final event – conference

The final event of the campaign took place on 28 November, the same day, that Eleventh Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on the Prohibition of Landmines starts in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and 4 days before the 11th anniversary of the first signing of the Treaty.

The event consisted of a small conference (panel discussion, presentations, discussion), movie screening. The panelists were:

  • Colonel Romuald Ratajczak, director of the Director of the Department of  Military Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defence
  • Cezary Zarzycki, I Secretary of the Legal-Treaty Departament, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Colonel Krzysztof Siwek, Deputy Commander of Polish Land Forces
  • Agnieszka Bieńczyk-Missala, PHD, Institute of International Relations, Warsaw University

Poland free from landmines - final conference

The discussion was led by Julia Maria Koszewska (EIYN Core Group) and Daniela Malec (EIYN Consultant). The representatives of the ministries and the Polish Army, spoke about the Ottawa Treaty ratification process, how it is going in Poland, why it takes so long, and will the ratification take place.  The panelists discussed also the mine problem in the world, evaluation of the Mine Ban Treaty in the global scale, the goals and development of the humanitarian law.The panel discussion was very interesting, the representatives of the ministries explained why the ratification process of the Mine Ban Treaty takes so long time, but they assured the ratification will take place soon (some time in 2012), that at the moment the process of preparing all the documents for ratification and assuring that the Polish law is changed according to the Treaty’s requirements, is a complicated process, as the Foreign Ministry wants to be sure all is perfectly prepared, because if there would be a small mistake in documents or something not clear, it will make the ratification more difficult in parliament.   Unfortunately representatives of both ministries said Poland is not going to accept the Convention on Cluster Munition, as “cluster munition is a weapon that is militarily very useful and effective.” They also claimed cluster munitions do not pose a real humanitarian threat. EIYN representative showed presentation providing data on cluster munitions opposite to what the officers of the ministries and spoke about the Religions for Peace’s involvement against the cluster munitions performed on the global scene. The panelists answered many questions from the public and from the journalists.

Gazeta Wyborcza – a leading daily newspaper in Poland – published a commentary to our conference-meeting, you can read it here:  http://wyborcza.pl/1,75478,10729105,Biedny_swiat_na_minie.html

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