01 November 2014

Guyana accedes to the Convention on Cluster Munitions

The Republic of Guyana has become the 88th State Party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, having deposited its instrument of ratification on 31 October 2014.

UNGA 599X350UN General Assembly First Committee on Disarmament and International Security, Oct 2014, New York © Lorey Campese

Speaking at a meeting of CARICOM states on the margins of the UN General Assembly First Committee on Disarmament and International Security in New York last month, First Secretary Ms Bibi Sheliza Ally of the Permanent Mission of Guyana to the United Nations said, “Joining the Convention on Cluster Munitions is a moral responsibility that we all share. When you consider the victims of cluster munitions are predominantly civilians; children going out to play should not be at risk from this weapon.”

Guyana is one of nine CARICOM member states to have joined the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Just five states remain (Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Saint Lucia and Suriname) to accede before reaching CARICOM’s stated aim “to ensure that all its members join the Convention as soon as possible.” Belize recently acceded to the treaty on 2 September 2014.

Amy Little, Campaign Manager at the Cluster Munition Coalition said, “We congratulate Guyana for this achievement and appreciate the commitment of CARICOM members towards securing a region free from cluster munitions. As we see continued use of cluster munitions in Syria and also in eastern Ukraine, it is crucial that all countries worldwide pursue the humanitarian goals of this treaty by joining without delay.”

The convention will enter into force on 1 April 2015 for Guyana, in accordance with the waiting period mandated by the convention.

Guyana’s accession brings the number of states on-board this lifesaving convention to 115. The First Review Conference of the convention will take place next September in Croatia. The Cluster Munition Coalition urges states to view the Review Conference as a deadline for joining - for signatories to ratify and others to accede - helping to further stigmatize use and ensure civilians can live free from the impact of this horrific weapon.