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Issue No: 217
December 3 , 2005

This week's issue:
Star Law Analysis
Law Alter Views
Human Rights Advocacy
Rights Investigation
Rights Corner
Human Rights Monitor
Law Week

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Human Rights Monitor

Successful global launch of the ICBL's “Landmine monitor report 2005”

The Landmine Monitor Report 2005 mine action-focused, global launch took place in Zagreb, Croatia, on 22 November 2005. The event was co-organized by ICBL, the Landmine Monitor mine action team and Norwegian People's Aid (NPA), and was attended by representatives of the Croatian government and the diplomatic community, international organizations, and NGOs and the media.

In preparation for the 6th Meeting of State-Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in Zagreb, Croatia, on 28 November2 December 2005, the Landmine Monitor Report 2005 was launched in the Croatian capital. The Zagreb launch, which was one of three held simultaneously (the others being in the Algerian capital, Algiers, and in Medellin, Colombia) focused on mine action. It chose to present global and regional findings in a mine-affected region, which show positive developments and ongoing challenges in the battle against the landmine problem.

Facilitated by Sylvie Brigot, ICBL's advocacy director, the launch started with a presentation of the key findings of the 2005 edition of the Landmine Monitor Report 2005. The Monitor's Chief Editor, Ian Doucet, gave a global overview of the status of implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty, adding positive developments that have taken place since the Monitor went to print. These included the welcome announcement that Denmark has allocated 86 million Danish crowns over three years to clear its last remaining minefield on Skallingen peninsula, in advance of its legal deadline under Article 5 of the treaty.

The LM Thematic coordinator for Mine Action, Sara Sekkenes, gave a detailed account of mine action in South-Eastern Europe, stressing both achievements and the challenges ahead. The region remains significantly affected by landmines and mine clearance resources are underused due to lack of funds. Nonetheless, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia in particular, are committed to an increase of national resources to mine action and in the formulation of mine action policies and strategies to increase and accelerate the release of suspected land.

Finally, Vanja Sikirica (NPA Croatia's mine action adviser) presented the Croatian report detailing aspects of Croatia's ban policy, mine action and victim assistance to the audience and the largely domestic media. Before the event the Croatian media had covered a number of mine-action-related stories and were well informed as to the event itself and the upcoming 6MSP next week. Vanja ended by formally presenting a copy of the Landmine Monitor Report 2005 to the senior representative of the Croatian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Dijana Plestina.

The LM launch was followed by a panel discussion on the challenges ahead for mine action in South East Europe. Panel participants were Oto Jungwirth, the Croatian Mine Action Center director; Darvin Lisica, the Bosnia and Herzegovina Mine Action Center deputy director for operations; Dorijan Marsic, the director of the Slovenia-based International Trust Fund for Demining and Mine Victims Assistance; Alfons Peeters, the sector manager for minorities, human rights, and energy of the European Commission in Croatia; and Damir Jaksic, NPA's programme manager in Croatia. All have displayed a very active engagement in mine action work in the region.

Panel participants were asked to share their views on challenges ahead for mine action in South-Eastern Europe:

  • How to speed up the process of releasing land back to the civilian population?
  • How to mobilize the necessary resources to meet the needs of mine action in the region?
  • How can Article 5 obligations be met in the region? And what more can be done by mine affected countries to comply with Article 5.

The mine action centre representatives introduced the methodologies put in place to speed up the release of suspected land to communities such as the locally anchored integrated methodology of task assessment and planning in Bosnia and Herzegovina and technical survey in Croatia. The participants stressed the need for improved management of mine action, greater participation of affected communities in planning interventions, and the design of national strategies and annual plans with clear targets in order to attract increased funding from both international and national donors. They also insisted on the ICBL's role to lobby governments of mine-affected countries on their responsibilities in meeting the obligations under the treaty.

Source: International campaigns to ban landmine (ICBL)


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