02 July 2010

Mali ratifies cluster bomb ban treaty

(London, 2 July 2010) – The Republic of Mali ratified the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 30 June 2010. Thirty-seven countries have now ratified the Convention, which enters into force and becomes binding international law on 1 August. “Mali has got in on the ground floor of this important disarmament and humanitarian treaty that will save countless lives,” said Amadou Maiga Moussa, president of the CMC member organisation, West African Journalists for Security and Development Network. “Mali should urge all African countries to get on board the treaty banning cluster bombs as soon as possible.”The Convention on Cluster Munitions 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 victim assistance. Forty African states are among the 106 countries that have signed the Convention, and the Mali is the eighth African country to ratify.Mali is not believed to have ever used, produced, stockpiled or transferred cluster munitions. During the Oslo Process to develop and adopt the Convention, Mali was a strong supporter of a total ban that would end the suffering and remove the barriers to social and economic development caused by cluster munitions.The CMC urges all countries to join the Convention without delay and to participate in the First Meeting of States Parties in November 2010 in Lao PDR, the most-affected country in the world. On and around 1 August, CMC members worldwide are taking part in coordinated campaign actions to celebrate the historic milestone represented by the treaty’s entry into force, and many events and actions will be built around the slogan, “Beat the drum to ban cluster bombs!” For more information, see: http://www.stopclustermunitions.org/countdown/.