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Lend Your Leg for the Mine Ban Treaty, Support Disarmament

29 March 2011
Lend Your Leg for the Mine Ban Treaty and Support Disarmament
Wednesday, 4 April 2012
1.00-1.15pm [01.00 GMT]
Parliament Buildings forecourt
Wellington


On 4 April 2012, the New Zealand Campaign Against Landmines (CALM) will kick off the first of dozens of “Lend Your Leg” actions events against landmines to be held around the world on the International Day for Mine Action and Mine Awareness.

CALM is organizing to hold a ‘roll-up’ action at 1.00pm local time [01.00 GMT] on the grounds of Parliament Buildings with interested Members of Parliament, including Hon. Phil Goff, Hon. Maryan Street, Dr. Paul Hutchison, Kennedy Graham, and Iain Lees-Galloway. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Murray McCully has been invited to participate.

The Lend Your Leg action is strikingly simple. On 4 April, people all over the world are rolling up their trouser legs in solidarity with landmine survivors and in support of the call for a mine-free world, achieved through the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty. In New Zealand, CALM is calling on the New Zealand government to stand strong on disarmament by promoting the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty.

•Watch the YouTube video: http://calm.org.nz/?p=249 •Facebook event notice: https://www.facebook.com/events/264470806974348/

Additional Information About the Lend Your Leg action Colombian disability rights NGO Fundación Arcángeles and its president Juan Pablo Salazar are the architects of the global Lend Your Leg action. In 2011, thousands of Colombians, including President Juan Manuel Santos, took part in the country’s first Lend Your Leg action on April 4th, which aimed to draw attention to Colombia’s thousands of landmine survivors, the product of decades of internal arms conflict that has made it one of the world’s most mine-affected countries.

•In 2012, the Lend Your Leg action is going global with a coordinated global action implemented by the United Nations network, the Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement, and campaigners in dozens of countries, including New Zealand. - Visit the Lend your Leg website: www.lendyourleg.org

•The must-watch Lend Your Leg video on YouTube has attracted more than 40,000 hits since its launch a month ago. Narrated by Colombian megastar Juanes and featuring United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, New Zealand’s last prime minister and current UNDP head Helen Clark, and landmine survivors, the video is a powerful call for everyone to participate in the Lend Your Leg action on 4 April. - Watch YouTube video: http://bit.ly/y68khZ

•In addition to the action at Parliament, New Zealanders around the country are participating in the Lend Your Leg action and uploading their photos and videos to the international website. At Palmerston North Girls' High School, where senior social studies students have organized a Lend Your Leg muftiday on Wednesday, 4 April. - Download the logo for Facebook/Twitter avatars: http://bit.ly/H2AfCd - Share photos and videos of your actions with the ICBL and UN on to Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/groups/lendyourleg/

Lend Your Leg for the Mine Ban Treaty •A total of 159 countries, including New Zealand have joined the Mine Ban Treaty, most recently Finland in January 2012. The Mine Ban Treaty comprehensively prohibits antipersonnel mines and requires their clearance and assistance to victims. Every NATO member except the US has foresworn the use of antipersonnel mines, as have other US allies, including Afghanistan and Iraq. The US and nearly all of the 35 states that have not yet joined the Mine Ban Treaty are in de facto compliance with most of the treaty's provisions. - Mine Ban Treaty status: http://bit.ly/5w3kDv

•2012 marks 13 years since the treaty banning antipersonnel landmines became binding international law and 20 years since the launch of the ICBL, 1997 Nobel Peace Prize Co-Laureate. Over the movement’s history, 80 percent of the world’s countries have banned landmines, millions of mines have been removed from the ground and destroyed and billions of dollars have been invested in stopping the damage mines do. - Learn more from the ICBL website: www.icbl.org

•Yet despite these impressive achievements, Landmine Monitor recorded 4,191 new casualties to landmines and explosive remnants of war in 2010 or nearly 12 people every day. Tens of thousands of survivors, often in vulnerable and poor communities, are still coping with the terrible aftereffects of the injuries landmines cause. Landmine use has decreased dramatically, but a handful of governments have used the weapon over the past year: Burma, Israel, Libya, and Syria. - Learn more from the Landmine Monitor website: http://bit.ly/H8HV7P

•If you would like to help fund mine clearance and projects that support landmine clearance, donate to Christian World Service (CWS), which has a partner in Cambodia that supports these field activities. Donate via the CWS website. Include the reference 'landmines' with any direct deposit and a note with any cheque saying it is for the Cambodia landmines project - online donation form at: http://www.cws.org.nz/donate

Why support disarmament in New Zealand? •Four months ago, in December 2011, the government unexpectedly scrapped the dedicated position of Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control, a position last held by Hon. Georgina te Heuheu who retired at the last election. The Cabinet list of ministerial portfolios issued on 12 December 2011 stated that the Minister of Foreign Affairs now “incorporates the responsibilities formerly included in the Disarmament and Arms Control portfolio.” - CALM on Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control: http://bit.ly/sS5aPe

•CALM has urged the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Murray McCully, to take strong action in support of the Mine Ban Treaty, particularly to ensure that Pacific Islands Forum members can tackle the long-standing threat posed by World War Two-era unexploded ordnance. On 29 March, McCully issued his first statement on landmines, expressing “serious concern” at recent antipersonnel mine use by Syria on its borders with Lebanon and Turkey. - CALM Letter to Hon. Murray McCully, 1 March 2012: http://bit.ly/xjmfbl - Letter from Hon. Murray McCully, 29 March 2012: http://bit.ly/GYUBiJ About the Campaign Against Landmines (CALM)

•CALM was established by New Zealand NGOs in September 1993. It is a member of the ICBL and sister campaign to the Aotearoa New Zealand Cluster Munition Coalition (ANZCMC). Both CALM and the ANZCMC are governed jointly by a working group comprised of the following groups: Amnesty International Aotearoa NZ, Caritas Aotearoa NZ, Christian World Service, Disarmament and Security Center, Engineers for Social Responsibility NZ, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War NZ, National Council of Women NZ, National Consultative Committee on Disarmament, Oxfam NZ, Pax Christi Aotearoa NZ, Peace Movement Aotearoa, Soroptimist International NZ, United Nations Association NZ, United Nations Youth Association NZ, UNICEF NZ, and Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Aotearoa. - CALM website: www.calm.org.nz

ENDS

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