06 April 2016
Cuba Bans Cluster Munitions
This important event was witnessed by CMC Director Megan Burke who congratulated Cuba representatives
Cuba is the 99th State Party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions. The instrument of accession was submitted to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, at the UN Headquarters in New York, on 6 April 2016. With Cuba’s accession, 119 states have joined the Convention on Cluster Munitions: 99 states parties and 20 signatories.
“We are very pleased to hear this news. Cuba was the country with perhaps some of the greatest political constraints towards joining the Convention on Cluster Munitions and it has done it. Once again it shows that banning cluster munitions just requires an awareness of their humanitarian impact, and political will,” said Camilo Serna of the Colombian Campaign to Ban Landmines and a representative of the Cluster Munition Coalition governance board.
The Cluster Munition Coalition congratulates Cuba on its accession and encourages it to actively promote the universalization of the Convention by inviting all states not party to join the Convention, in particular Latin American and Caribbean countries that have not yet renounced cluster munitions.
“Cuba is a country whose decisions have an important regional influence, especially in the Caribbean. Acceding to the Convention on Cluster Munitions sends a strong message to the few Latin American and Caribbean countries that remain outside the Convention. We are close to being the first region free of cluster munitions. There is no excuse, not political or technical, to prevent a universal ban on these weapons from becoming a reality,” said Serna.
Cuba is not known to have used, produced, or exported cluster munitions.
According to the Cluster Munition Monitor Cuba has a stockpile of cluster munitions, although Cuba has never confirmed it. The CMC hopes that Cuba will report on its stockpile in its initial transparency report due in 2017, and subsequently undertake the destruction of any remaining stocks.
Twenty-four of the thirty-five countries in the Americas have ratified or acceded to the Convention. Haiti and Jamaica have signed the Convention. Nine countries in the Americas (Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Brazil, Dominica, Saint Lucia, Suriname, U.S. and Venezuela) have not joined the Convention yet.
The Convention will enter into force for Cuba on 1 October 2016.
CMC Director Megan Burke congratulates Ambassador Rodolfo Reyes of Cuba. 6 April 2016 at UN in New York.