Africa: Recent Landmines Documents, 3/21/97

Africa: Recent Landmines Documents, 3/21/97

Africa: Recent Landmines Documents

Date distributed (ymd): 970321

Document reposted by APIC

This posting contains a press statement from the South African Campaign to Ban Landmines, and the final statement by the 4th International NGO Conference on Landmines in Maputo, Mozambique.




18 March 1997

The South African Campaign to Ban Landmines today sent faxes to Ms Hillary Rodham Clinton and to Ms Chelsea Clinton urging them to lobby the US government to ban anti-personnel landmines.

In December this year a treaty will be signed in Ottawa which will ban the production, use, stockpiling and export of anti-personnel landmines. It is the most clear commitment of the international community to a total ban. Yet the US government does not want to sign the treaty. Nor has it renounced the use, stockpiling and production of anti-personnel landmines.

The US government has indicated that it wants to pursue a ban in the Conference on Disarmament. The South African Campaign views this as a retrogressive position. Negotiations in the CD will be time consuming and will have to accommodate even the views of those who do not want ban landmines. It will not move the international community fast enough to a comprehensive ban. The US Campaign to Ban Landmines has instead urged their government to not be left behind as the world moves to outlaw these insidious weapons.

SACBL spokesperson Sue Wixley commented, "The failure of the US to support the Ottawa process calls into question their commitment to a total ban. We want the US to be at Ottawa and to show that it truly cares about the 70 people who step on landmines every day, that is why we want Hillary and Chelsea to lobby their government".

For further information contact Penny Mckenzie at 27-11-614 4866 or 27-11-403 7666, or Noel Stott, at the South African Campaign To Ban Landmines, P.O. Box 32882, Braamfontein, South Africa 2017 (Tel: 27-11-403-4204; Fax: 27-11-4722380; E-mail:

# # #

18 March 1997

Dear Ms Rodham-Clinton

A warm welcome from the South African Campaign to Ban Landmines to you and Chelsea. We trust that you will have a good trip.

We are writing to express our concern at the position of the US government on the question of anti-personnel landmines. The US has indicated its support in the long term for a global ban on these insidious weapons yet your government has been unwilling to commit itself to signing the Ottawa treaty which is the most clear commitment of the international community to a total ban. Instead the US government is arguing that the issue of landmines be negotiated in the Conference on Disarmament. We believe that this route will not result in unequivocal ban but a watered down treaty which accommodates even the interests of those who want to retain anti-personnel landmines. It will be a great tragedy for the 70 people who stand on a landmine a day if the US is not at Ottawa and signing the treaty.

We know that you have a deep commitment to human rights and we trust that you will lobby your government to renounce the use, production and stockpiling of anti-personnel mines and to sign the Ottawa treaty. For the Ottawa road is the only road to travel to a total ban.

Yours sincerely

Penny Mckenzie for:

The South African Campaign to Ban Landmines


Final Declaration of the

4th International NGO Conference on Landmines:

Toward a Mine Free Southern Africa

Maputo, Mozambique

25-28 February 1997

Remembering the tens of thousands of men, women and children killed and maimed by landmines each year, and commending the courage and commitment of the humanitarian deminers who daily risk their lives to remove this deadly weapon from the ground, the following statement was issued on behalf of the more than 450 participants from 60 countries attending the 4th International NGO Conference on Landmines in Maputo, Mozambique:

* recognizing the urgent need for a comprehensive global ban on antipersonnel landmines and greatly expanded programs for mine clearance and victim assistance;

* noting that a comprehensive ban rests on the pillars of an international ban treaty, humanitarian mine clearance and victim assistance;

* recognizing the particular importance of this year as the international community moves toward the signing of a total ban treaty in Ottawa, Canada in December 1997;

* convinced that the Ottawa process is the most clear expression of the will of the international community as stated in the 10 December 1996 United Nations General Assembly resolution calling for the conclusion of an international ban treaty "as soon as possible" and that other negotiating fora, such as the Conference on Disarmament, will not fulfill that will in a timely fashion;

* welcoming the initiative taken by the government of Austria in formulating a draft ban treaty and in convening the first international meeting in February of this year to discuss the elements of a comprehensive treaty to ban antipersonnel landmines;

* welcoming the important roles of the governments of Belgium and Norway in the Ottawa process in their hosting treaty negotiating sessions in June and September of this year;

* appreciating the preparatory work for this conference by the regional steering committee and the Mozambique Campaign against Landmines;

* noting the launching of new landmine ban campaigns in Angola, Kenya, Somalia, Zambia and Zimbabwe in the run-up to the conference;

* noting the successful pre-conference seminar held by the campaigns from the South and welcoming recommendations from the South to make consistent efforts to include southern campaigns in ICBL [International Campaign to Ban Landmines] planning meetings;

* welcoming the pre-conference announcement by the government of South Africa of its ban on the use, production, development, trade and stockpiling of antipersonnel landmines;

* appreciating the opening of the conference by president Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique as a clear expression of commitment by the government to a global ban on antipersonnel landmines;

* welcoming the announcement at the conference by the government of Mozambique of its ban on the use, production, and trade of antipersonnel landmines;

* welcoming the participation in the conference by many regional and other governmental representatives;

* appreciating the important support for the conference by its patrons and donors;

* noting the widespread endorsement of the conference by political, religious and social leaders worldwide; and

* noting the widespread regional and international attention to the landmines crisis generated by the conference;

The 4th International NGO Conference on Landmines,

Calls on all governments:

* to publicly commit to the objective of signing an international treaty banning all antipersonnel landmines in December 1997;

* to actively participate during 1997 in the process of negotiating a simple, clear and unambiguous treaty that bans all antipersonnel landmines and not just those weapons "primarily" designed or adapted to be exploded by the presence, porximity or contact of a person;

* to open all meetings of the Ottawa process to participation by an ICBL delegation, and additionally, to invite ngo representatives to form part of government delegations to these meetings;

* to take unilateral and regional steps to ban ap mines to continue to build momentum toward the signing of the Ottawa treaty;

* of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to take all measures to make the region a mine-free zone;

* in Africa to implement the OAU resolutions urging a continent-wide ban on antipersonnel landmines, using appropriate fora such as the OAU landmine meeting in South Africa in May and the OAU Summit in Zimbabwe in June;

* of mine-affected countries to follow the lead of Mozambique and take unilateral steps to ban antipersonnel landmines;

* to increase greatly resources for mine clearance for all mine-contaminated countries, and particularly in those nations and regions that have banned the weapon in order to encourage other countries to do the same;

* to increase greatly resources for victim assistance for all mine-contaminated countries;

* who have produced and supplied mines to accept their responsibility and to assist with clearance and victim assistance programs; and

* for the governments of mine-contaminated countries to develop and implement national mine clearance policies that are transparent and include the needs of all sectors of society.

Calls upon members of the ICBL:

* to present this declaration to their governments, at regional and continent-wide meetings such as upcoming SADC and OAU summits;

* to press governments to participate in the Ottawa process and sign the ban treaty in December 1997;

* to attend the treaty preparatory conferences in Brussels in June, Oslo in September and Ottawa in December;

* to increase networking and communication among campaigns in the south and within regions;

* to take the initiative to help generate and support new campaigns and pro-ban initiatives throughout their regions;

* to broaden the base of participation by civil society in national campaigns by including organizations such as student groups, trade unions, women's organizations, professional groups, disability advocacy groups and others not yet actively involved in the campaign;

* to make particular effort to empower landmine survivors to participate actively in national campaigns and speak out for a ban at international fora;

* to give particular emphasis to the empowerment of landmine survivors ;

* to increase networking and communication between campaigns in the north and the south, and take measures to ensure that campaigns in the South can fully participate in the Ottawa process;

* to encourage national campaigns and NGOs to document the socio- economic impact of apms on their societies to provide critical information to raise public awareness to strengthen ICBL advocacy efforts for humanitarian mine clearance and victim assistance;

* to begin strategizing and planning for campaign work beyond the signing of the comprehensive ban treaty in Ottawa in December 1997 in order to universalize the treaty, to ensure the complete eradication of landmines throughout the world and that assistance to mine victims be comprehensive to ensure their reintegration into society.


For more information on the ban landmines campaign, in the US contact: Mary Wareham, Coordinator, US Campaign to Ban Landmines, Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation, 2001 S St, NW, Ste. 740, Washington, DC 20009 PH: + 202 483 9222 or 1 800 853 9292 FAX: + 202 483 9312 or 483 9314 EMAIL: or WEB: 1997: YEAR OF THE INTERNATIONAL BAN


From: Message-Id: <> Date: Fri, 21 Mar 1997 12:02:23 -0500 Subject: Africa: Recent Landmines Documents

Editor: Ali B. Ali-Dinar

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