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[ineb] Fw: [icblasiapacific] ICBL statement

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  • INEB Secretariat
    ************************************************************ International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB) P.O.Box 19, Mahadthai Post Office Bangkok 10206
    Message 1 of 1 , May 7, 1999
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      International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB)
      P.O.Box 19, Mahadthai Post Office
      Bangkok 10206
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      > From: Liz Bernstein <banemnow@...>
      > To: icblasiapacific@egroups.com
      > Subject: [icblasiapacific] ICBL statement
      > Date: 5 ¾ÄÉÀÒ¤Á 2542 15:13
      > Statement of the International Campaign to Ban
      > Landmines to the First Meeting of States Parties
      > to the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty
      > Delivered by Stephen Goose, Human Rights Watch
      > Head of Delegation, ICBL
      > Maputo, Mozambique
      > 4 May 1999
      > Mr. President, Mr. Secretary-General,
      > distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen,
      > The International Campaign to Ban Landmines
      > joins the many others in thanking you for
      > hosting this important meeting. We are pleased
      > to be here in Mozambique, where just over two
      > years ago the ICBL hosted its Fourth
      > International NGO Conference on Landmines, a key
      > step in the Ottawa Process. It was at this
      > meeting that the government of Mozambique
      > announced that it was banning the use of
      > antipersonnel mines, effective immediately.
      > Just prior to the meeting, South Africa
      > announced its domestic mine ban, and several
      > other regional governments for the first time
      > stated their support for a global ban. So we
      > have very positive feelings about the prospect
      > of a successful meeting here in Maputo this
      > week.
      > It is only fitting that the First Meeting of
      > States Parties be held in a mine-affected nation
      > in Africa, the continent that played such a key
      > role in promoting a global ban and in protecting
      > the integrity of the treaty when it was under
      > attack during the Oslo negotiations, so
      > skillfully chaired by Amb. Selebi whom we heard
      > speak yesterday. The ICBL would like to echo
      > the appreciation expressed yesterday by
      > President Chissano for the tremendous assistance
      > provided by the government of Canada and others
      > in the organizing and carrying out of this First
      > Meeting of States Parties.
      > We would also like to thank so many delegates
      > for their kind words about the importance of the
      > ICBL and the NGO community in driving the ban
      > movement. We want to assure you that we will
      > continue our work until the job is done. We
      > want to assure you that we will continue to work
      > cooperatively with like-minded governments and
      > to build on the government-civil society
      > partnership that has been the hallmark of the
      > ban movement. We want to assure you that we
      > will continue to push every government -- non-
      > signatory, signatory, and state party -- to
      > achieve the most comprehensive and watertight
      > ban possible, and the most extensive and
      > effective mine action programs possible.
      > The ICBL believes that for states the treaty
      > provides the framework for solving the mine
      > crisis, not just a political ban, but also
      > demining and survivor assistance. Global
      > cooperation and coordination in all these areas
      > could best be carried out under the umbrella of
      > the treaty. A key task for this First Meeting
      > is to establish some practical means of
      > facilitating full implementation of the treaty,
      > including removal of mines in the ground within
      > ten years, destruction of mine stockpiles within
      > four years, expanded mine survivor assistance
      > programs, as well as compliance issues. In this
      > regard, we are very supportive of the intention
      > to undertake the work ahead through an
      > intersessional process, and we are prepared to
      > participate in a constructive way in
      > intersessional work to achieve our mutual
      > objectives.
      > We also hope that this meeting will reach
      > agreement on the reporting format for Article 7,
      > and on the principles that such reporting must
      > be complete and transparent in order to best
      > insure effective mine action. Very detailed and
      > publicly available reports would undoubtedly
      > help the many NGOs carrying out demining and
      > survivor assistance programs around the world.
      > Ideally, the reports should be put on the
      > Internet. The ICBL's Landmine Monitor Executive
      > Summary is already on the web, and the entire
      > 1,100 page report will be posted soon. We
      > intend for future Monitor reports to utilize and
      > analyze the Article 7 reports.
      > Most importantly, though, we expect this week
      > will enhance the emerging international norm
      > against any possession or use of antipersonnel
      > mines. It is vital that States Parties as well
      > as NGOs react quickly and strongly to actions by
      > all nations that are counter to the treaty and
      > the international standard of behavior it has
      > established. We must continue our joint efforts
      > to universalize the treaty. The numbers of
      > signatories and ratifiers, 135 and 79
      > respectively, is extraordinarily impressive in
      > such a short period of time, but we cannot be
      > satisfied until all signatories have ratified
      > and those staying outside of the treaty are
      > reduced to a repugnant few.
      > We were pleased to present a Landmine Monitor
      > report to every delegation yesterday and hope
      > that they will find it useful in assessing
      > implementation of the treaty. This is the first
      > in a series of annual reports to be produced by
      > the ICBL's Landmine Monitor system and its
      > global reporting network, currently active in
      > more than 80 nations. Landmine Monitor
      > represents the first time that non-governmental
      > organizations and other elements of civil
      > society are coming together in a coordinated,
      > systematic and sustained way to monitor a
      > humanitarian law or disarmament treaty, and to
      > regularly document progress and problems.
      > Landmine Monitor is designed to complement the
      > Article 7 reporting, and reflects a shared view
      > that transparency and cooperation are essential
      > elements to the successful elimination of
      > antipersonnel mines. But it is also a
      > recognition that there is a need for independent
      > reporting and evaluation.
      > Landmine Monitor and its annual report aim to
      > promote and facilitate discussion on mine-
      > related issues. Landmine Monitor works in good
      > faith to provide factual information about the
      > issues it is monitoring. It seeks to be
      > critical but constructive in its analysis. The
      > report has its shortcomings and should be viewed
      > as a work in progress, a system that will be
      > continuously improved and updated through its
      > online database. Landmine Monitor welcome
      > comments, clarifications, and corrections from
      > governments and others, in the spirit of
      > dialogue and in the search for accurate and
      > reliable information necessary to reach the goal
      > of a mine-free world.
      > We would like to take this occasion to thank the
      > governments, UN agencies, and the ICRC for their
      > independent reports contained as appendices in
      > the Landmine Monitor report. We would also like
      > to thank those who have provided grants that
      > made Landmine Monitor possible, including the
      > governments of Austria, Belgium, Canada,
      > Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, and the United
      > Kingdom, as well as the Open Society Institute
      > and ICBL Ambassador Jody Williams.
      > The Landmine Monitor report documents the very
      > substantial progress that has been made in
      > implementing this treaty and establishing the
      > norm against the antipersonnel mine. We have
      > seen a distinct decrease in global use,
      > production, transfer and stockpiling of
      > antipersonnel mines. The number of mine victims
      > is decreasing in such high-risk places as
      > Afghanistan, Bosnia, Cambodia, Mozambique and
      > Somaliland. Landmine Monitor has identified 13
      > conflicts in which we believe it is likely mines
      > have been used since the December 1997 treaty
      > signing and there are frequent allegations in
      > another five. While even one is too many, this
      > number is surprisingly low -- mines are clearly
      > no longer being used automatically and without
      > consideration of the humanitarian consequences
      > around the world. More than 12 million mines
      > have been destroyed from the stockpiles of more
      > than 30 nations--mines that will never claim a
      > civilian victim. At least 38 nations have
      > stopped production of antipersonnel mines, while
      > just 16 producers remain. There is no evidence
      > of significant exports of antipersonnel mines by
      > any nation in recent years and Iraq is the only
      > known past exporter that has not at least
      > publicly declared a halt to mine shipments.
      > Eight of the twelve biggest producers and
      > exporters of the past 30 years are treaty
      > signatories, counter to the oft-heard criticism
      > that the Mine Ban Treaty does not include major
      > producers and exporters.
      > Yet the news is by no means all good. The most
      > disturbing finding of the report is that it
      > appears three treaty signatories have used mines
      > since December 1997. Angola's continued use has
      > been properly noted and criticized by many
      > yesterday and today. Guinea-Bissau also used
      > mines in its internal conflict in 1998, and it
      > is likely that the forces of Senegal used mines
      > as well in that conflict in support of the
      > Guinea-Bissau government. Yugoslavia has
      > rightly been criticized for recent mine use, but
      > non-signatories and non-state actors are still
      > using mines on a near daily basis in places such
      > as Burma and Sri Lanka, and on occasion in such
      > rarely noticed places as Djibouti.
      > Moreover, Landmine Monitor research reveals that
      > global stockpiles of antipersonnel mines likely
      > total more than 250 million, which is more than
      > double the previous common estimate. The ICBL
      > believes that an increased emphasis needs to be
      > placed on mine stockpile destruction, as a form
      > of "preventive mine action." We encourage
      > States Parties and others to consider the
      > establishment of a special program and fund to
      > facilitate stock destruction; this could
      > possibly be done through the intersessional
      > work. This effort should not be undertaken at
      > the expense of other mine action programs.
      > Such a program would not only keep mines out of
      > the ground, but could encourage universalization
      > as well.
      > While there has been a significant increase in
      > global pledges to and spending on mine action
      > since the treaty signing, and a number of
      > important new
      > initiatives are underway, the ICBL is concerned that too little money
      > to be actually reaching the field in a way that would maximize rapid
      > and destruction of mines. The ICBL is also concerned that too much
      funding is
      > going to research and development programs for demining technologies and
      > equipment at the expense of more funds for current, proven methods of
      > clearance. The ICBL welcomes research that results in quicker, cheaper
      > safer methods for detection and destruction of landmines. We reemphasize
      > need for fully funding and conducting Level One General Surveys. There
      is a
      > need for longer-term budget commitments to encourage better forward
      planning in
      > the field. We also urge donors and recipients to do more to ensure that

      > demined land is used by those who really need it, and not allow it to be
      > of political or military manuveurings.
      > The ICBL believes that under the treaty and other international law,
      states are
      > required to provide assistance to mine survivors-- in one way or another
      > states are, in the treaty's words, "in a position to do so." The ICBL
      > its call on governments to provide up to $3 billion over the next ten
      years to
      > support effective survivor assistance programs in mine-affected
      > There is a need for long-term commitments now. Here in Maputo, the ICBL
      > introducing its new "Guidelines for the Care and Rehabilitation of
      > More resources are needed not just for medical care and physical
      > rehabilitation, but also to promote peer support, psychological care,
      > income-generating projects, literacy and vocational training,
      > and job referrals. Survivor assistance programs must build local
      capacities so
      > rehabilitation needs are met "in country" over the long term. Capacity
      > building should emphasize training and employment of local workers and
      > survivors to be responsible for all aspects of project design,
      > and management.
      > There are several issues of special concern to the ICBL that we would
      like to
      > highlight for delegates. First, we note that only a relatively small
      number of
      > states parties have enacted domestic legislation implementing the treaty.
      > as signature, then ratification were vital, so is implementation law.
      The ICBL
      > calls on all states parties to enact such legislation quickly, including
      > imposing penal sanctions for treaty violations.
      > Second, we are concerned about the issue of antivehicle mines with
      > devices. States parties need to acknowledge more explicitly the
      > understanding reached during the Oslo negotiations that if such mines
      > from an innocent, unintentional act, they are to be considered
      > mines, and therefore banned. Indeed, the ICBL believes that all weapons
      > function as antipersonnel mines should be banned. States parties need to
      > more explicit about what types of mines and antihandling devices and
      > methods are permissible and prohibited under the treaty and the
      > It seems clear that antivehicle mines using tilt rods, tripwires or
      > should be considered banned, and that some, if not all, antivehicle mines
      > sensitive magnetic influence fuzes should be banned. States parties
      > address this issue urgently.
      > Third is the matter of treaty states parties and signatories potentially
      > engaging in joint military operations with a non-signatory that may use
      > antipersonnel mines. The conflict in Kosovo has turned this from a
      > theoretical discussion to a very real and grave concern. While there is
      > evidence the United States has yet used antipersonnel mines in this NATO
      > operation, the US has stated that it reserves the right to do so. The
      > calls on treaty signatories to insist that any non-signatories do not use

      > antipersonnel mines in joint operations. This should be a matter of
      > concern to all NATO nations, as well as Japan, Australia, New Zealand and

      > others.
      > And fourth, the ICBL remains concerned about the related issues of US
      > antipersonnel mines stockpiled in at least seven nations which have
      signed the
      > treaty, and the permissibility of the US or other non-signatories
      > mines through the national territory of treaty signatories. The ICBL
      > that all US mines must be removed from those nations, and that the
      transit of
      > mines for the purpose of war fighting would constitute a treaty
      > Mr. President, in closing let me emphasize that through the Landmine
      > the Global Survey Program, intersessional work, NGO humanitarian demining
      > victim assistance programs in the field and many
      > other activities, the ICBL looks forward to
      > further developing our partnership with
      > governments, UN agencies, and the ICRC, aimed at
      > our joint objectives of complete eradication of
      > antipersonnel mines, zero new mine victims, and
      > effective care and rehabilitation for survivors.
      > Thank you very much.
      > ###
      > Sign and Ratify the Treaty * Clear Mines * Help Survivors
      > Liz Bernstein
      > International Campaign to Ban Landmines
      > PO Box 2189
      > Maputo
      > Mozambique
      > Tel 258 1 49 39 81/2
      > Fax 258 1 49 39 80
      > email: banemnow@...
      > http://www.icbl.org
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