Landmine Monitor Report 2008 finds commends leadership role of Indonesia (Indonesia)


Indonesia destroys stockpile of landmines and encourages others to follow suit


(25.11.2008)

"One year after ratifying the 1997 UN Treaty to Ban Landmines, Indonesia has exceeded the expectations of the international community by taking up a strong leadership role in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to promote a mine-free world. Moreover, confirming its commitment to world peace Indonesia was one of 107 countries that endorsed the new Convention on Cluster Munitions in Dublin last May," says Els Coolen from the Indonesian Campaign to Ban Landmines (CBL).

While Landmine Monitor 2008 reports that three countries are in serious violation of their treaty obligation after failing to meet their deadline to destroy their stockpile of landmines, as of 13 November the Indonesian government had completed the destruction of its stockpile of landmines, two years before the deadline. According to Landmine Monitor, 26 countries face difficulties meeting treaty deadlines, of which 15 have requested extension. There are no landmines on Indonesian soil.

In addition, Indonesia organised a workshop promoting the global ban on landmines: encouraging Southeast Asian states to accede to the treaty, strengthening dialogue between mine-affected countries in the region and donor countries and raise public awareness of the treaty in the region.

"In the name of the CBL, the Jesuit Refugee Service Indonesia and UNICEF congratulate the government on this initiative promoting a mine-free region and on the progress in fulfilling its obligations under the Convention. The attendance of six regional non-state parties (Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam) is particularly encouraging," added Lars Stenger, Advocacy Officer for the Jesuit Refugee Service Indonesia.

Within a few months of endorsing the treaty on cluster munitions, the Indonesian government began consulting and informing the relevant departments about the consequences of signing the new Treaty to speed up the ratification process and avoid the long delay as experienced with the Mine Ban Treaty ratification process.
"The Indonesian Campaign to Ban Landmines asks Indonesia to continue the leadership it showed in Dublin by not only signing the treaty in Oslo in December but also by encouraging other nations to sign," says Lina Sofiani from UNICEF and member of the Indonesian Campaign to Ban Landmines.

Background information

Landmines and cluster munitions are a pressing humanitarian issue. Every year they cause thousands of casualties worldwide. A landmine is an explosive device which is placed on or under the ground and explodes when a person or vehicle touches it. Cluster munitions are large weapons which are deployed from the air and from the ground and release dozens or hundreds of smaller submunitions. Submunitions released by air-dropped cluster bombs are most often called "bomblets," while those delivered from the ground by artillery or rockets are usually referred to as "grenades."

In 2007, records show that landmines alone led to more than 5000 casualties of which 1400 were killed. Casualties occurred in more countries than ever before-and in several countries where none had ever been recorded.

Cluster bombs have killed and injured thousands of civilians during the last 40 years and continue to do so today. They cause widespread harm on impact and yet remain dangerous, killing and injuring civilians long after a conflict has ended. One third of all recorded cluster munitions casualties are children. 60% of cluster bomb casualties are injured while undertaking their normal activities.

Landmine Monitor is coordinated by an Editorial Board drawn from four organizations: Mines Action Canada, Handicap International, Human Rights Watch and Norwegian People's Aid. It constitutes a sustainable and systematic way for NGOs to monitor and report on the implementation of a disarmament treaty.

For more information, please contact:
Lina Sofiani, UNICEF Emergency Officer, tel. +62 21 570 5816 ext. 458, email: Lsofiani@unicef.org
Lars Stenger, Jesuit Refugee Service Indonesia Advocacy Officer, tel. +62 274-517405, email: larsstenger@jrs.or.id
Els Coolen, Coordinator of the Indonesian Campaign to Ban Landmines, tel. +447710090374 email: elsicbl@gmail.com

Notes to the editor:
The treaty is officially referred to as the 1997 United Nations Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction, also known as Ottawa Convention.
With the exception of public UN sources, reproduction or redistribution of the above text, in whole, part or in any form, requires the prior consent of the original source. The opinions expressed in the documents carried by this site are those of the authors and are not necessarily shared by UN OCHA or ReliefWeb.

Source: International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL); Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS); United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

Von: 26.11.2008, www.reliefweb.int

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