23 September 2010

Monaco ratifies international treaty banning cluster bombs

Franck Bianchéri (left), Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Principality of Monaco, holds up the Convention on Cluster Munitions with Patricia O’Brien, Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs, after depositing Monaco's instrument of ratification. Photo credit: UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz (London, 23 September 2010) – The Principality of Monaco ratified the Convention on Cluster Munitions at a United Nations treaty event in New York on 21 September 2010, World Peace Day."Now that Monaco is formally on board this lifesaving treaty, it must urge others to join and prevent civilian suffering by making the ban on cluster bombs universal" said Marion Libertucci, advocacy officer at Handicap International and co-chair of the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC).The Convention, which entered into force on 1 August 2010, 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. To date, 108 countries have signed the ban treaty and 41 have ratified. Among them are former users and producers of cluster munitions, as well as countries affected by the weapons.Monaco signed the Convention at the Oslo signing ceremony on 3 December 2008. It is not believed to have ever used, produced, stockpiled, or transferred cluster munitions. Although Monaco is independent, its national defence is the responsibility of France, which is already a State Party to the Convention.The CMC is urging all countries to ratify or accede to the Convention and to attend its First Meeting of States Parties, which will be held from 9-12 November in Lao PDR, the world’s most cluster-bombed country.