01 August 2016
Happy 1 August
Cluster Munition Coalition delegation at the First Review Conference of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, 2015 © Lara Brose / Handicap International
1 August 2016 marks the 6th anniversary of the entry into force of the Convention on Cluster Munitions.
In remembering cluster munition victims around the world, the Cluster Munition Coalition and its members in Afghanistan, Albania, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Gambia, Indonesia, Iraq, Italy, Lao PDR, Lebanon, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, Senegal, Sri Lanka, United States, Vietnam, Yemen and many other countries mark the anniversary of the Convention by taking action to remind their governments and the international community of the need to eradicate cluster munitions.
Activities include public events, conferences, workshops, meetings with decision-makers, writing letters to Heads of States, ministers, ambassadors, Members of Parliament, social media campaigns, briefings for journalists, posting blog stories and publishing articles. Actions aim to make sure that members of the Convention on Cluster Munitions are on track to achieve their obligations and that States that haven’t joined, come on board the Convention as soon as possible.
Eight years ago this month Israel dropped cluster munitions containing millions of submunitions into south Lebanon, with devastating impacts for civilians which prompted international urgent humanitarian action and helped bring about the global ban on cluster munitions.
However, even as the world celebrates the lifesaving achievements of the global ban, cluster munitions continue to be used by Syrian forces and Russia in Syria. Despite worldwide condemnations, Syrian forces and Russia continue using the indiscriminate weapons. Similar violations of international humanitarian law and the norms established by the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions continue to occur in Yemen, where cluster munitions used by the Saudi-led coalition are causing significant civilians casualties. Unfortunately, the unexploded remnants of cluster munitions in Yemen and Syria will continue taking heavy toll on civilians for long time, if they are not cleared and destroyed immediately.
The Cluster Munition Coalition strongly condemns the use of cluster munitions in Syria and Yemen, and urges the Saudi-led coalition, Russia and Syria to immediately stop using cluster munitions and to join the Convention on Cluster Munitions without delay.
The Convention on Cluster Munition has been making a significant difference to our world. 119 states have joined it, of which 100 are States Parties to the Convention. Over 1.3 million cluster munitions and 160 million submunitions have been destroyed by States Parties. Eight countries which used to be affected by cluster munitions have been freed from the danger of cluster munitions as a direct result of the Convention. States Parties have to stay committed until they achieve a world without cluster munitions and they must step up efforts to realize the goals of the 2015-2020 Dubrovnik Action Plan.
Asma Forhat points out a cluster munition she has just found to the team supervisor. It was destroyed in a controlled demolition shortly afterwards. @SeanSutto