07 February 2011

Ghana ratifies global treaty banning cluster bombs

Ghanaian CMC member FOSDA holds an event celebrating the entry into force of the Convention on Cluster Munitions in August 2010. Photo credit: FOSDA(London, 7 February 2011) – The Republic of Ghana ratified the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 3 February 2011. It is the 51st country worldwide and the 14th in Africa to ratify the lifesaving treaty. “Ghana has shown its commitment to protecting civilians in armed conflict by ratifying the global treaty banning cluster bombs,” said Theodora Williams, research officer at the Foundation for Security and Development in Africa, a CMC member that advocated for Ghana to ratify the Convention. “Now it must follow through by implementing the treaty and urging other countries to get on board the ban without delay.”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 108 countries have signed the treaty, which entered into force as binding international law on 1 August 2010. Its historic First Meeting of States Parties was held from 9-12 November 2010 in Lao PDR – the most heavily cluster-bombed country in the world.Ghana participated in the Oslo Process to negotiate and adopt the Convention on Cluster Munitions and attended the Convention’s First Meeting of States Parties. Ghana has said it has never used, produced or stockpiled cluster munitions.Almost the entire continent of Africa has either signed or ratified the Convention, and the CMC urges all remaining states in the region to get on board and begin to implement the treaty as soon as possible.