(Geneva, 16 April 2012) Government representatives from around 60 states are attending this week the second intersessional meeting of the Convention on Cluster Munitions to discuss progress being made to rid the world of cluster bombs under the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions.
Among other campaigners, four Ban Advocates are actively involved in this meeting: Lynn Bradach from the United States of America, Mina Zunac from Croatia, Dejan Dikic from Serbia and Raed Mokaled from Lebanon.
Lynn Bradach, whose eldest son Travis, a United States Marine, was killed by a cluster submunition while clearing unexploded ordnance in Iraq in 2003 delivered the campaign’s opening statement before hundreds of assembled delegates and fellow campaigners as the conference began.
She reminded delegates that: “Whether states have used cluster munitions or not, stockpile the weapon, or suffered the devastating humanitarian consequences of this weapon on their soil – all countries need to join this Convention. Each and every country should stand up, voice its support and say: I am against this. Silence does not acknowledge the wrong that has been done.”
There are currently 111 countries on board the ban, 70 of which are states parties. This is a good achievement but more needs to be done to bring countries on board. Lynn reminded delegates that, “it is with power in numbers that we can win this fight against cluster munitions and bring an end for all time to the suffering that they cause. “
Lynn highlighted that the Convention on Cluster Munitions has already had a huge impact on the ground, helping prevent further tragedies. “This is progress we should all be proud of. But as long as there are still stocks of these weapons, we cannot be confident that they won’t be used in the future and that more innocent lives won’t be lost. In large part this treaty is about preventing future tragedies,” said Lynn.