22 March 2012

Honduras becomes 70th State Party to cluster bomb ban

H.E. Ms. Mary Elizabeth Flores Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Permanent Representative of Honduras deposit the instrument of ratification at the United Nations in New York. Photo credit: United Nations Treaty Collection The Republic of Honduras ratified the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 21 March 2012 becoming the 70th State Party to the treaty. The ratification comes in advance of the Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meetings that will take place in Geneva from 16-19 April 2012. At this meeting governments will take stock of the progress made so far in implementing the Convention on Cluster Munition using the Vientiane Action Plan as a roadmap."Honduras’ ratification brings us one step closer to full adherence to the ban treaty by Central America. Belize is the only remaining country in the sub-region yet to reject cluster bombs by acceding to the Convention on Cluster Munitions" said Amy Little, Campaign Manager for the Cluster Muniition Coalition. "We hope that Belize will follow the rest of the region and join without delay".Honduras played an active role in the Oslo Process that created the Convention and signed the treaty on 3 December 2008 at the signing conference. In December 2007, Honduras officially stated that it does not possess cluster munitions. Officials have said that Honduras destroyed its stockpile of air-dropped Rockeye cluster bombs as well as an unidentified type of artillery-delivered cluster munition in previous years.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.Honduras will formally become a State Party on 1 September 2011, after the waiting period mandated by the Convention. In the Americas, 19 countries have signed the Convention and ten Latin American countries have ratified (Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and Uruguay). Brazil, the only remaining producer of cluster bombs in the region, and Argentina, a former producer and stockpiler, have yet to join the Convention. All Central American States are now party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions except Belize, which needs to accede.