therefore, there is a clear need for all states to join the Mine Ban Treaty and to work hard to fully implement it.

The International Campaign to Ban Landmines: History and achievements

  • The ICBL’s global civil society movement created a legal and diplomatic precedent that placed humanitarian values above military needs and saved countless lives: we made sure this ban was focused on protecting people, rather than military needs.
  • The ICBL is shaped by its hundreds of members in close to one hundred countries.
  • From the beginning, the ICBL’s strength has been rooted in hundreds of civil society organizations (like PSALM) from a vast and diverse range of backgrounds being united under one goal and message: to ban landmines.
  • Driven by the voices of survivors, the ICBL used its technical, legal and political expertise to play a major role in drafting the Mine Ban Treaty from the start of the Ottawa Process that led to adoption of the MBT.
  • The ICBL, along with the ICRC were considered vital partners in the process and included in all the diplomatic meetings leading up to the Treaty negotiations, and during negotiations themselves. The critical importance of the presence and input of the ICBL and the ICRC was specifically recognized in the preamble of the Treaty.
  • The role played by the ICBL in the Ottawa Process was recognized by the Nobel Committee in December 1997 which granted ICBL and its Coordinator the Nobel Peace Prize for changing ‘a ban on antipersonnel mines from a vision to a feasible reality’ (quote from the Nobel Committee).
  • After the treaty’s entry into force, the ICBL established an unprecedented independent civil society-based systematic monitoring and reporting regime on universalization and implementation of the treaty – the Landmine Monitor, which has been issued every year since 1999.
  • The ICBL has spent 25 years campaigning for a mine-free world and has seen how far the world has come towards reaching this goal.

 

ICAN receives Nobel Peace Prize

In recognition of its efforts to achieve a global nuclear ban treaty

 

Nobel ICAN

The Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), “for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons”. ICAN will receive the Nobel Peace Prize on December 10th in Oslo, Norway.

“The International Campaign to Ban Landmines warmly congratulates ICAN for this well-deserved recognition”, said Amelie Chayer, Acting Director. “We are immensely happy and proud that humanitarian disarmament efforts are being recognized once again, exactly 20 years after the ICBL received the Nobel Peace Prize for its contribution to the ban on antipersonnel mines.”

Members including WVCBL/PSALM are excited to celebrate this awesome achievement by ICAN!

A broad range of campaigners and civil society members from across the world contribute to ICAN’s activities, including the Hibakusha and other communities affected by nuclear weapons.

On 7 July 2017, the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of the Nuclear Weaponswas adopted. It prohibits nations from developing, testing, producing, manufacturing, transferring, possessing, stockpiling, using or threatening to use nuclear weapons, or allowing nuclear weapons to be stationed on their territory.

Nine countries together possess around 15,000 nuclear weapons. In its statement today, ICAN urged all nations to “reject these weapons completely – before they are ever used again.”

The International Campaign to Ban Landmines was awarded the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize, jointly with its coordinator Jody Williams, in recognition of its efforts to bring about the Mine Ban Treaty, which aims to put an end to the suffering and casualties caused by antipersonnel mines.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2017/oct/06/nobel-peace-prize-2017-winner-live

 

THE INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN TO BAN LANDMINES CELEBRATES 25 YEARS

ICBL LOGO 17ICBL in Action

Since 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 humanitarian suffering caused by landmines.

We seek to prevent all use, production, and trade of these anti-personnel landmines, and to ensure stockpiles are destroyed. We denounce any use of these indiscriminate weapons, and mobilize others to do so to further stigmatize them. We call for accelerated clearance of all landmines and other explosive remnants of war; and we want to see the fulfillment of victims’ rights and needs. The best way to reach these goals is to ensure the universal adherence to, and implementation of, the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty.

We inform and rally the public to act with us for a world without antipersonnel landmines, where the rights of victims are upheld. We monitor, analyze, and report on progress on the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty as well as on obligations as yet unfulfilled. ICBL members, including victims of landmines, take action in some one hundred countries. We believe in the impact of a coordinated and flexible network of NGOs with experience and passion.

The ICBL raises awareness and advocates at the national, regional and international levels. Through its global membership the ICBL brings the reality of mine-affected communities into the diplomatic arena. We have seen the power of survivors standing up for their rights and are deeply committed to the principles of inclusion and accessibility.

ICBL campaigners around the world work in a spirit of cooperation with their governments and other partners to ensure countries join the Mine Ban Treaty and live up to the letter and spirit of the treaty. Our long-standing partnership with these actors is key to reaching full universalization and implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty.

Our network includes human rights, humanitarian, children, peace, disability, veterans, medical, mine action, development, arms control, religious, environmental and women’s groups. While our members carry their activities in a variety of ways, they regularly share political strategies, campaign activities, achievements and ideas on how to address challenges. This exchange of information among the different countries plus the hard work of the national campaigns to ban landmines have created and maintained the momentum of the ICBL.

icbl-finish-black-stack_339X350_496x290 (1)Finish the Job

The promise of the Mine Ban Treaty will be fulfilled when the norm against use of antipersonnel mines is universal, and when States Parties to the treaty have fully implemented their key treaty obligations — mine clearance, stockpile destruction, and victim assistance.

The ICBL has issued a Completion Challenge calling on the mine ban community to reach these goals within a decade of the treaty’s Third Review Conference in 2014. It will take hard work, ingenuity, and political determination, but the ICBL believes it can be done! It is time to finish the job!

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9IO70oEY5-0

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PB2dnyRnJiU

 

The MINE BAN Treaty Turns 20!

 


ICBL in DC

 

 

 

 

 

 

n 18 September 1997, nations from around the world came together in Oslo to adopt the Mine Ban Treaty. Today we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the treaty!

Banning landmines would have not been possible without great partnerships among civil society and governments. As Archbishop Desmond Tutu once said “if the Mine Ban Treaty has made a difference in the world, it is because the partnership between governments and civil society forged through the process that created the treaty has continued to this day”. Since its inception in 1992, the ICBL— representing hundreds of NGOs, landmine survivors, mine action operators and experts — has been working closely with governments and other actors to achieve a mine-free world.

USA...Don't walk away... Time to join the Mine Ban Treaty!

USA…Don’t walk away… Time to join the Mine Ban Treaty!

The adoption of the treaty 20 years ago today was a milestone start to an end of suffering caused by landmines. To date, the Mine Ban Treaty has been at the heart of many achievements.

More than 80 per cent of the world’s countries outlawed landmines by joining the treaty. The stigma against landmines has grown strong. Landmine trade is virtually eliminated. Sixty-five (65) non-state armed groups have pledged not to use landmines. At least 39 states that once produced landmines have stopped producing them. Twenty-seven (27) countries finished clearing and destroying landmines. More than fifty-one (51) million stockpiled landmines have been destroyed. New landmine casualties have been dramatically reduced from the 40-55 people a day that were killed or injured in the 1990s. The rights of landmine victims have been increasingly recognized.

But the job is not done. Landmines are still a global problem.

An average of 18 people around the world lost their life or limbs to a landmine or another explosive remnant of war every day in 2015. Still some 60 countries around the world are contaminated by landmines and explosive remnants of war, maintaining a sense of fear among thousands of people and creating a sense of insecurity among communities, delaying peace processes and impeding countries’ development for years.
ICBL Group Photo
Although the majority of states worldwide have renounced landmines and joined the Mine Ban Treaty, still 35 states remain outside of the treaty, collectively stockpiling a total around 50 million landmines.

 

 

If not destroyed, those landmines remain ready to be used any time.

Although new use of antipersonnel landmines by states is rare and limited, it still happens. The reported new use of landmines by Myanmar forces during the last two weeks and the ongoing use by non-state armed groups in a handful of countries, often with improvised mines, remind us all that there is still a need to rid the world of these indiscriminate weapons.

While the number of new casualties recorded annually has dropped, any mine incident can add an individual to the still growing number of global survivors. Landmine victims in developing countries, in affected and remote areas, are still too often in desperate need of health care and rehabilitation, psychosocial and socio-economic supports.

It is evident from the remarkable achievements of the last two decades, that we can get this job done. But governments and civil society and other actors need to continue the flourishing partnerships and cooperation to do more to achieve a mine-free world by 2025.

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The Seventh Meeting of States Parties: 4-6 September 2017, Geneva, Switzerland

7MSP Logo Horizontal

 

The Seventh Meeting of States Parties (7MSP) to the Convention on Cluster Munitions will place at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland from 4 to 6 September 2017.

The 7MSP will provide an opportunity for States Parties to present progresses, challenges, plans and needs for assistance and cooperation to achieve their convention obligations and the commitments they made under the 2015 Dubrovnik Action Plan (DAP) and the Dubrovnik declaration.

The 7MSP will be presided over by Ambassador Michael Biontino of Germany. The meeting is open to States Parties, states not party, international organizations, and non-governmental organizations.

The Convention on Cluster Munitions opened for signature in 2008 and entered into force in 2010. To date 119 states have joined the convention, of which 102 are States Parties and the remaining 17 are signatories that have yet to ratify. Madagascar was the most recent state to ratify the convention on 20 May 2017.

SOCCER STAR NEYMAR JR BECOMES HANDICAP INTERNATIONAL AMBASSADOR

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We’re thrilled to welcome Brazilian soccer player Neymar Jr. as the new ambassador of Handicap International. Through this partnership, Neymar is lending his huge fame to a good cause: empowering the most vulnerable people in the world, people with disabilities living in poor countries, victims of conflicts and natural disasters.

The first action of Neymar Jr. as an ambassador of Handicap International was to send a message of support to people with disabilities across the world. At 3:00 pm in Geneva, he went on the top of the 39-foot Broken Chair monument and called for more inclusion of people with disabilities in society. Symbolically, this message took the shape of a soccer ball with the logo of Handicap International on it. He then kicked the ball down the Allée des Nations in front of the Palace of Nations. The event was followed by a press conference hosted by the United Nations Office in Geneva.

BROKEN CHAIR

BROKEN CHAIR

Broken Chair is the work of the Swiss artist Daniel Berset, erected 20 years ago by Handicap International in front of the United Nations headquarters in Geneva to call for a ban on antipersonnel landmines.

More broadly speaking, Neymar Jr. chose to engage with Handicap International and to promote all of the charity’s work alongside persons with disabilities in 56 countries.

The star and Handicap International initially met in 2016 to discuss access to prostheses for amputee children, a subject that’s particularly close to Neymar Jr.’s heart, and a cause he has already supported. He wanted to support similar actions on a global scale, and got to know Handicap International’s prosthetic and orthotic programs.

In October 2016, Neymar Jr. showed his support to Haitians impacted by the devastating Hurricane Matthew by urging his followers on social media to support our work in the hard-hit nation.

He accepted Handicap International’s invitation to travel to Geneva for the “Broken Chair” event. In future, Neymar hopes to travel to the field to see Handicap International’s projects in person, but this has not yet been possible due to his busy schedule.

Neymar is Handicap International’s first International Ambassador. In North America, Handicap International benefits from the committed support of two Goodwill Ambassadors: American pilot, motivational speaker and RightFooted star Jessica Cox, and Canadian Dark Matter actor Anthony Lemke.Handicap International

Benin Ratifies Global Cluster Bomb Ban

Benin becomes 102nd State Party. Félicitations!

1499714964693 WS 20170710 XXVI 6 BENIN RATIFICATION

H.E. Mr. Jean-Claude do Rego, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Benin depositing the instrument of ratification at United Nations Office of Legal Affairs. 10 July 2017 ©UN Treaty Collection

The Republic of Benin has become the 102nd State Party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, having deposited its instrument of ratification at the United Nations’ headquarters on 10 July 2017. The Convention will enter into force for Benin on 1 January 2018.

Benin has stated that it has never used, produced, transferred, or stockpiled cluster munitions.

“This is a serious step towards the universalization of the Convention within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS),” said Félix Kokou Aklavon of the West Africa Action Network on Small Arms in Togo. “Therefore, in the name of sub-regional solidarity we call on the three ECOWAS countries that have not completed their ratification process – Nigeria, Liberia, and Gambia – to do so at the earliest opportunity, in the interest of the population in the region who aspires to peace and sustainable development.”

Benin participated in the Oslo Process that created the Convention on Cluster Munitions, and was a strong advocate for a comprehensive ban. In 2013, Benin expressed its strong commitment to the convention, noting that it had not waited to implement its provisions until it became a State Party.

In 2016, Benin was among 141 states that voted in favor of the United Nations General Assembly resolution (71/45) in support of the total ban on cluster munitions. Benin has also voted in favor of recent UNGA resolutions condemning the use of cluster munitions in Syria.

The vast majority of sub-Saharan African states have joined the Convention, but 12 still need to ratify to become full States Parties. Seven countries remain outside the convention: Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, South Sudan, Sudan and Zimbabwe. The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic cannot accede to the convention due to its political status, but has expressed its support for the ban on cluster munitions.

2017 Intersessional Meetings of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, Geneva

BROKEN CHAIR

BROKEN CHAIR

The 2017 intersessional meetings of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, or Ottawa Convention, are now underway at the United Nations in Geneva.

The June meeting brings together nearly 300 delegates from more than 70 governments, and 12 international and non-governmental organizations including those representing landmine survivors.

H.E. Thomas Hajnoczi Ambassador of Austria to the UN in Geneva is leading the meeting which will focus on the implementation of mine clearance, stockpile destruction, compliance, assistance to and amongst mine affected countries, and victim assistance actions that the States Parties have agreed to undertake from 2014-2019, with a view of a mine-free world by 2025.

Some of the most mine-affected countries in the world including Afghanistan, Angola, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Colombia and Iraq will be presenting updates of their mine clearance efforts.

This mid-year assessment is also an opportunity for states to prepare for the largest annual gathering of mine action experts and officials, which will take place from 18-22 December at the United Nations in Vienna.

20th Anniversary of the Signing of the Convention

To kick off celebrations of the 20 years since the Convention was adopted and signed, representatives of governments and civil society participated in a symbolic event under the “Broken Chair” in Geneva. The sculpture, a reminder of the many landmine victims, was commissioned by the Swiss branch of Handicap International and placed before the United Nations to encourage states to sign the treaty. Rémy Pagami, Mayor of the City of Geneva, which hosts the Convention’s secretariat, also participated in the event.

Austria, which is currently presiding over the Convention, was among the core group of states that together with civil society championed the idea of a treaty to ban the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel mines, and ensure their destruction. The treaty was also the first instrument to recognize the rights of the victims of the weapon in question. Austria drafted the text that served as the basis for negotiations; one of the authors of the text was the current Chair, Ambassador Hajnoczi, who at the time directed the Austrian Department of Disarmament.

While more than a dozen states including both, mine-affected and traditional donors supported a landmine ban, the core group of states that included Austria, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Norway, South Africa and Switzerland, were instrumental in fostering negotiations and hosting diplomatic conferences that would ultimately lead to the adoption of the Convention in Oslo in September 1997. The Convention opened for signature on 3-4 December in Ottawa later that year. As of 2017, there are 162 States Parties to the Convention representing more than 80% of the world’s countries, and more than 51 million landmines have been destroyed.

For their determination in calling for the Convention, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, a coalition of non-governmental organizations and its Coordinator, Jody Williams, received the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize.