16 February 2010

Moldova among first 30 states to ratify cluster bomb ban treaty

Moldova among first 30 states to ratify cluster bomb ban treatyConvention will become binding international law on 1 AugustRepresentatives of the Moldovan delegation at the Oslo signing conference where they signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 3 December 2008.  Photo Credit:  Jan Lillehamre (London, 16 February 2010) – The Republic of Moldova ratified the Convention on Cluster Munitions today, joining the visionary group of 30 nations that have ratified to date, helping to trigger entry into force of the most significant disarmament and humanitarian treaty in over a decade, the Cluster Munition Coalition said. Burkina Faso also ratified today, reaching the milestone of 30 ratifications needed for the treaty to become binding international law and enter into force on 1 August 2010.“Moldova’s commitment to eradicating the scourge of cluster bombs is commendable,” said Thomas Nash, Coordinator of the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC). “Other countries that stockpile the weapon should take note – there is no excuse not to get on board the treaty.”Moldova is not known to have used or produced cluster munitions, but it inherited a stockpile from the former Soviet Union. In 2003, Moldova reported to the UN that it possessed eleven 220mm Uragan multiple-launch rocket systems. It is also believed to stockpile 9M27K 220mm rockets, because it reported the transfer of 860 9M27K rockets (each containing 30 high-explosive submunitions) to Guinea in 2000.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. A total of 104 countries have signed the treaty since it opened for signature in Oslo in December 2008, and the First Meeting of States Parties will be held in late 2010 in Lao PDR – the most heavily cluster-bombed country in the world.