The Seventh Meeting of States Parties
4-6 September 2017, Geneva, Switzerland
The Seventh Meeting of States Parties (7MSP) to the Convention on Cluster Munitions was held at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland from 4 to 6 September 2017.
The 7MSP provided an opportunity for States Parties to present progresses, challenges, plans and needs for assistance and cooperation to achieve their convention obligations and the commitments they made under the 2015 Dubrovnik Action Plan (DAP) and the Dubrovnik declaration. The 7MSP was presided over by Ambassador Michael Biontino of Germany. Over eighty States Parties and States not party and representatives of international organizations, and non-governmental organizations attended the meeting.
Highlights from the meeting
- South Sudan announced decision to accede to the Convention on Cluster Munitions. The decision was made by the South Sudan’s Council of Ministers on 25th August 2017.
- Sri Lanka announced intention to accede to the Convention in the near future. Several other states not party reported progress towards ratification or accession, such as the Gambia, Namibia and the Philippines.
- Mozambique officially declared completion of cluster munitions clearance, fulfilling Article 4 obligation five years ahead of its deadline. On the other hand, Cluster Munition Coalition expressed concerns as many States Parties are not presently on track to complete clearance by their treaty deadlines.
- States Parties “expressed their strong concern regarding recent incidents and evidence of use of cluster munitions in different parts of the world and condemned any use by any actor…” through the final report of the meeting. In addition, some twenty states’ representatives publicly condemned or expressed grave concerns on cluster munition use.
- Chile reported adoption of a comprehensive law for assistance of landmine victims.
- A number of States Parties including Botswana, Bulgaria, Cuba, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain and Switzerland reported progress in stockpile destruction and/or reaffirmed commitment to complete destruction by their treaty deadlines.
- Many states raised concern about high number of casualties by cluster munition which was reported by 2017 Cluster Munition Monitor, ahead of the 7MSP on 31 August.
- Peru said it considers investments in cluster munitions producers to be prohibited under the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Read more here.
- Ambassador Hernán Estrada Román of Nicaragua was elected President of the Eight Meeting of States Parties to the Convention.
- CMC Ambassador Mr. Branislav Kapetanović was honored by the President of the Seventh Meeting of States Parties, Ambassador Michael Biontino of Germany for his efforts for a cluster munition free world.
- The CMC delegation comprised of 61 coalition members, including cluster munition survivors, experts and practitioners from 26 countries. They conducted lobbying meetings with governments' representatives at the meeting, encouraging them to speak up against cluster munition use, to join the convention or to implement the treaty and the Dubrovnik Action Plan. They delivered statements on behalf of the CMC and hosted side events to share their experience and expertise in dealing with cluster munition-related issues and assistance to cluster munition victims.
Ambassador Michael Biontino of Germany, Branislav Kapetanović, Amelie Chayer and Ambassador Sabrina Dallafior of Switzerland. 4 September 2017
© Mary Wareham
Statements delivered by the CMC at the meeting
- Opening Statement, delivered by Branislav Kapetanovic, CMC Ambassador
- Universalization, delivered by Mitzi Austero, Philippine Campaign to Ban Landmines
- Stockpile Destruction, delivered by Mary Wareham, Human Rights Watch
- Clearance, delivered by Lucy Pinches, Norwegian People's Aid
- Victim Assistance, delivered by Mamady Gassama, Association Sénégalaise des Victimes de Mines
- International Cooperation & Assistance, delivered by Denise Coghlan, Director of Jesuit Refugee Service Cambodia
- Transparency, delivered by Amelie Chayer, CMC Acting Director
- Compliance, delivered by Ayman Sorour, Protection (Egypt)
- National Implementation Measures, delivered by Camilo Serna, Campaña Colombiana Contra Minas
- Official documents, including Note Verbale, invitation letter and intructions to register can be found on the convention's Implementation Support Unit's website
- To prepare and register for the 7MSP download CMC's Memo for Government Delegates
- The Convention on Cluster Munitions universalization brochure
- 'We Can Stop Cluster Bombs' logo
- Convention on Cluster Munitions status
- Dubrovnik Action Plan (DAP) and Dubrovnik Declaration
- How states can take action
- All CMC materials can be found in the resources section of the CMC website.
- Stop Explosive Investments: On 23 May 2017, CMC member organisation PAX (Netherlands) published the eigth update of the report 'Worldwide Investments in Cluster Munitions: A shared responsibility'.The report is available on the Stop Explosive Investments website. Key findings of the report will be presented to delegates at the 7MSP.
- CMC Twitter: https://twitter.com/banclusterbombs
- CMC Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/banclusterbombs
- CMC Flickr: http://bit.ly/ImagesForMedia
- CMC YouTube channel:https://www.youtube.com/user/CMCInternationa
Cluster Munition Monitor
- Cluster Munition Monitor 2017 report was launched on 31 August 2017 at the UN Office in Geneva. Journalists can get in touch by firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone +41 22 920 0320 (Geneva).
Photos of the 7MSP
In the lead up to the 7MSP:
Cooperating to implement the Convention on Cluster Munitions: the country coalitions concept
The President of the 7th Meeting of States Parties (7MSP) to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Ambassador Michael Biontino of Germany, in collaboration with the EU European External Action Service, convened a seminar entitled “Cooperating to implement the Convention on Cluster Munitions: the country coalition concept” on 16 and 17 March in Bangkok. The seminar aimed to promote “future developments impacting the implementation of the Convention”. Representatives from Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand and the Cluster Munition Coalition’s campaigners from Cambodia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Thailand, as well as members Norwegian People's Aid, Mines Advisory Group and Handicap International led by CMC director, Ms. Megan Burke, actively took part in the seminar. Other key stakeholders such as GICHD, HALO Trust, UNDP and the ICRC were also represented.
CMC campaigners attending the seminar ©CMC
Ms. Wiboonrat Chanchoo a member of national campaign in Thailand delivered a statement to share survivors’ perspectives on the implementation of the convention and highlighted pressing needs of survivors that must be addressed. Ms. Chanchoo also called on governments of Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam to accede to the convention.
Ms. Wiboonrat Chanchoo (left) in her hometown, Tambon Pan Suek in Aranyaprathet District, Sakaeo Province with local survivors, 2014 ©Loren Persi/ICBL-CMC
Ms. Chanchoo is the leader of the Committee for Persons with Disabilities in her hometown, Tambon Pan Suek in Aranyaprathet District, Sakaeo Province. She has long worked with the ICBL and CMC; locally, as the head of an organization for landmine survivors and people with disabilities in her Subdistrict, as well as nationally and internationally, including representing Thai survivors at various coordination meetings here, in her home country of Thailand, and at several key meetings of the disarmament conventions in Geneva and around the world. She has also represented Thailand’s effort to promote the women, peace, and security agenda at the UN. Leading always by example, Ms. Wiboonrat, who herself stepped on a landmine in 1996 while cutting bamboo near the Thai-Cambodia border, determinedly works to safeguard the rights of persons with disabilities in her community and identify practical means to meet their needs, including through the formation of self-help groups and a network of survivors in her community.
Following the Bangkok Workshop, an second event on country coalitions was held in June 2017 in Rakitje, Croatia. The workshop on "Enhancing the Implementation of Articles 3 & 4 of the Convention on Cluster Munitions in South East Europe: The Country Coalitions Concept" was convened by Germany, hosted by RACVIAC and supported by the Implementation Support Unit of the Convention. Participants from the region and beyond shared information on the status of CCM implementation at the national level, and shared their views on the country coalitions concept. The CMC was represented, along with CMC members Mines Advisory Group and Norwegian People's Aid.
Kampala Ratification Seminar
On 29 and 30 May 2017, representatives of nine African states that have signed the convention but still need to ratify it, gathered in Kampala (Uganda) to discuss challenges and solutions towards ratification. The event was convened by Zambia and France, as Coordinators of the Working Group on Universalization of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, while Uganda acted as a co-host. The CMC was represented by Margaret Arach Orech, Director of the Uganda Landmine Survivors Association.