First Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions

9-12 November 2010, Vientiane, Lao PDR

The First Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions (1MSP) took place in Vientiane, Lao PDR from 9-12 November 2010. This was a defining moment in the life of the Convention on Cluster Munitions. This meeting laid the foundation for future engagement on the Convention by bringing together for the first time States Parties to the treaty, UN agencies, international organisations, civil society, and cluster bomb survivors. States shared progress and plans for implementation, and drew up a blueprint to translate the treaty into action and meet the lifesaving obligations they have consented to be bound by.

Lao PDR is a highly appropriate venue for the Convention’s 1MSP. Lao PDR is the most heavily bombed country in the world, and the scale of devastation caused by cluster bombs is immense and shocking. Known locally as “bombies,” unexploded cluster submunitions are still commonplace in Lao PDR nearly four decades after armed conflict ended. Government surveys have recorded more than 50,000 civilian casualties caused by cluster bombs, landmines and other unexploded ordnance since 1964, and widespread contamination by explosive remnants of war hinders development. Holding such a meeting in an affected country helps to remind government officials and other participants why the treaty exists and why it must be implemented. The Convention’s Second Meeting of States Parties will take place in Lebanon, another heavily affected country, in September 2011.

See also the 1MSP webpage on the official convention website.