30 January 2013

Five years since historic adoption of Convention on Cluster Munitions

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Today marks five years since the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) was adopted at the Dublin Diplomatic Conference on Cluster Munitions. The 107 states that adopted the Convention set aside long-held arguments on the military utility of cluster munitions and recognised that humanitarian concerns and the protection of civilians must come first.

Central to this successful adoption of the Convention was the strong partnership between a group of like-minded states, UN agencies, the ICRC, international organizations and civil society. The Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) played a crucial role at every step of the process, helping to shape the outcome.

Strong treaty

The 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions bans the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of cluster munitions and requires countries to clear affected areas within 10 years and to destroy stockpiles of the weapon within eight years. The Convention includes groundbreaking provisions requiring assistance to survivors and affected communities. Signed in Oslo in December 2008, the Convention entered into force as binding international law on 1 August 2010.

Five years on from the Dublin Conference, amazing progress has been made in cementing the global norm supporting the ban and the Convention is going strong with 112 States that have joined, of which 83 are States Parties. Significant progress has also been made in the destruction of stockpiles, clearance of affected areas and support for cluster munition victims. Globally, the number of new cluster munition casualties has reduced annually.

Work to be done

Work remains to be done, and more countries must accede to the Convention to prevent this indiscriminate weapon from causing further harm. Eighteen countries that adopted the Convention in Dublin in May 2008 have yet to accede.

On this significant anniversary the CMC strongly encourages those 18 States - Argentina, Bahrain, Belize, Brunei, Cambodia, Estonia, Finland, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Morocco, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Serbia, Slovakia, Sudan, Timor-Leste, Vanuatu and Venezuela - to keep their commitment and to accede without delay.