On 7 December, Indonesia’s Parliament voted to accept the draft Law on the Ratification of the Mine Ban Treaty. It will now go to the President for signature and final ratification.
It has been nine years since the International Mine Ban Treaty was opened for signatures, and 152 countries are now a party to it. While Indonesia signed the Mine Ban Treaty in 1997, it has taken nine years to formally ratify the Treat as law. Thirteen more countries have yet to sign.
UNICEF and the Jesuit Refugee Service, members of the Indonesian Campaign to Ban Landmines, congratulated the Government and Parliament of Indonesia
“Indonesia is not regarded as a mine affected country although there have been reports of people falling victims to anti personnel devices in Ambon and Aceh in the past,” Els Coolen from the Indonesian Campaign to Ban Landmines said.
Globally landmines have posed a pressing humanitarian issue with estimates of annual casualties ranging between 15.000 and 20.000, half being children. In 2005-2006, landmine or explosive remnants of war casualties occurred in 13 countries in the Asia-Pacific region alone, the vast majority being civilians.
UNICEF Representative in Indonesia, Gianfranco Rotigliano, said Indonesia, as the fourth most population nation, had recognized that it had an international responsibility to contribute to the solution of the problem and strengthen the Campaign to ban landmines by joining the Convention.
“Moreover, as the most populous Muslim nation, Indonesia could also show the way to other Muslim nations which have so far failed to embrace the treaty,” he said. “The same applies to the ASEAN countries of Laos, Vietnam, Burma and Singapore which also have not joined the treaty.”
For 60 years UNICEF has been the world’s leader for children, working on the ground in 156 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.
For more information, please contact:
Lina Sofiani, UNICEF Emergency Officer: Tel + 62 21 570 5816 ext. 458, Lsofiani@unicef.org
Els Coolen, Coordinator Indonesian Campaign to Ban Landmines/Jesuit Refugee Service Advocacy Manager: Tel + 62 813 280 47871, firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to the editor:
The Mine Ban Treaty is the international agreement that bans antipersonnel landmines. Sometimes referred to as the Ottawa Convention, it is officially titled: the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction.
The 13 countries yet to sign are: Afghanistan, Burma, Cambodia, China, India, South Korea, Laos, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan, Bangladesh and Mongolia. Source: Landmine Monitor 2006. www.icbl.org/lm/2006