15 April 2012

CMC intersessional meetings take place in Geneva

CMC campaigner Habbouba Aoun speaks at the Second Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions in Beirut, September 2011. (Geneva, 16 April 2012): Government representatives from around 60 states are meeting this week to discuss progress being made to rid the world of cluster bombs under the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions.States attending the second intersessional meeting of the Convention on Cluster Munitions are expected to make statements on their progress against the ban. The CMC will be listening expectantly for news on progress, new announcements and also hoping to hear from countries that remain outside the Convention on steps being taken to join.Laura Cheeseman, Director of the CMC said: "Even though this Convention is still in its youth we can see it working. Already 68.2 million submuntions have been destroyed, we hope to hear more good news this week on progress being made and any challenges that states may have come across."At least 66 campaigners from the CMC’s global network, including survivors of cluster bombs and landmines, are at this week’s conference and will be meeting with government delegates to find out the latest developments against their treaty obligations.Amy Little, CMC Campaign Manager, who will be working closely with the campaigners from all over the world, said: "This conference isn’t just about governments turning up, we want to hear them speak publicly about their work – what successes they have made, what challenges they have come across, what they think about what other states are doing. Our campaigners will be encouraging them to do that, and we’re hopeful that we’ll hear some more good news about how this treaty is working on the ground this week."Since the entry into force of the Convention on 1 August 2010:• The number of countries on board the ban has grown to 111, including seven former users of cluster bombs (Colombia, France, the Netherlands, Nigeria, South Africa, and the UK); five former exporters (Chile, France, Germany, Moldova, and the UK), 16 former producers (Australia, Belgium, Bosnia in Herzegovina, Chile, Croatia, France, Germany, Iraq, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK); and 24 countries with cluster bomb stockpiles that they must destroy;• Five states have put into place national laws explicitly prohibiting investment in cluster munitions (Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg, and New Zealand and Italy) and 19 others have expressed the view that investing in cluster munitions is illegal;• At least 59,978 unexploded submunitions were cleared and destroyed throughout 2010, releasing more than 18.5km2 of land previously contaminated with the lethal weapons;• 650,000 stockpiled cluster bombs containing 68.2 submunitions (smaller explosive "bomblets" encased in cluster bomb canisters and dispersed when the weapon is fired from a vehicle or dropped from a plane) have been destroyed, and all countries with stockpiles who have joined the ban are on track to destroy all their cluster bombs before their eight-year deadline.For more information on the meeting visit the CMC intersessional page and the Convention on Cluster Munitions websiteFollow the CMC on Twitter, "like" the CMC on Facebook and view photos of the meeting on the CMC Flickr page