“The signing of the Ottawa treaty was one of the highlights of my career at the United Nations … The determination of the States parties has made the Ottawa Treaty one of the great successes of international diplomacy.” Kofi Annan, March 2, 2016.
Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary-General from 1997 to 2006, passed away in mid-August. Annan was a great proponent of landmine eradication, and helped enshrine the Ottawa Treaty into the UN framework in the late 1990s. Soft-spoken yet strong-hearted, Annan set an example for the world while building a stronger, more engaged UN.
One of the most iconic images from the Ottawa Process is that of a triumphant Lloyd
Axworthy signing the Landmine Ban Treaty under the eyes of Jean Chretien and Kofi Annan. This sort of Canadian multilateralism is once again necessary as we strive to achieve the goal of complete landmine eradication by 2025. Annan may have helped begin this struggle, but it is up to us to finish it.
Towards the dream of a mine-free world,
The Canadian Landmine Foundation Team
1. A New Episode for the CLMF Podcast
Episode 2 of the Defuser is now available! It features Wilfrid Laurier professor Dr. Tim Donais discussion the impact of landmines in Bosnia, as well as historical Canadian peacekeeping initiatives in the region.
Check it out here, or on your preferred podcasting service!
2. The Legacy of Kofi Annan
Here at the CLMF, we loved this commemoration by Annan’s former speechwriter on the rise of one of the UN’s most effective Secretary-Generals. On a lighter note, here’s a piece on Annan’s surprising hobby during his younger days at Macalester College in Minnesota: ping pong.
3. It’s Big, It’s Mean, and It’s Hungry for Mines
Sometimes the conditions just aren’t right for manual demining, and more creative solutions are needed. The Halo Trust is about to deploy one such solution to Zimbabwe – a 30 ton excavator capable of chewing 50 tons of soil into 25mm chunks every hour.
Read more here.
4. Cambodian Mine Casualties Are Falling
The Cambodian Mine Action Authority has reported a small decline in landmine and ERW casualties so far in 2018. Although the decline is small, it represents a modest victory in the global trend toward rising casualties in recent years.
5. Cluster Munition Monitor Released
On August 30, the 2018 Cluster Munition Monitor was officially released. Since 2008, states parties to the Treaty have destroyed 99% of their stockpiled cluster munitions, a total of more than 1.4 million cluster munitions and 177 million submunitions. Sri Lanka is the newest member of the Treaty, having joined in March.
Read more here.