Workshop on The Convention on Cluster MunitionsMonday, March 29th, 2010
Active for many years in Landmine and Cluster bomb eradication in the ASEAN region, JRS representatives from Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia met in Jakarta during 22 and 23 March to plan on how to further promote the universalisation and implementation of the two successful disarmament treaties. “Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) rejoiced when Indonesia ratified the Mine Ban Treaty and destroyed its stockpiles of mines in 2008, the same year Indonesia signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” remembers Fr. Adrianus Suyadi, SJ Director of JRS Indonesia.
The meeting was followed by a CMC (Cluster Munition Coalition) workshop for civil society organisations including representatives from the press, NGOs and Universities. On 25 March parliamentarians from commission one, the ministry of foreign affairs and ministry of justice and human rights were invited to learn more about the issue of cluster munitions and the new treaty banning it. Aim of these workshops was to create a momentum that supports Indonesia’s swift ratification of the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) entering into force on the 1st of August. “Indonesia should ratify the Convention on Cluster Munitions to be able to make a leading contribution as a full member in the first meeting of States Parties to the CM treaty scheduled for November 2010 in Vientiane, Laos,” says Fr Bernard Arputhasamy, SJ Regional Director of JRS Asia Pacific.
Laos, Philippines and Indonesia are the only three signatories in the region, leaving Cambodia and Vietnam as heavily affected countries along with Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and Burma/Myanmar still outside the Cluster Bomb Treaty.
JRS will join with other campaigners of the Cluster Munitions Coalition all around the world drumming, dancing and praying to celebrate the Entry Into Force of this new disarmament Treaty banning Cluster Bombs on August the 1st 2010.
Landmine survivor and International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) ambassador Tun Channareth from Cambodia said, “With these explosive remnants of war around I never feel in peace. I feel like a refugee again and again. Today, I want ASEAN to be leaders in building peace and justice, especially in care for the survivors of landmines and cluster munitions.”
Campaigners noted that the people of Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia are still suffering from this weapon used two generations ago.
“In solidarity with our injured brothers and sisters ASEAN states should join and implement this treaty. Indonesia along with Lao and Philippines are the beacons of hope for the ASEAN region,” said Sermsiri Ingavanija, campaigner of JRS Asia Pacific.
The first step for Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Brunei, Singapore, Vietnam, Burma/Myanmar, is to join the 104 countries that have signed the Cluster Munitions Treaty.
Even though Indonesia has never used or was targeted by this weapons its Peace Keeping troops witnessed the lethal impact cluster munitions have on peoples’ lives in Lebanon.
For more information on the conventions and advocacy efforts undertaken in Indonesia please visit: www.antiranjaudarat.or.id
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