24 September 2009


2 new States sign and 2 ratifyGathered in New York for the global summits this week, the Foreign Ministers of St Vincent and the Grenadines and of Cyprus signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions in New York on 23 September. They are the 99th and 100th signatories to the ban. This significant milestone of 100 signatories demonstrates the growing global norm against cluster munitions and intensifies the momentum for the Convention.In addition, the Foreign Ministers of Uruguay and Malta deposited their instruments of ratification on 24 September bringing the total number of ratifications to 19, pushing the treaty closer to the crucial 30 ratifications needed to bring the Convention into force and become legally binding."We're very encouraged to know that world leaders meeting in New York this week are including the global ban on cluster bombs in their list of priorities. We hope the sense of possibility and the partnership between civil society and governments that characterized the process to achieve this treaty will inspire progress on all of the crucial issues facing the world today," said Thomas Nash, CMC Coordinator.The Convention on Cluster Munitions is being showcased at the United Nation's annual treaty event where it is open for signature and ratification by world leaders gathered at the General Assembly. More States are expected to deposit their instruments of ratification in the coming days.St. Vincent and the Grenadines is the second Caribbean State to join the ban after Jamaica and it is hoped that the rest of the Caribbean will follow suit soon. Caribbean nations are not stockpilers of the weapon, but cluster bombs were used in Grenada by the United States in 1982. The Caribbean has an important role to play in renouncing cluster munitions by joining the ban, as they did in banning anti-personnel landmines through the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, which they have all signed.By signing the Convention, Cyprus joins the 19 other EU member States that have banned cluster munitions, leaving just 7 of EU States outside of the ban: Estonia, Finland, Greece, Latvia, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.. With every new signature to the Convention, the pressure grows on these States to join the majority of the world's countries and sign onto the ban.