07 September 2015

First Review Conference Press Release


New States Parties, Condemnation of Cluster Munition Use Highlight First Review Conference

(Dubrovnik, 7 September 2015) – The Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) joined the Prime Minister of Croatia, today in calling on all countries to reject cluster munition use and join the Convention on Cluster Munitions, in opening remarks to the convention's First Review Conference taking place here. Delegations from some 100 countries and civil society advocates are participating in the meeting taking place 7-11 September.

Host Croatia, which itself was subject to the use of cluster munitions, is a strong proponent of the global ban on the weapon. The country takes over leadership of the convention from outgoing president, Costa Rica which was instrumental to bringing new states onboard over the past year. "We can not stay silent against recent use of cluster munitions, we must be the voice of victims. Stigma is critical to make this weapon obsolete," said Costa Rica Minister of Foreign Affairs, Miguel Gonzalez.

During the week, States Parties to the Convention and Cluster Munition Coalition members including survivors of the weapon, will measure progress made destroying weapons stockpiles, clearing land contaminated by cluster munition remnants, and assisting victims in the five years since the convention came into force, as well as addressing instances of new use of the weapon.

"Every use of cluster munitions is a crime" said Cluster Munition Coalition Ambassador, Branislav Kapetanoviç in his opening remarks. "It is unacceptable to use weapons that indiscriminately kill and injure civilians. We expect states to speak up this week against any use, by any actor, anywhere."

The Cluster Munition Monitor 2015 report, the defacto monitoring regime of the convention, was released on 3 September highlighting both the life-saving successes of the treaty in its first five years, as well as serious concerns over new use of the weapon in Libya, Sudan, Syria Ukraine and Yemen during the past year and the alarming number of new civilian casualties; the report documents nearly 2,000 cluster munition casualties in Syria alone since 2012.

Civilians continued to suffer the most harm among known cluster munition casualties, comprising 92% according to the Monitor report. Horrifically, half of those killed and injured were children.

None of the 117 States Parties and signatories to the Convention on Cluster Munitions have used the weapons or engaged in any prohibited activities since the convention into force in 2010. And since the convention took effect countries have destroyed 160 million submunitions from stockpiles, cleared more than 255km2 of land, and assisted victims of the weapon. Eight State Parties have already succeeded in completely clearing their land of lethal cluster munition remnants.

Of the 117 countries onboard the convention today, including nine new States Parties in the past year, most are attending the high-level First Review Conference.

The Cluster Munition Convention comprehensively prohibits cluster munitions, requires destruction of stockpiles within eight years, clearance of areas contaminated by cluster munition remnants within 10 years, and assistance for victims of the weapon.




For more information or to schedule an interview, contact:

• Jared Bloch, ICBL-CMC Media and Communications Consultant, Geneva (CET), Mobile +41-(0)78-683-4407, Croatia Tel, 092 189 1326 or email jared@icblcmc.org

Click here to download the Press Release in PDF.