Update on the convention on cluster munitions
FIRST MEETING OF STATES PARTIES IN VIENTIANE
More than hundred states, including 34 non-signatories to the CCM, participated in the First Meeting of States Parties on 9-12 November 2010 in Laos PDR.
The Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations emphasized the impact of the convention in relation to the Lao PDR, the partnership between governments and civil society as a hallmark of the convention, and the importance of survivor participation in the process. Thoummy Silamphan, a cluster munitions survivor from Lao and Ban Advocate, told his story and expressed the hope that “no one will ever use cluster munitions again.”
Ban Advocate, Thoummy Silamphan, who was injured from cluster munitions at te age of eight, at the Opening Ceremony,
Japan gave a summary as Friend of the President on universalization. The UK stated regional and bilateral efforts include the US and Russia; France referred to the outreach it has done with 60 countries, while Belgium noted its work to promote the convention in NATO and European regional forums, along with Mexico which has also undertaken to promote the convention in regional outreach.
Austria announced that it completed destruction of its cluster munitions. States which have completed stockpile destruction gave statements detailing their stockpile destruction processes, including Moldova, Colombia, Spain, Montenegro, Belgium, Austria, and Norway. Denmark said it removed and marked its current stockpile of 42,000 cluster munitions for destruction. The Czech Republic announced that it removed all existing stockpiles of cluster munitions from operational equipment. Slovenia announced that it finished the legal procedures to enable it to destroy its stockpile, adding that all cluster munitions would be destroyed. Canada stated that of the two types of cluster munitions in its stockpile, it destroyed the first completely and is taking steps to destroy the second. The UK confirmed that it is on track to destroy its stockpiles by 2013, five years ahead of its deadline. To date, 46%, or close to 18 million submunitions, of its total stockpile of 38 million have been destroyed.
Norway said it decided not to retain any cluster munitions. Denmark announced that it planned to retain 170 cluster munitions for the training of Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) personnel. The Czech Republic stated it was retaining 796 pieces, which would be used strictly for training purposes.
Albania referred to its completion of cluster munitions clearance. Australia, Belgium, Luxembourg, New Zealand and Switzerland announced new contributions for clearance of contaminated areas in Lao PDR.
The draft reporting format prepared by Belgium as Friends of the President received broad support. Belgium proposed the creation of a mechanism for analyzing reports, which could provide the foundation for recommendations to the Second Meeting of States Parties, noting that analysis of reporting is not done in other fora and would be a positive contribution.
Vientiane Declaration and Vientiane Action Plan adopted - Delegates unanimously adopted the Vientiane Declaration, the Vientiane Action Plan, the work program for 2011, and the format for reporting.
The Survivors Declaration and the Youth Declaration were read at the closing ceremony of the First Meeting of States Parties.
CLUSTER MUNITIONS MONITOR 2010 RELEASED
The Monitor released its first ever Cluster Munitions Monitor report globally on 1 November 2010 during a press conference in Bangkok, Thailand. A briefing on the report’s major findings was held the following week at the First Meeting of States Parties in Vientiane, Lao PDR. Seven states that have joined the convention have already completed destruction of their stockpiles of cluster munitions, destroying more than 13.8 million submunitions contained in 176,000 cluster munitions.
Cluster munitions contamination remains in at least 23 states.The most-affected regions are Southeast Asia and Europe, while the countries and areas with the most contamination include Lao PDR, Vietnam, Iraq, Cambodia, Lebanon, Serbia, Nagorno-Karabakh, and Western Sahara. In 2009, there were 100 new confirmed cluster munitions casualties. Half of these casualties occurred in just two states, Lao PDR and Lebanon. As of the end of 2009, 16,816 cluster munitions casualties were recorded in at least 27 states and three areas, including 15 states that have joined the convention.
More on www.the-monitor.org
Upcoming events in 2011
Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional meetings in Geneva
Convention on Cluster Munitions 1st anniversary Entry into Force
2nd Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions in Beirut, Lebanon