14 September 2011
Swaziland accedes to cluster bomb ban at global meeting
Swaziland delegate, Mr. John Mandla Msibi at the Second Meeting of States Parties in Beirut, Lebanon(Beirut, 13 September 2011) Swaziland deposited its instrument of accession to the Convention on Cluster Munitions during the Second Meeting of States Parties in Beirut, Lebanon today, becoming the 63rd State Party to the Convention and 110th country to join.In front of hundreds of delegates attending the meeting, Swaziland’s Director of UN Military Affairs, Mr. John Mandla Msibi, handed his government’s accession instrument over to the United Nations High Representative for Disarmament, Sergio Duarte, thereby acceding to the Convention."We’re delighted that Swaziland has followed through on its promise to join the Convention," said Dr. Robert Mtonga, Chair of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) in Zambia and CMC member. "This bold action sends a strong message to all governments that have not joined the Convention that it’s time to join our winning team to ban cluster bombs."Swaziland is the second country to accede to the Convention after Grenada’s accession on 29 June 2011. Since the Convention entered into force on 1 August 2010 new countries must join the ban treaty through a process of accession, which is a one-step process combining signature and ratification.Swaziland participated in the Oslo Process that created the Convention on Cluster Munitions and joined the consensus adoption of the convention text in Dublin in May 2008. Swaziland did not sign the convention in December 2008, but has continued to engage in its work. It attended the Convention’s First Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions in Vientiane, Lao PDR in November 2010 an observer. Swaziland is not believed to have used, produced, transferred, or stockpiled cluster munitions.The 2008 Convention comprehensively bans the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of cluster munitions, sets strict deadlines for clearance of contaminated areas and destruction of stockpiles of the weapon, and includes ground-breaking provisions for assistance to victims and affected communities. With this most recent accession, a total of 110 countries have now joined the treaty of which 63 are States Parties. More than 30 countries that have not joined the Convention on Cluster Munitions are participating as observers in the Second Meeting of States Parties in Beirut, which runs from 12-16 September 2011.Swaziland will formally become a State Party to the Convention on 1 March 2012 after the waiting period mandated by the treaty.