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Use and Reinforce Existing Capacities in Affected States At the victim assistance session of the Pretoria Conference in March 2010, the Director of the Uganda Landmine Survivors Association, Margaret Arach Orech, called on all states in Africa to join the global community, and sign and ratify the Convention on Cluster Munitions. “Ratifying the CCM, and beginning its implementation, including in the area of victim assistance is also a way to generate greater resources and cooperation for implementation of a number of other obligations that states have under international law.”

Photo CMC

She admitted that “the low pace of ratification by African states is quite disturbing” and she added: “Especially as the onus for victim assistance rests on them. This may limit immediate implementation, which is quite vital if we are to see any changes and improvements in the quality of the lives of survivors.” As a landmine survivors herself, she said that survivors still wait upon their states to take up responsibility where necessary and reinforce existing efforts for a better provision of victim assistance.” She called on “all governments to take advantage of the resources that exist in their communities” and asked them to “actively empower survivors and their representative groups to participate in the social, economic and political sector of their community and the country.” She stressed the “need for continuing medical care, especially to survivors in remote areas” and noted that “governments can through their focal points on victim assistance reach out to survivors through the community based rehabilitation approach and ensure that they are able to access the available services for medical care as well as for rehabilitation.” Services to support survivors to overcome a longterm psychological trauma are lacking or are not easily accessible in most communities. Therefore, she suggested that more resources should be put toward the training of more “counselors as well as the survivors themselves to provide peer counseling.” The Deputy Head of the Norwegian Mission in Pretoria stated that to “maintain dedicated funding, the use of resources is equally as important as fundraising” and emphasized “the importance of building national capacity and


sharing national expertise developed in affected states with others, along with timebound targeted strategic partnerships at the regional and sub-regional levels. She recognized “that survivors and other victims do not receive the assistance they are entitled to.” But achieving the aims (…) is not only about raising and spending more money (…) How resources are spent is just as important as the amount of funds available.” She admitted: “We must to a much larger degree recognise the competence that exists in affected States” and referred to national expertise built up in Africa. She concluded that “International cooperation must be structured in a way that supports national ownership rather than undermines it.” The CMC called on African states to foster South-South cooperation in the sharing of best practices as “the hallmark of the implementation of the CCM” and in creating a common framework at regional, sub-regional, and regional levels using groupings such as SADC, ECOWAS, and the African Union.” Statement by the Director of the Uganda Landmine Survivors Association at:



Use and Reinforce Existing Capacities in Affected States Photo CMC 1 sharing national expertise developed in affected states with others, al...