20 May 2010

Ecuador ratifies international treaty banning cluster bombs

Ecuador signs the Convention on Cluster Munitions at the Oslo signing conference in December 2008. Photo credit: Gunnar Mjaugedal/catchlight.no  Ecuador ratifies international treaty banning cluster bombsConvention will become binding international law on 1 August(London, 20 May 2010) – Ecuador ratified the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 11 May 2010, joining the growing number of countries fully on board the most significant disarmament and humanitarian treaty in over a decade. The Convention now has 106 signatures and 33 ratifications, and will enter into force on 1 August 2010, when all of its provisions become legally binding. “Ecuador has been among the Latin American leaders in the international movement to ban cluster bombs,” said Maria Pia Devoto, director of the Asociación de Políticas Públicas in Argentina, a Cluster Munition Coalition member organisation that has actively promoted the treaty in Latin America. “Latin America and the Carribbean should become a cluster munition-free zone, and Ecuador should now work with other countries in the region to prevent civilian harm by promoting universal adherence to the treaty.”The 2008 Convention comprehensively bans the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of cluster munitions, sets strict deadlines for clearance of contaminated land and destruction of stockpiles of the weapon, and includes groundbreaking provisions for assistance to victims and affected communities.Ecuador has not used, produced or stockpiled cluster munitions, and it has been a strong supporter of the Convention’s provisions on victim assistance. In November 2008, Ecuador hosted the Latin America and Caribbean regional meeting on the Convention, where most of the 20 states present pledged to sign in Oslo the following month.In Latin America, Mexico, Nicaragua and Uruguay have also ratified the Convention. Chile, a former producer and stockpiler, has signed the treaty and on 18 May its Senate unanimously approved national legislation that should allow it to ratify ahead of a global conference on the Convention in Santiago next month. Chile and Peru – which also signed – have not set out clear plans for destruction of their stockpiles. Brazil, the only remaining active producer of cluster bombs in the region, and Argentina, a former producer and stockpiler, have yet to sign the Convention.Ecuador’s ratification allows it to participate fully in the First Meeting of States Parties, to be held from 8-12 November 2010 in Lao PDR, the most cluster-bombed country in the world. The CMC urges as many countries as possible to join the Convention and attend this key meeting.Lea esta nota en español:Ecuador ratifica Convención sobre Municiones en Racimo