22 May 2013
AFRICA UNITE: LOMÉ REGIONAL CONFERENCE
Government representatives from across Africa will meet in Lomé, Togo from 22-23 May at a conference on the eradication of cluster munitions on the continent and beyond. CMC campaigners attending the conference will call on states present to unite against this indiscriminate weapon.
The conference is organised by the government of the Republic of Togo in cooperation with the governments of Ghana and Zambia and supported by the government of Norway and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).African countries played a leading role in negotiations to ban cluster bombs under the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions, and now account for 42 of the 112 states worldwide that have joined the Convention to date.
With every new country that joins the Convention, the global norm rejecting this weapon is strengthened and the greater the protection for civilians will be.The Convention on Cluster Munitions is about prevention of future tragedies and the protection of civilians.
In Africa cluster munitions have been used in 14 countries (Angola, Chad, DRC, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Libya, Mauritania, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda and Zambia). The most recent allegations of use of the weapon in Africa were last year in Sudan. African States can play an important role by showing solidarity with affected neighbouring countries and holding up a continent-wide ban as a success story to be emulated by other regions.
The Lomé meeting is a key step for African governments to prepare for and make progress ahead of the Fourth Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions (4MSP) taking place in Lusaka, Zambia from 09-13 September 2013.Over the next two days in Lomé and in the coming months before the 4MSP, there is an opportunity to bring the remaining African states on board the ban to show an Africa united against cluster bombs. The conference in Lomé also will help countries to take a leading role in universalising the Convention and implementing it.
Read more on the Convention website and the CMC conference page.
Follow updates during the conference on CMC’s Facebook, Twitter and Flickr accounts.