22 October 2010

UN Special event on the Convention on Cluster Munitions - 19 Oct. 2010

UN Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro. Migiro promoted the CCM at a special event on 19 October. Photo credit: UN Photo/Mark Garten Summary:On 19 October the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Japan hosted a special event on the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) in New York during the UN General Assembly’s First Committee on Disarmament and International Security. The meeting was chaired by Mr. Jarmo Sareva from UN ODA.The event was well attended, including by senior representatives of States and International Organisations. There were a number of supportive statements providing a positive sense of anticipation towards the First Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions in two weeks’ time.Participation:45 countries participated in total including the following 16 States Parties:Austria, Belgium, Cape Verde, Croatia, France, Ireland, Japan, Germany, Lao PDR, Luxembourg, Montenegro, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Slovenia, the UK; the following 16 signatories: Benin, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Congo, Ecuador, Guatemala, Iraq, Lebanon, Netherlands, Peru, Sweden, Switzerland, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo; and the following 13 non signatories: Belize, Belarus, Cambodia, Cameroon, Egypt, Gabon, Georgia, Malaysia, Russia, Slovakia, Swaziland, Thailand and the USA. EU, CMC, ICRC, UNDP, ODA and OLA also participated.Panel:The panel consisted of the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ms. Asha-Rose Migiro; Ambassador Kanika Phommachanh, Permanent Representative of the Lao PDR to the United Nations in New York; Ambassador Akio Suda, Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations in New York; Mr. Walter Fullemann, Head of the ICRC Delegation to the United Nations in New York; Mr. Thomas Nash, Coordinator, Cluster Munition Coalition. Bullet points on these presentations follow below.The Deputy Secretary-General -Entry into force demonstrated the world’s collective revulsion on the impact of cluster munitions;- Recognition of the role of civil society and that we are all here today because of consistent advocacy of NGOs;- Recognize role of brave mine action workers;- Call on all states to ratify or accede without delay;- 1MSP: takes place in 3 weeks, thank Lao PDR for hosting.Amb. Kanika, Lao PDR-Recalled the horrendous scale of the problem of cluster munitions in Lao PDR;- Noted importance to have collective multilateral effort in implementation, starting at 1MSP;- Highlighted key outcome documents and decisions;- Invited all UN Member States to attend the 1MSP;- Acknowledgement of supporters, including UNSG, UNDP, CMC.Ambassador Suda, Japan-Japan is focused on its universalisation efforts and specifically called on States not Parties to give views on their status on joining the CCM;- Japan has been undertaking a range of outreach activities;- Japan has been conveying to States not Parties its views on humanitarian issues and has identified a number of the challenges faced by State not Parties;- Outlined some of the obstacles to accession including lack of administrative, technical, human or financial resources;- Encouraged states to undertake concrete actions to bring countries onboard;- Need for a strong political will, dialogue with civil society and to listen to voices of victims.Walter, ICRC-Entry into force is clear evidence that states are working vigorously on this issue;- States Parties are now legally bound on their commitments, required to begin destruction, clearance and VA – as well as international assistance and cooperation;- By having the 1MSP so close to EIF States Parties are showing their resolve address the problem;- A significant part of the CCM is preventative, but it is important as well to address existing problem;- States Parties should attend 1MSP with concrete commitments;- Urge all States Parties to attend 1MSP, which is an opportunity to plan further, but also a chance for States who have not yet joined to have dialogue with others.Thomas Nash, CMC-Widespread engagement with entry into force emphasized strength of collective endeavour;- Impressed with the preparedness for 1MSP both on organization and substance;- Key outcome documents and decisions are strong as they stand today;- Thanked Lao PDR for its leadership and Friends of the President for their efforts and inclusion of civil society in preparations;- Two key messages to delegations: ‘get on board’ and ‘deliver results now’.- ‘Get on board’ is a message to States that have not yet acceded, not yet ratified, but also to states that should be reaching out CCM to other countries;- ‘Deliver results now’ is a message to all that captures the primary purpose of the CCM to alleviate suffering of individuals and communities already affected;- Affected states should come to 1MSP with concrete plans and States in a position to assist should come to 1MSP ready to support these plans.Interventions:There were eleven interventions from the floor: Guatemala, Montenegro, Tanzania, Belgium, Norway, Swaziland, Ireland, Germany, Canada, Slovenia and Lebanon. Bullet points from these interventions are set out below.Guatemala-Welcome EIF, hope to complete ratification before 1MSP;- Parliamentary approval of CCM ratification entered into force on 15 October;- Instrument of ratification is being prepared for signature by President so we can deposit;- Special thanks to CMC for all the work to get us to this point.Montenegro-Proud to be in first 30 ratifying states that triggered entry into force, will participate in 1MSP;- Two weeks ago Montenegro destroyed its remaining 353 cluster bombs thereby concluding its process of stockpile destruction well ahead of the treaty deadline;- This was made possible with the help of a number of donors, in particular the US;- Committed to all obligations including universalisation; ready to share experience, expertise.Tanzania-In cooperation with a Belgian NGO, we have developed technology for discovering ERW, including cluster munitions, using giant wild rats.Belgium-As you can see from the previous speaker, in Belgium even the rats are fighting mines and cluster bombs;- Proud to be one of the first to ban cluster bombs and ratify CCM;- Delegation to 1MSP will be led by Princess Astrid in order to show our continuing commitment;- Belgium will spare no efforts in EU, NATO and OSCE to universalize Convention.Norway-Our Foreign Minister will attend 1MSP;- We have completed stockpile destruction;- We are glad to have worked on 1MSP preparation, in particular the Vientiane Action Plan.Swaziland-We do not have cluster munitions, will never acquire and never use;- Though we have not signed or ratified, we assure everyone that progress has been made to accede and we would "love" to be at 1MSP.Ireland-Presence of UN Deputy Secretary General and so many governments is sign of momentum- 1MSP is a "really big moment" in the life of the CCM and an important conference;- We appreciate the work that has gone into preparations from a range of actors in particular civil society;- Like Norway, having hosted a big conference in this process, we really appreciate the work that has gone into preparing for 1MSP- Preparation has been really smooth and the documents are solid and a good basis for taking forward work of universalisation and implementation;- The work plan is also solid and a good basis for year ahead.- Key issues remaining are universalisation and implementation;- Call on all States to be present at 1MSP and we must not lose sight of work on implementation – there is a lot of work to do ahead of us.Germany-Looking forward to sharing experiences with States coming to 1MSP; ready to provide help with technical capacity especially on stockpile destruction;- We encourage States not party to participate in 1MSP;- We will complete stockpile destruction ahead of the deadline, by 2015.Canada-We are working "actively and diligently" on ratification; need domestic legislation in order to ratify, hope that will happen in "very near future";- Looking forward to a successful 1MSP with strong outcomes; we will have a strong delegation from capital;- We continue to support Lao PDR as Friend of President on the work programme and treaty architecture;- Particular thanks to civil society for its role in this process.Slovenia-Also moving toward stockpile destruction; adopted a destruction plan and aim to complete destruction by July 2011;- We will participate in 1MSP, there has been good preparation both smoothly managed and of a high quality. Glad to contribute with Australia to preparation work on clearance.Lebanon-The continued victimisation of people affected by cluster munitions will not stop unless States Parties work in partnership with civil society and International Organisations to implement CCM;- Our intention is to deposit before 1MSP, having already completed domestic procedures;- Lebanon has a "strong desire" to host and preside over 2MSP, looking forward to decision at 1MSP.Statements

  • Intervention by CMC Coordinator Thomas Nash
  • Remarks by Deputy Secretary-General Migiro
  • Remarks by Ms. Mónica Bolaños, Counsellor of the Permanent Mission of Guatemala to the United Nations
Press release
  • Campaign urges governments to get on board cluster bomb ban