More than 100 Governments to Discuss Cluster Bomb Ban
Many ban treaty hold-outs to attend global meeting
High resolution images of Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre meeting with CMC campaigners and survivors of cluster bombs this morning are available to download here http://smu.gs/PYEQLJ. All images © Stephane de Greef / CMC
Oslo, Norway - More than 100 governments are gathered in the Norwegian capital to report on how they are meeting their commitments to eradicate cluster munitions and prevent them causing any further harm.
Around 30 states that have yet to join the lifesaving 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions, which bans the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of the weapon willtake part in the conference, showing the power and importance of the treatyeven for countries not yet on board.
Amongst these are China, which continues to produce cluster bombs, Libya, where forces loyal to Gaddafi used clusterbombs last year and countries contaminated by unexploded cluster bombs including Cambodia, Serbia, Tajikistan and Vietnam.
The importance of this conference is further underscored by credible but as yet unconfirmed allegations of use of cluster bombs in bothSyria and Sudan earlier this year.
"In the two years since this treaty became binding international law there has been remarkable progress in eliminating clustermunitions, but too many countries still remain outside the ban," said Laura Cheeseman, director of the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC).
"We sincerely hope that the presence of a large number of states that have not yet joined the treaty means they recognise the ban is the only way to stop the harm caused by cluster bombs, and that they will announce their plans to join it as soon as possible," Cheeseman added.
The Oslo Process to ban cluster munitions was launched six years ago in response to the indiscriminate impact these weapons have on civilians at the time of use and long after conflicts end.
"In a very short period of time clustermunitions have gone from being strongly defended as essential for national security to being considered completely unacceptable for use by anyone," said Steve Goose, chair of the Cluster Munition Coalition. "The global stigma against these weapons is clearly strong, and growing stronger," he added.
Figures released last week from the CMC's annual Cluster Munition Monitor report show rapid progress is being made by countries that have joined the ban treaty, most notably the destruction of cluster munition stockpiles way ahead of the treaty's eight-year deadline. The report shows that States Parties have already destroyed 750,000 cluster munitions containing 85 million submunitions.
The Third Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions takes place in Oslo from 11-14 September 2012. A total of 111 countries have joined the Convention, including 75 States Parties and 36 signatories that still have to ratify.
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Notes to editors
Follow news from the conference live via the CMC on Twitter: www.twitter.com/banclusterbombs
For more information on the conference in Oslo please visit the official website: http://3msp.clusterconvention.org
To read the headlines from the launch of Cluster Munition Monitor 2012 download the press release here.
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For high resolution images of cluster bombs, cluster bomb survivors, and the CMC campaign in action please visit the CMC on Flickr. Please credit all images used as shown.
About the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC):
The CMC is an international coalition with more than 350 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working in around 100 countries to encourage urgent action against cluster bombs. The CMC facilitates NGO efforts worldwide to educategovernments, the public and the media about the problems of cluster munitions and to urge universalisation and full implementation of the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions http://www.stopclustermunitions.org/
111countries have joined the Convention on Cluster Munitions (full States Parties - bold):
Afghanistan,Albania, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Cameroon, Canada, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Comoros, DR Congo, Republic of Congo, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Côte D'Ivoire,Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Fiji, France, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Haiti, The Holy See, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Lao PDR, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia FYR, Madagascar , Malawi, Mali, Malta, Mauritania,Mexico, Republic of Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Rwanda, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tomé and Principe, St. Vincent and Grenadines, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Slovenia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Togo,Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Uganda, United Kingdom, Uruguay, and Zambia.
See www.stopclustermunitions.org/treatystatus for details