Photo by Mathias P.R. Reding, Unsplash
In collaboration with the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD), the Iraqi Directorate of Mine Action (DMA) organized a National Mine Action Strategy Stakeholder Workshop that took place from 15 to 18 March 2021 in Baghdad. The hybrid event brought key national and international stakeholders together to contribute to the work of drafting the DMA’s new Mine Action Strategy beginning in 2022. During the workshop, CCM Implementation Support Specialist, Mr. Emad Al-Juhaishi, gave a presentation on Iraq’s obligations under the Convention and critical elements related to its CCM implementation to consider in the new national Strategy.
A webinar on “Disarmament decisions in the time of COVID-19” was hosted by the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) and Control Arms (a global coalition of non-governmental organizations) on 11 March 2021. The event, which brought together government, secretariat and civil society representatives, explored challenges and lessons learnt in the field of disarmament and arms control during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ISU Director, Ms. Sheila N. Mweemba, participated as one of the panellists on the discussion, where she highlighted that the pandemic had necessitated that all relevant participants in the application of the CCM adapt and become more flexible, creative, collaborative and empathetic in order to ensure implementation progress. She noted that the disarmament conventions were more resilient than anticipated and had therefore continued to function largely undeterred by an unprecedented global pandemic.
On 9 July 2020, ISU Director, Ms. Sheila N. Mweemba, met with H.E. Ichiro Ogasawara, Permanent Representative of Japan to the Conference on Disarmament. The Ambassador paid a courtesy call on the ISU Director to present a letter notifying of Japan’s financial contribution towards the 2020 ISU annual budget. During the visit, Ambassador Ogasawara reiterated Japan’s unwavering support in advancing the norms of the Convention. He was accompanied by Colonel Jun Yamada, First Secretary and Defense Attaché of the Delegation of Japan to the Conference on Disarmament.
On 12 May 2020, the ISU Director, Ms. Sheila N. Mweemba gave a virtual lecture on the Convention on Cluster Munitions to new cadets of the Ecuadorian War Academy Advanced English Course. During the interactive session, the students had the opportunity to better understand the objectives of the Convention and obligations of States Parties. As future airmen, the cadets appreciated the importance of addressing humanitarian concerns of conventional weapons such as cluster munitions.
On 6 January 2020, Peru sent official communication to inform of its inability to complete the destruction process by this deadline and its intention to requesting for an extension. In this regard, the Peruvian authorities invited the ISU Director, Ms. Sheila N. Mweemba, for an in-country visit to assess and provide guidance in the preparation of its deadline extension request. In accepting the invitation, the ISU Director participated in a Workshop in Lima, Peru, from 25 – 27 February 2020 to review and improve on the extension request workplan that accounts for the stockpile destruction work during the extension period. The Workshop was also attended by representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defence, the Peruvian Air Force and implementing partners Norwegian Peoples Aid (NPA).
In the sidelines of the 23rd International Meeting of Mine Action National Directors and UN Advisers (NDM-UN 23), the Director of the Implementation Support Unit (ISU), Ms. Sheila N. Mweemba, met with Mr. Brahim Djibrine Brahim, Coordinator of the National High Commission for Demining (HCND), Mr. Moussa Ali Soultani, Director of Operations and Technical Logistics of the HCND and Mr. Olivier Shu, Senior Technical Advisor of the Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD).
During the meeting, issues related to the implementation of the provisions of the CCM and progress made in this regard were discussed. Chad indicated that it would be able to fulfil its obligations under Article 4 (clearance) of the Convention ahead of its deadline of 1 September 2023.
Following an official invitation for an in-country visit from 9-10 December 2019, the ISU Director, Ms. Sheila N. Mweemba met with Director-General of the Directorate for Emergency Situations of the Ministry of Interior, Mr. Mirsad Mulić, and Head of Department of UXO at the Ministry of Interior, Mr. Milovan Joksimovic, in Podgorica, Montenegro. Also participating in the meeting was the Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) Mine Action and Disarmament team led by Ms. Alyson Lewis, Programme Manager, and Mr. Zoran Papic, Operations Manager. During the meeting, the ISU Director was informed on the positive experiences and progress in clearance of cluster munition contaminated land as a result of international cooperation established under the country coalition concept.
The ISU Director also visited some of the task sites including one adjacent to the regularly functioning Podgorica International airport, where current clearance operations were being finalized. The Director witnessed first-hand the challenges and complexities of the programme and commended the clearance team for the great work undertaken and its commitment to fulfill its CCM Article 4 obligation before the deadline of 1 August 2020.
A course on International Disarmament Law was administered by the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) for policy and decision makers in the field of disarmament (government officials, diplomats, security experts, humanitarian and disarmament practitioners, military staff and lawyers) on 20-21 November 2019. The ISU Director, Ms. Sheila N. Mweemba, was invited to give a lecture on 21 November on the topic of reporting, a key obligation of disarmament treaties.
On 4 November 2019, ISU Director, Ms. Sheila N. Mweemba, met with the Lebanon Mine Action Center (LMAC) Director, Brigadier General Jihad Al Bechelany, and LMAC Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QAQC) Section Head, Colonel Ahmed Lababidi during their visit to Geneva. During the meeting, the LMAC Director and the QAQC Section Head discussed with the ISU Director whether the extension request contained all the necessary information required under Article 4 of the Convention. The GICHD’s Cooperation Programmes Coordinator, Ms. Rana Elias, was also invited to participate in the in-depth exchange.
On 15 October 2019, ISU Director, Ms. Sheila N. Mweemba, paid a courtesy call on Ambassador Ali’ioaiga Feturi Elisaia, Permanent Representative of Samoa to the United Nations at the Permanent Mission of Samoa in New York. Amb. Elisaia reaffirmed Samoa’s commitment to the implementation of the CCM by making a two-year contribution towards the 2019 and 2020 ISU annual budget. He acknowledged the ISU’s unwavering support to States Parties, including small states like Samoa, in implementing the Convention. Furthermore, the Ambassador stressed that universalization of the CCM was instrumental in working towards global peace and security and was in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) co-hosted a regional seminar in Vientiane, Lao PDR, on 29-30 April 2019 with the generous support of the Kingdom of Norway. The event brought together over 90 participants and speakers, including delegates from 7 South-East Asian countries: Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam.
On day 1 of the seminar, the ISU Director, Ms. Sheila N. Mweemba, gave an introduction on the key provisions of the CCM. The session gave the South-East Asian States present the opportunity to discuss the legal and policy response adopted to regulate the use, development and acquisition of cluster munitions. It also provided a forum to exchange experiences on the factors and concerns delaying some of them from becoming a party to the CCM.
During day 2 of the seminar, the ISU Director chaired a session on international cooperation and assistance. This session provided the platform for donor and affected States to reflect on how effective the current level of international cooperation and assistance was in addressing the needs of affected communities, how to ensure sufficient and sustainable resources at the international and national level, and on how to make better use of existing mechanisms such as the country coalition concept under the CCM.
Following Lebanon’s communication that it would not be able to meet its CCM Article 4 deadline of 1 May 2021 and need to request an extension, the ISU Director, Ms. Sheila N. Mweemba, paid a visit to the Lebanon Mine Action Center (LMAC) from 26 to 28 March 2019 to assess the situation and to offer support in the Extension Request process.
The ISU Director took the opportunity to visit two clearance operations sites in South Lebanon that were being cleared by the Lebanese Association for Mines and Natural Disaster Action (LAMINDA) and DanChurchAid (DCA). Meetings were held with the outgoing LMAC Director, Brig. Gen. Ziad Nasr, the incoming LMAC Director, Brig. Gen. Jihad Al Bechaalany, and LMAC Head of Operations, Maj. Fadi Wazen.
The ISU hosted a lunch time roundtable discussion in Geneva on 13 March 2019 to promote the establishment of Country Coalitions by States Parties with current obligations under Article 3 and Article 4 of the CCM. The Country Coalition concept was introduced by Germany in its capacity as the Presidency of the 7MSP. The Concept encourages a country specific approach to comply with CCM commitments through comprehensive cooperation adapted to the national context. The generous financial contribution of Canada made possible the meeting which brought together 16 States Parties to exchange views and best practices on employing this mechanism.
A meeting between the ISU and the government of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka was held at the Ministry of Defence in Colombo on 23 November 2018 to discuss the implementation of the Convention of this new State Party. In addition to having acceded to the CCM on 1 March 2018, Sri Lanka is currently presiding over the Convention as the President of the Ninth Meeting of States Parties (9MSP).
The meeting chaired by Mr. Anuradha Wijekoon, Additional Secretary (Defence), was attended by representatives from various governmental departments including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The ISU Director, Ms. Sheila N. Mweemba, emphasised the importance of fulfilling Article 7 (Transparency Measures) obligations and provided guidance on how to complete the reporting template. Sri Lanka’s deadline for its initial transparency report is 28 February 2019. Additionally, the meeting considered the possibility of hosting a regional workshop on CCM universalization to be held in early 2019.
The Lao People’s Democratic Republic has an estimated cluster munition contaminated area of greater than 800 million square metres and a CCM Article 4 deadline of 1 August 2020. During the Eighth Meeting of States Parties (CCM8MSP) in September 2018, Lao PDR informed that it would not be able to comply with the 2020 deadline and would therefore need to request an extension.
The National Regulatory Authority for the UXO/Mine Action Sector (NRA) of Lao PDR held an all-day consultative workshop on 20 November in Vientiane in preparation of its Article 4 extension request due for submission in December 2018.
The consultations were aimed at promoting a collaborative effort by all stakeholders in the sector in the preparation of the extension request. Participants of the workshop included representatives from the Lao MoFA, NRA, UXO Lao, the CCM ISU, UNDP, demining operators and all other actors in the mine action sector. The workshop was chaired by NRA Director General Mr. Phoukhieo Chanthrasomboun.
The ISU Director, Ms. Sheila N. Mweemba, presented an overview on the Guidelines in preparing an Article 4 extension request. These Guidelines were considered and adopted at the 8MSP by CCM States Parties.
Click here to view the agenda of the workshop.
The ASEAN Regional Mine Action Center (ARMAC) organized a regional workshop “Enhance mine action knowledge and promote future platforms for mine action knowledge sharing for ASEAN Member States” on 12 – 14 November 2018 in Siem Reap, Cambodia, with the financial support of the Government of Canada. This workshop aimed to provide sustained platforms to share knowledge and experiences with the aims of enhancing regional capacity and cooperation, and effectively and efficiently addressing the issue of landmines, cluster munitions and other explosive remnants of war in the ASEAN region.
This workshop brought together numerous speakers and participants from ASEAN Member States, donor States, the ASEAN Secretariat, ASEAN academic institutions, and organizations dealing with mine action. Topics discussed included the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), gender mainstreaming, and research and development in cluster munitions and mine action; clearance and risk reduction education, victim assistance, and international cooperation and assistance.
The CCM ISU Director, Ms. Sheila N. Mweemba, was invited to give an overview of the implementation of the CCM and share how the Convention has contributed to global mine action. This workshop was an opportunity for the ISU to promote the universalization of the CCM to States in the ASEAN region where Convention membership is relatively low.
Click here to view the agenda of the workshop.
The Swiss State Secretary, Ms. Pascale Baeriswyl, paid an official visit to the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) on 8 May 2018. The GICHD, therefore, organized a presentation of its activities and demonstrated its support to international humanitarian law. The Directors of the Implementation Support Units of the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) and the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention (APMBC) were both invited to give an introduction of their work to the State Secretary.
The ISU Director, Ms. Sheila N. Mweemba, delivered an overview of the Convention, which focused on the development, achievements and current priorities of the CCM. She expressed her appreciation to Switzerland for its long-standing cooperation with the Convention and her confidence in its continuous support and fulfillment of its obligations to the treaty.
The Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) held its 5th Annual Mine Action Donor Seminar in Geneva on 24-26 April 2018. The ISU was invited to speak about the Convention during the first session of the seminar.
ISU Director, Ms. Sheila Mweemba, and Implementation Support Specialist, Mr. Matthieu Laruelle, gave a presentation on the Convention focusing mainly on key milestones, achievements to date and priorities in the implementation of the Dubrovnik Action Plan.
Other sessions of the seminar revolved around the themes of mine action, building national capacity, private partnerships, and donor strategies and priorities. Participants of the seminar included delegates from 8 donor States and the European Union.
The ISU Director, Ms. Sheila N. Mweemba, was invited to deliver opening remarks at the Empowerment of Women through Mine Action side event organised by the Delegation of Canada and the Gender and Mine Action Programme (GMAP) in the margins of the 16th MSP of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention in Vienna on 19 December 2017. For more information on the event check the GMAP website.
The Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) held its 4th annual donor seminar on 3-5 April 2017. The sessions of the seminar revolved around mine action, building national capacity, maximising impact of mine action support, completion initiatives, and donor strategies and priorities.
Participants of the seminar included delegates from major mine action donor states, the European Union, and the US Department of State Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (WRA). UNMAS was also present at the seminar.
The ISU Director, Ms. Sheila N. Mweemba, was invited to present at the seminar. On 3 April she gave an overview of the Convention on Cluster Munitions. She was also a speaker in the panel discussion on 4 April, which considered the feasibility of completing CCM Article 4 implementation by the target date of 2030 set in the political declaration adopted by States Parties at the CCM 6MSP.
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
6-7 December 2016
At its 584th meeting held on 29 March 2016 in Addis Ababa, the African Union Peace and Security Council expressed deep concern over the continued threat posed by landmines and explosive remnants of war and their devastating impact on civilians, as well as on economic development, post conflict reconstruction and regional integration. The Council welcomed the commendable progress made by Member States in clearing contaminated areas under their jurisdiction and called upon remaining Member States to spare no efforts in meeting their clearance obligations pursuant to the APMBC and the CCM.
In this regard, the Council requested the Commission to assist Member States in their clearance activities, as well as facilitate the exchange of expertise and resources among them. Against this back drop, the Commission convened on 6 and 7 December 2016 a consultative meeting to facilitate consultation among Member States, international partners and implementing agencies to assess the status of implementation of article 5 of the APMBC and article 4 of the CCM in order to identify and address the key challenges facing completion.
The ISU CCM Director was invited by the AU to attend the meeting and provided an overview of the current status of implementation of article 4 of the CCM in Africa and moderated sessions. For more information on the meeting.
14-16 November 2016
The ISU Director was invited by the Centre for Security Cooperation (RACVIAC) to participate in a 3-day seminar on the implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions co-organized by the Government Office for Mine Action of the Republic of Croatia. The seminar took place on 14-16 November 2016 in Rakitje, Croatia.
The purpose of the seminar was to share the latest developments related to the implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions. For more information
In this context, the ISU Director made a presentation on the achievements and progress made in the implementation of the Dubrovnik Action Plan. The Director also moderated a session entitled Clearance of Cluster Munitions and its remnants in the countries of South East Europe – Mine Action’s role.
Geneva, August 2016
The Programme of Fellowships on Disarmament aims at the training and specialization of national officials in more Member States, particularly in the developing countries, and to enable them to participate more effectively in international deliberating and negotiating fora.
The first segment of the Programme is carried out in Geneva and is aimed primarily at exposing the Fellows to multilateral negotiations on disarmament undertaken by the Conference on Disarmament or under different disarmament treaty regimes.
The ISU was invited by the Programme to provide a lecture on the Convention on Cluster Munitions during the first segment of the 2016 training at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.