Cluster Munitions conference opens in Oslo

The Third Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions opens in Oslo on Tuesday. Norway now takes over the presidency of the Convention.

The meeting will bring together countries that have joined the Convention and countries considering joining. Representatives from civil society will also play an active role.

More countries must prohibit the use of cluster munitions. This is the clear message from foreign ministers Jonas Gahr Støre and Adnan Mansour as Norway now takes over from Lebanon as President of the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

“Lebanon has experienced the devastating impact of cluster munitions first-hand and is a key partner in efforts to gain support for a ban on cluster munitions from countries where these weapons have been used. I therefore greatly appreciate the personal commitment shown by Adnan Mansour in this area,” said Mr Støre.   

The two foreign ministers will both participate at the opening session of the Third Meeting of States Parties. Mr Mansour, as outgoing President of the Convention, will hand over the presidency to Steffen Kongstad, Norway’s Ambassador to the UN in Geneva. 

“It is important for Norway that countries that have joined the Convention comply with their obligations with respect to clearance of contaminated areas, assistance to victims and destruction of stockpiles. These will be key themes at the meeting,” said Mr Støre.

The Convention on Cluster Munitions, which entered into force on 1 August 2010, serves to strengthen international humanitarian law and enhance the protection of civilians in armed conflict. The Convention was negotiated on the initiative of Norway in 2007–2008.  A total of 111 states have joined the Convention, 75 of them as States Parties. The Convention prohibits all use, stockpiling, production and transfer of cluster munitions and places obligations on states to clear contaminated areas and to destroy their own stockpiles within specified time frames. The Convention also includes strong obligations regarding the provision of assistance to victims and international cooperation and assistance.

Some 700 participants will attend the Third Meeting of States Parties, including representatives of states that have joined the Convention and of those that have not, and representatives from the UN, the International Red Cross and civil society. Norwegian People’s Aid is a key civil society actor in this context.

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