ALERT – States Parties reiterate the need to systematically condemn all uses of cluster munitions | September 15, 2015
The First Review Conference of the Convention on Cluster Munitions in Dubrovnik, Croatia, ended on 11 September 2015. The States Parties unanimously adopted a strong political declaration reiterating the need to systematically condemn all uses of cluster munitions. Between 7 and 11 September, the Review Conference in Dubrovnik was attended by more than ninety delegations […]
The First Review Conference of the Convention on Cluster Munitions in Dubrovnik, Croatia, ended on 11 September 2015. The States Parties unanimously adopted a strong political declaration reiterating the need to systematically condemn all uses of cluster munitions.
Between 7 and 11 September, the Review Conference in Dubrovnik was attended by more than ninety delegations – the CCM has been ratified by 117 States. Handicap International welcomed the strong Dubrovnik Declaration, unanimously adopted by States Parties. This declaration, which calls on States Parties to condemn all new uses of cluster munitions, strengthens the treaty and underlines the determination of States Parties to make it an undisputable international standard.
Handicap International’s observations in the field have shown just how dangerous cluster munitions are for civilians, both in the short and long term. It is essential to reaffirm that we need to take a zero tolerance approach to these barbaric weapons. The text adopted in Dubrovnik is therefore extremely encouraging, since several countries have displayed signs of weakness over the past year by only half-heartedly condemning the use of sub-munitions.
Plus, according to the Cluster Munitions Monitor 2015, cluster munitions have been used in five countries since 1 July 2014: Libya, Syria, Sudan, Ukraine and Yemen – all non-signatories to the treaty. This is the first time that such an intensive use is recorded since the ban treaty entered into force in 2010. Syria has the highest number of new victims of these weapons since the treaty entered into force, with 1,968 reported victims of these weapons between 2012 and 2014 – an appalling record. Civilians, particularly children, bear the brunt of cluster munitions. According to the 2015 Monitor report, 92% of cluster munition victims recorded between 2010 and 2014 were civilians, half of whom were children.
The States Parties also demonstrated that they were firmly committed to the far-reaching Dubrovnik Action Plan, which lists activities that States must undertake in the next five years to rid the world of cluster munitions and to address their deadly legacy. Handicap International particularly saluted the ambitious victim assistance component. The action plan details practical ways of improving access to services for survivors and affected families.
We will keep a very close eye on the process, particularly to ensure that States Parties remains committed to implementing the Dubrovnik Action Plan. We will also encourage signatories and non-signatories to implement the treaty, by destroying their stocks, clearing land, and assisting victims, while they move toward ratification or accession.