19 October 2010

Campaign urges governments to get on board cluster bomb ban

UXO Lao all-female clearance team. Lao PDR will host the First Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions in Nov. 2010. Photo credit: Stanislas Fradelizi/CMC.Lao PDR to host historic meeting of the Convention on Cluster Munitions(New York, 19 October 2010) – Governments that have not yet joined the international treaty banning cluster bombs should get on board without delay and participate in next month’s historic meeting of the convention, said the Cluster Munition Coalition today at a special event held at the United Nations in New York.“We challenge all states that have not yet done so to get on board the Convention on Cluster Munitions without delay,” said Thomas Nash, Coordinator of the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC). “They should participate in the upcoming first meeting of the Convention and announce their intent to join.”The 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions, which entered into force as binding international law on 1 August 2010, bans the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of cluster munitions and requires the destruction of stockpiles, the clearance of affected land and the provision of assistance to victims and affected communities. To date, 108 countries have signed the treaty and 43 have ratified, including Cape Verde, which ratified on 19 October.The First Meeting of States Parties to the Convention will take place from 9-12 November in Vientiane, Lao PDR, one of the countries most contaminated by unexploded cluster bombs. The milestone meeting will bring together governments, UN agencies, international organisations, and civil society under the banner of the CMC to hammer out an action plan for States Parties to implement their treaty obligations.Japan and Lao PDR are holding a special event at the UN to brief diplomats and media on preparations for the First Meeting of States Parties. Thomas Nash is speaking at the event, which will start at 1:15 p.m. on Tuesday, 19 October in Conference Room IV.