ISU Director meets with the Permanent Representative of Japan to the Conference on Disarmament
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.
ISU Director’s visit to Peru
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).
ISU Director’s participation at the CCM universalization side event
Amb. Félix Baumann, 2RC President, with the support of the ISU, organized a “by invitation only” meeting in the margins of the 23rd International Meeting of Mine Action National Directors & United Nations Advisers on 14 February 2020 at the Palais des
Nations. The aim of the side event was to provide a platform for CCM Signatory states and States not Party to discuss challenges and possible solutions to joining the Convention in the lead up to the 2RC.
Ambassador Baumann who moderated the meeting delivered the welcoming remarks wherein he highlighted the importance of advancing the implementation of the provisions of the Convention. This was followed by presentations by the panellists which included the ISU Director, Ms. Sheila N. Mweemba, Ms. Diana Prado of the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC), and Ms. Wen Zhou of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). A lively exchange ensued among the participants on obstacles countries were facing in ratifying or acceding to the Convention as well as ideas on enhancing its universalization. The event gathered 19 participants from 7 CCM member states and 6 non-member states.
ISU Director’s meeting with the delegation of Chad to the NDM-UN 23
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.
ISU Director’s participation in meetings with the government of Zimbabwe
2RC President, Ambassador Félix Baumann, was invited by the government of the Republic of Zimbabwe, a State not Party to the CCM, for an in-country visit on 4-5 February 2020. In Harare, Ambassador Baumann met with the Secretary of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Ambassador James Manzou, and Secretary of Defence and War Veterans Affairs, Ambassador Mark Grey Marongwe, to promote the CCM and encourage Zimbabwe to accede to the Convention. The 2RC President was accompanied by the Director of the CCM Implementation Support Unit (ISU), Ms. Sheila N. Mweemba, the Ambassador of Switzerland to Zimbabwe, H.E. Mr. Niculin Jäger, and representatives of the Embassies of Germany and the United Kingdom in Harare.
ISU Director’s meeting with Montenegro Ministry of Interior and NPA
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.
ISU Director’s lecture at International Disarmament Law course
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.
ISU Director meets with LMAC Director and QAQC Section Head
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.
ISU Director meets with Permanent Representative of Samoa to the United Nations
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.
ISU Director’s participation at ICRC South East Asia regional seminar
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.
ISU Director’s meeting with Lebanon Mine Action Center (LMAC)
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.
Roundtable meeting to promote establishment of Country Coalitions
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.
ISU Director’s meeting with Sri Lankan government representatives
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.
ISU Director’s participation at Lao PDR’s CCM Article 4 extension request consultative workshop
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.
Presentation of the ISU Director at the ASEAN Regional Mine Action Center (ARMAC) 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.
Visit of the Swiss State Secretary, Pascale Baeriswyl, to the GICHD
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.
Presentation by the ISU at the 2018 GICHD Annual Mine Action Donor Seminar
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.
Opening remarks by the ISU Director at Gender and Mine Action side event
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.
Presentations by the ISU Director at the 2017 GICHD annual donor seminar
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.
Consultative meeting on enhancing assistance and coordination in the implementation of Art. 5 of the APMBC and Art. 4 of the CCM
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.
Seminar on the implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions
RACVIAC, Centre for Security and Cooperation, Rakitje, Republic of Croatia
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.
Visit of Swiss Federal Councillor and Minister of Defence, Guy Parmelin
Geneva, 27 October 2016
During an official visit to the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining, Swiss Federal Councillor and Minister of Defence, Mr. Guy Parmelin, briefly met with Ms. Mweemba, Director of the Implementation Support Unit of the Convention on Cluster Munitions.
The Convention on Cluster Munitions
and the United Nations Programme of Fellowships on Disarmament
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.