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Role of NGOs in Banning Antipersonnel Landmines Essay

There has been observation that there exists declining trends of states engagements in multilateral disarmament affairs and as such it is the NGOs that take the center stage role due to their non partisanness to the government of the day; some of the observed elements that make the role of NGOs crucial include the following:

NGOs have been known as very important stakeholders particularly in respect to control of arms for the reasons that first, NGO have been known in their involvement in disarmament affairs in addition its current manifestations are part of a broader reality of transnational civil society engagement on issues of global concern, besides, disarmament has many dimensions and NGO engagement with these and as such is not uniform and is sometimes contradictory.

Further, NGOs play many important roles in advancing disarmament affairs, which go well beyond their very limited direct access to disarmament negotiations hence can be said to have broad participatory obligation, this is in addition to known importance of NGOs engagement in the Ottawa Process which was unique, but with important lessons for other disarmament issue areas and beyond. Finally, the present state of multilateral disarmament diplomacy currently can be said to be in a mess, and requires new kinds of thinking by other stakeholders which appropriately befits NGOs and governments alike.

Other actors in advancing the landmine negotiations International Committee of Red- Cross (ICRC): is concerned with taking care of victims of the after effects of landmines and other weapons and as search is a major participant in the war torn areas to negotiate as between the adverse groups highlighting the humanitarian perspective of their acts and further to limit the unregulated use of weapons on civilians.

Private foundations and individual experts- charged with the provision funds to the negotiating participants, whereas the individual experts give the essential information in respect to the negotiations. The media: during the negotiations it is of importance that public attention is active so that any emerging or resultant instrument might be favorable to most citizens of the several participating states and as in highlighting the negotiations by the media may make states evaluate the consequences be understood by the citizens.

Bi/Multi-lateral organizations: come together to control or limit the regional use of weapons and specifically by insisting on particular standards regarding states use of weapons. The best explanation on land mines: Hurbet’s explanation seems convincing due to the broad explanation and coverage that he is providing compared to the Rutherford’s view however if the two ideas are merged then explanations on negotiations on landmines can be deemed well captured. Ngos and negotiations Characteristics

CCW-Convention on prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons which may be deemed to be excessively injurious or to have indiscriminate Effects, protocol II or Restrictions on the Use of Mines, Booty traps and other devices. The Oslo Process culminated in a Convention in 2008 in Dublin, which convention was referred to as the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM), which basically put emphasis on banning all the cluster munitions that cause unacceptable harm to civilians.

The Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) is a legally binding international treaty that prohibits the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of cluster munitions and requires clearance of remnants and destruction of stocks and further it requires states to provide assistance to survivors and their communities and builds on existing international human rights and humanitarian law thus providing a wide berth to states.

This convention had at its article 2 a very comprehensive formula which a number of states which produce, stockpile and export cluster munitions such as China, India, Israel, Pakistan, Russia and the United States to shun the Oslo process, therefore a number of major stakeholders were never participant in the process resultant of CCM, whereas a number of them were parties to the CCW. Differences

CCW a part from numerous ambiguous clauses which for instance unexploded submunitions would not longer function as explosive submunitions and in addition, gave a lot of liberty to states in terms of the available options particularly in respect to that which is allowed or exempted and that some experts have opined in respect to article 4 that its option A made some exemptions in the application of the Protocols prohibitions for example allowable would be sub munitions with (i) a self destruct mechanism (like the discredited M85); (ii) a self-neutralization mechanism; (iii) a self-deactivating mechanism; (iv) two or more fuzing features (like the deadly U. S. manufactured BLU-97); (v) “any other mechanism or design” (again, not defined in any way). Positive

There being parallel process at international level regarding arms and other weapons; an opportunity presented itself to a number of states that were not agreeable to one to move to the other and thus avoiding restrictions and other legal and practical implication while at the same time retaining their duty to protect the people from cluster munitions as envisaged at international humanitarian law. CCM requires states to destroy existing stockpiles within eight years and to clear contaminated land within 10 years and in addition, imposes the obligations relating to victim assistance on the states concerned and as such; they demand the full realization of the rights of people affected by cluster munitions and require states to implement effective victim assistance measures.

CCM prohibits the use of munitions as a defensive weapon since its after war consequences on the civilians is high and thus the stigmatization that the Convention has achieved so far has led to international condemnation and political cost to the users of the cluster munitions, consequently, by joining the Convention, a state will increase stigmatization therefore preventing other would be users from making use of the same. CCM provides for international cooperation and assistance at article 6 in that it requires all States Parties where they are capable to provide technical, material and financial assistance to States Parties affected by cluster munitions to assist with clearance, risk education, stockpile destruction and victim assistance including social and economic recovery, besides, under the clearance obligations former user States Parties are strongly encouraged to provide assistance to States Parties who have been affected by their use of cluster munitions. Negatives

The introduction of CCW protocol meant that it would counter the goals of the CCM and thus a number of states would opt for such a weaker instrument thus compromising the stigma already established or that would have been achieved, the weakness of CCW is in the compromise it made in regulating instead of banning the weapons. CCM has numerous provisions that can acquire or be assigned different meanings by different stakeholders and as such the provisions relating to the following ought clarified i. e. transit of cluster munitions under article 2, investments as per article 1, definition under article 2c of cluster munitions, retained cluster munitions envisaged under article 3. 6, interoperability and foreign stockpiling of cluster munitions under article 21. REFERENCES 1. Kenneth Rutherford. (2000).

World Politics: “The Evolving Arms Control Agenda: Implications of the Role of NGOs in Banning Antipersonnel Landmines” 2. Don Hubert. (2000) The Landmine Ban: A Case Study In Humanitarian Advocacy. Institute for International Studies Brown University. 3. John Borrie. Disarmament as humanitarian action: from perspective to practice. Available at http://www. unidir. org/pdf/articles/pdf-art2578. pdf 4. http://disarmamentinsight. blogspot. com/2008/09/ccw-can-it-find-its-way. html 5. http://disarmamentinsight. blogspot. com/search/label/Convention%20on%20Cluster%20Munitions 6. http://www. stopclustermunitions. org/the-solution/ 7. http://disarmamentinsight. blogspot. com/2008/10/global-year-of-action-on-cluster. html

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