International Campaign to Ban Landmines ICBL

Linked to our presentation of Jemma Hasratyan – Armenia on January 2, 2006.

Also linked to our presentation of The History of Anti-Landmine Efforts on January 2, 2006.

International Campaign to Ban Landmines ICBL – Since it was formally launched by six nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in 1992, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) has remained focused on its call for a ban on the use, production, transfer, and stockpiling of antipersonnel mines, and for increased resources for mine clearance and victim assistance. The ICBL is a broad-based coalition of over 1,400 organizations in 90 countries worldwide, coordinated by a committee of thirteen member organizations and a staff of six.[1]

In 2002 and the first half of 2003, the ICBL continued to contribute significantly to the strengthening of the rapidly emerging international norm against the antipersonnel landmine, by working for full universalization and effective implementation of the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty. It did so with the explicit goal of reducing the impact of landmines on communities worldwide. The ICBL continued to implement its 2004 Action Plan and undertook an extensive consultation and review process in the first half of 2003, to discern the coalition’s objectives, activities and structure for the period following the December 2004 Review Conference. The ICBL continued to take full advantage of the implementation mechanisms established by the treaty. It actively participated in the Fourth Meeting of States Parties, where it released Landmine Monitor Report 2002, intersessional meetings, and four regional and one global ICBL/Landmine Monitor meetings. The ICBL Ambassadors, staff, working group chairs, and members undertook numerous advocacy missions, and participated in several other regional and thematic meetings.

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

The United States views the following as the “pillars” of humanitarian mine action: 1) mine detection and clearance; 2) mine risk education to populations threatened by landmines and unexploded ordnance; 3) survivors assistance to those maimed by landmines or other explosive remnants of war; and 4) research and development to improve the effectiveness of all aspects of the first three pillars. Read the long History of the Landmines on policyalmanac.org).

IPPNW Initiatives to Eliminate Landmines: IPPNW’s involvement in the landmines campaign began when the organization joined the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), a coalition of more than 700 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from around the world committed to a comprehensive ban on all types of anti-personnel (AP) mines. The ICBL is led by Jody Williams who with the ICBL was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997. IPPNW believes that AP mines violate the most basic principles of the medical profession: to protect life and promote health. Physicians, who have an informed understanding of the pattern of injury caused by landmines, have an opportunity and a responsibility to uncover the devastating effects of these often-indiscriminate killers.

In July 1997, IPPNW embarked on a long-term education and advocacy campaign aimed at mobilizing health professionals and medical organizations worldwide to work toward a complete ban on the sale, manufacture, promotion, use, and export of AP mines. Toward that end, IPPNW, in conjunction with its affiliated national medical organizations, has organized over the past year a series of interrelated activities at the local, national, and international levels to focus the attention of the public, health officials, and policy makers on the human, medical, and public health costs of landmines.

International efforts to eliminate landmines have met with astounding success over the past few years. The negotiation of the Mine Ban Treaty (MBT) in one year’s time has been widely recognized as a landmark achievement in the history of disarmament. The MBT, which entered into force on March 1, 1999, had been signed by 142 countries and ratified by 122 as of October 10, 2001. Signatories include major past producers and exporters, as well as heavily mine-affected states. Every country in the Western Hemisphere has signed except the US and Cuba; every member of the European Union except Finland; every member of NATO except the US and Turkey; 44 out of 48 countries in Africa; and key Asian nations such as Japan, Thailand, and Indonesia.

Nevertheless, much work remains in the areas of universalization, ratification, mine action and mine victim assistance. Today, some 50 countries continue to stand outside the treaty, including Russia, China and the US, most of the Middle East, most of the states of the Former Soviet Union, and many Asian countries. Some of the most heavily mine-affected countries, are also not part of the treaty. Moreover, an estimated 60-70 million landmines are still buried in primarily the poorest countries of the world, and claim 20,000 mostly innocent victims each year. The response to this medical and public health crisis is still inadequate, and victims continue to die because of the lack of proper medical treatment.

IPPNW is determined to continue its commitment and efforts toward alleviating the crisis caused by this cruel weapon and will build on the experience and expertise of its landmines working group and its successful campaigns in Africa and Russia/Former Soviet Union. (Read the rest of this article on IPPNW).

We are placed to introduce our library – a unique collection of books and media, related to demining, disaster prevention, recovery and other specific topics. You can easily and comfortably browse and search different titles, some of which can be read online (you can click on the item title and read it). In case you will find an item which is of interest to you and is not available for online read, please write down item code, then contact us. We can either give out the item to you for free, or help you to obtaint the copy of the item. (Read more on UNDP).

What is the problem with landmines?
Landmines claim 15,000-20,000 victims per year, according to the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL).

ICBL also notes that “what makes antipersonnel mines so abhorrent is the indiscriminate destruction they cause. Mines cannot be aimed. They lie dormant until a person or animal triggers their detonating mechanism. Antipersonnel mines cannot distinguish between the footfall of a soldier and that of a child.”

According to the HALO Trust — a non-political, non-religious, non-governmental organization (NGO) based in Britain, whose mission deals with the removal of landmines —there are approximately 50 to 60 deaths caused by landmines and UXOs each year in Nagorno Karabagh. Below is a brief explanation of the activities of the HALO Trust in Nagorno Karabagh as described on their website.

“In Nagorno Karabakh defensive minefields were laid by both Azeri and pro-Karabakh forces. Moves in the front lines have resulted in minefields and significant quantities of UXO being left in peaceful areas now wanted for agriculture. In many areas access to prime land is denied, and the steady stream of casualties indicates the requirement for widespread mine clearance ahead of cultivation. Aid organizations in the region have had to restrict their operations due to fears of mines on or just beside roads and due to the presence of unexploded ordnance in and around many rural villages. (Read more on ANCA.org).

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