10 November 2009
Cluster bomb ban gains momentum in Central America and the Caribbean
Two signatures and one ratification in Central America and the Caribbean have given a boost to the global campaign against cluster bombs.Nicaragua is the 24th country to ratify the Convention, leaving only six ratifications needed for the treaty to become binding international law. Nicaragua’s ratification instrument was deposited on 2 November.Caribbean countries Haiti and the Dominican Republic are the 101st and 102nd countries to sign the Convention. Ambassador H. E. Mr. Léo Mérorès, Permanent Representative of Haiti to the United Nations signed the Convention on 28 October and Ambassador H.E. Federico Alberto Cuello Camilo, Permanent Representative of the Dominican Republic to the United Nations signed the Convention on 10 November.Momentum is growing in the Caribbean region now that Haiti and the Dominican Republic have joined signatories Jamaica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. It is hoped that the remaining countries in the region will follow soon. Caribbean nations are not stockpilers of the weapon, but cluster bombs were used in Grenada by the United States in 1982. Caribbean nations have an important role to play in renouncing cluster munitions by joining the ban, as with antipersonnel landmines which they have all banned under the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty.Six months after the 30th ratification is deposited at the United Nations in New York the treaty will take full legal effect.