24 May 2010

Seychelles ratifies international treaty banning cluster bombs

(London, 24 May 2010) – The Seychelles ratified the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 20 May 2010 at the United Nations, becoming the 34th country fully on board the treaty, which takes effect and becomes binding international law on 1 August. The Seychelles, which has not used, produced or stockpiled cluster munitions, swiftly signed and ratified the Convention after announcing its intention to do so at an African regional conference on the Convention in Pretoria in March.“Through its rapid action, the government of the Seychelles has echoed the urgency of joining the Convention before it enters into force,” said Thomas Nash, Coordinator of the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC). “Other African states should take note – particularly those who signed the treaty but have not yet ratified.”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 Seychelles is the seventh African country to ratify.The CMC urges as many states as possible to join the Convention and attend the First Meeting of States Parties on 8-12 November 2010 in Lao PDR – the most heavily affected country.