And now for some GOOD NEWS!
Lobbying and campaigning does work! . . .
International Campaign To Ban Landmines
Australian Network Incorporated.
The Australian Network to Ban Landmines has praised the Australian Government’s commitment to provide $100 million for work to rid the world of landmines over the period 2010 to 2014.
This funding will be used to cover clearance of minefields, assisting victims of landmines and other unexploded ordnance, providing education about the risks of landmines to communities where it will not be possible to remove the threat of landmines in a reasonable timeframe and assisting in the universalisation of the UN Convention banning anti-personnel landmines (“the Ottawa Convention”).
“The announcement by the Australian Government provides global leadership on seeking a world that is rid of anti-personnel landmines and cluster munitions”, said Dr Mark Zirnsak, National Co-ordinator of the Australian Network to Ban Landmines.
“This funding will make a real difference to people’s lives. It will mean less mines in the ground and more assistance for victims of landmines and their families, to help them get their lives back together”, said Dr Zirnsak.
While the annual number of casualties from landmines and explosive remnants of war continues to decrease as a result of the impact of the Ottawa Convention, the total number of landmine survivors continues to increase. The 2007 Landmine Monitor Report stated that there are an estimated 473,000 landmine survivors in the world today need on-going assistance.
Countries within our region that have high numbers of survivors from landmines and cluster munitions who need on-going assistance are Cambodia (47,000), Lao PDR (5,500) and Thailand (2,000). In addition,
There are more than 70 countries affected by anti-personnel landmines and unexploded ordnance with thousands of square kilometers of area being contaminated that needs to be cleared.
In 2007 there were 2,448 recorded casualties in 15 countries in the Asian region from landmines and unexploded ordnance, although it should be noted that it is believed that the number of casualties (especially deaths) that go unreported outnumber the reported casualties.
Dr Mark Zirnsak, National Co-ordinator, Australian Network to Ban Landmines, 0409 166 915
Statement by the Australian
Minister for Foreign Affairs,
Stephen Smith, MP
on Mine Action
18 November 2009
Mr Speaker, every five years nations now recommit themselves to tackling the scourge of landmines and other remnants of war. This year,
For more than a decade, our advocacy and leadership has demonstrated
Madam Deputy Speaker, in
The Joint Standing Committee on Treaties recommended in August 2009 that
Australia has been a committed mine action donor in sixteen badly affected countries across the Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, namely Afghanistan, Angola, Burma, Cambodia, Iraq, Jordan, Laos, Lebanon, Mozambique, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Somalia, the Sudan, Thailand, Uganda and Vietnam.
This assistance has helped affected countries achieve their mine action goals.
At the time this commitment had welcome bipartisan support.
I can report to the House that
Through the provision of prostheses, wheelchairs, rehabilitation and other support,
We have saved many more lives through mine risk education, vital clearance and the subsequent release of productive land.
We have cleared mines from nearly seven million square metres of land in
Clearing unexploded ordnance from schools has allowed nearly 2,500 pupils to return to their studies while clearing unexploded ordnance from agricultural land has allowed 1,500 farmers to open new vegetable and date farms.
Madam Deputy Speaker,
On Monday last week I visited
The International Community will set further goals for landmine eradication at the Second Review Conference of the Mine Ban Convention in
Since meeting the $75 million commitment to mine action, the Australian Government has been developing a strategy to build on our successful past efforts and to guide future assistance. We have consulted widely with key partners including Governments and Australian and International Non-Government Organisations.
Under the Strategy,
To achieve this goal,
For many developing countries, these explosive devices continue to hold back development. They bring devastating social and economic impacts to some of the poorest countries in the world, both during and after armed conflict. They adversely affect security and stability. They threaten the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
Madam Deputy Speaker, I look forward to the outcomes of the Cartagena Summit on a Mine-Free World. The
Our commitment will support
We will build on the success of