Launch of Documentary on Women in Mine Action in Sri Lanka 'Stepping without Fear' (Sinhala, Tamil and English versions) and Discussion.

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On 8th February, 2021 at 6pm Colombo, 7.30am Ottawa, 1.30pm Geneva, 3. 30pm Baghdad, 8.30pm Manila, 11.30pm Melbourne.

The Forum on Disarmament and Development (FDD) launched three publications on Sri Lanka and nuclear treaties; i) The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and Sri Lanka, ii) Why SL Should Ratify the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and iii) Why Sri Lanka Should Accede to the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (NBT) in Sinhala, Tamil and English languages at the Sri Lanka Foundation on the 21st January with the participation of German Ambassador to Sri Lanka H.E. Jorn Rohde; former Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador H.M.G.S. Palihakkara; Dr. Kumari Jayawrdena; Programme Specialist Women's International League for Peace and Freedom Nadee Gunaratne and other distinguished gathering. The NPT and CTBT publications were supported by the German Federal Foreign Office and NBT supported by Dr. Kumari Jayawardena. 

The Forum on Disarmament and Development (FDD) requests the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) to make the City of Colombo accessible for the disabled community, elderly community, baby strollers and others; work towards a zero stray dog population within the city of Colombo and setting up a dog village for stray dogs (a draft proposal presented); amend municipal laws relating to dogs and other animals including dog registration fee and penalties; work towards a plastic and polyethylene free city status and the use of renewable energy to power the CMC and the city in the year 2020. 

The FDD anticipates that such move will help the City of Colombo become the first accessible city with a ‘greener-city status’, not only in Sri Lanka, but also within the South Asian region. The steps taken by the state to achieve this target, could be replicated in other cities in the country and the region. Overall, this will help Sri Lanka achieve several SDGs and support climate change initiatives. Further, the FDD encourages the CMC to participate in the 16th International Conference on Mobility and Transport for Elderly and Disabled Person known as TRANSED, which will be held in the USA in 2021. The FDD hopes that Sri Lanka will be able to share its success story with the international community during the conference, having achieved the above.

The letter and draft proposal has been handed over to the offices of the Mayor and Commissioner of the CMC, the President and Minister for Local Government and Provincial Councils.

Enter the link below to download the report.

The Sri Lanka Campaign to Stop Killer Robot's secretariat Forum on Disarmament and Development participated in the first Regional Meeting on Lethal and Autonomous Weapons (LAWS) which was held in Islamabad, Pakistan from 9th and 10th of December 2019.
The aim of the meeting was to learn more about the serious ethical, moral, technical, legal, proliferation and security concerns raised by the ongoing development of fully autonomous weapons, also known as LAWS or killer robots.
After the two days meeting it has released a civil society deceleration. The meeting was organized by the Sustainable Peace and Development Organization of Pakistan. 

During the 4th Review Conference of the Anti-Personal Mine Ban Convention (APMBC) in Oslo, Norway on the 28th November 2019, the Sri Lanka Campaign to Ban Landmines (SLCBL) successfully launched a book on "Sri Lanka's Mine Action Story: Achievements, Challenges & Opportunities" and screened a documentary on gender in Sri Lanka's mine action titled "Stepping Without Fear." 
The panel from the left: Camille Wallen, Director of Strategy, The HALO Trust; Paul Hannon, Executive Director of Mines Actions Canada; Vidya Abhayagunawardena Coordinator SLCBL and Forum on Disarmament & Development (FDD); Nillasi Liyanage, Youth Coordinator SLCBL and Chair of the Panel; Jason Kelland, Senior Policy Officer, Non-proliferation, Disarmament, Conventional Weapons, Government of Canada and Simon Rea, Regional Director, South and South East Asia, Mines Advisory Group (MAG).
The book and documentary published and produced by the SLCBL's secretariat FDD.

Major issues for Sri Lanka’s 7th Executive President.
1. Peace and Disarmament
2. Human Security &
3. Climate Change.
A statement by the Forum on Disarmament and Development (FDD).

The Forum on Disarmament and Development (FDD) congratulate the governments of the Maldives on their accession to the Nuclear Ban Treaty (NBT) on 26th September  2019 and Convention on Cluster Munitions  (CCM) and  Arms Trade Treaty (ATT)  on 27th September 2019 and Bangladesh accession to the NBT on 26th September 2019.

The FDD is advocating both countries to accede and ratify the Nuclear Ban Treaty (NBT), Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) and Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM). The FDD met both governments in their capitals, in Geneva (during 8th Meeting of States Parties to the CCM) and their diplomats in Colombo and to discuss the importance of accession and ratification of the NBT, ATT and CCM.

The FDD continues to advocate the Bangladesh Government on the matter and FDD is hopeful that Bangladesh accede and ratify of the CCM and ATT soon. Further, FDD encourages Sri Lanka to accede to the ATT and NBT and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) Protocol V on Explosive Remnants of War (ERW)  without delay. 

The FDD advocates that the Government of Sri Lanka ratifies the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) Protocol V on Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) on or before the 4th Review Conference of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention which will be held in Oslo, Norway from 25th November 2019. Sri Lanka's ratification of the Protocol V shows the country's commitment towards becoming free from the threat of ERW in the conflict affected-areas of the country.

On the 30th August 2019, the Forum on Disarmament and Development (FDD) sent a letter to President Maithripala Sirisena on the abolition of the Executive Presidency before 31st December 2019. The President himself replied to the FDD letter stating that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Government MPs are responsible for the matter not himself.
After receiving the letter from the President, the FDD dispatched a letter to the Prime Minister urging him and the Government MPs to support the President and work on the matter without delay.

The Forum on Disarmament and Development (FDD) received a letter from President Maithripala Sirisena on 11th September 2019, concerning his views on abolition of the Executive Presidency in reply to the letter sent by FDD on 30th August 2019.
The letter has stated that he is still willing to abolish the Executive Presidency but the Prime Minister and members of Government MPs have no interest in the matter. He thanked the letter sent by the FDD and he stated in the letter that he has an idea to send a similar letter to the Prime Minister.

During the 9th Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) held in Geneva, the FDD met the Bangladesh and Maldives delegations with the CCM 2nd Review Conference (2RC) President and  Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the Conference on Disarmament to the UN in Geneva  Ambassador Félix Baumann. The President of the CCM 2RC and FDD encouraged Bangladesh and Maldives to become parties to the CCM before the 2RC which will be held in November 2020.
During the bilateral discussions with them it discussed the possibilities to accede or ratify the Nuclear Ban Treaty (NBT) and Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) by Bangladesh and Maldives. Early this year the FDD met both the governments on the same matter.

For the first time Sri Lanka is a President of a UN humanitarian disarmament convention after the country became a member of the UN in 1955. Sri Lanka is the President of the 9th Meeting of the State Parties (9MSP) to The Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) which is taking place at the UN Geneva from today onwards.
Sri Lanka acceded to the CCM in 2018 and the same year became the President. Further, Sri Lanka ratified the UN Disability Convention (CRPD) in 2016 and acceded to the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention (MBT) in 2017. The Sri Lanka Campaign to Ban Landmines (SLCBL) tirelessly campaigned to make this happen. Sri Lanka should seek the possibilities to take the leadership in the world of disarmament, be supportive of international peaceful means and maintain non-aligned foreign policy which will help to build the country's image internationally.

The Forum on Disarmament and Development (FDD) encourages President Maithripala Sirisena to abolish the Executive Presidency before 31st December 2019 and fulfill one of the major election promises he made during the last presidential election campaign.