11 September 2015

Closing Press Release Dubrovnik Review Conference


States Embrace Ambitious Plan to Rid the world of Cluster Munitions; Condemn any use by anyone

Cuba announces plan to join convention


(Dubrovnik, 11 September 2015) – In a triumph for victims and affected communities worldwide, States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions spoke out to "condemn any use of cluster munitions by any actor," this week at the First Review Conference since the convention came into force five years ago.

The clear rejection by states of the weapon and the commitment to "Work towards a world free of the suffering, casualties and socio-economic impacts caused by cluster munitions," was adopted in the formal political declaration for the week-long high-level conference ending today.

While new cluster munition use in Syria and other places continues to take a heavy toll on civilians, an effort by three States Parties—the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada—to weaken the language in the Dubrovnik Declaration that condemns any use by any actor was rejected by other States Parties.

Statements from States Parties and non-signatories to the convention included strong language condemning use of cluster munitions with States Parties reaffirming their commitment to the convention's unique partnership with civil society, grounded in needs of survivors and protection of civilians.

Cluster munition survivors, instrumental to achieving the 2008 ban, participated widely in the week's proceedings including an opening address by CMC Ambassador Branislav Kapetanoviç, a plenary session with statements from four survivors, and an evening theatre event emphasizing social inclusion of survivors and persons with disabilities. "This is a reminder of why we are all here," said Convention President, Vice Foreign Minister of Croatia, following the plenary statements.

The number of States Parties to the convention continued to grow this week in a clear sign of the strength of the international norm against this indiscriminate weapon that injures and kills civilians and often children. Colombia deposited its instrument of ratification on September 10, becoming the 96th State Party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Madagascar and Palau both reported ratification as imminent while Angola announced it would ratify in the near future.

In a surprise address, Cuban Ambassador Rodolfo Benitez Verson announced that Cuba is making plans to accede to the Convention on Cluster Munitions in the near future, receiving loud applause in the meeting. Cuba's accession would mean that nearly all of Latin America and the Caribbean will be onboard the convention; notable exceptions include Argentina, Brazil, and Venezuela.

States' commitment to rapidly destroy cluster munition stockpiles was highlighted as one of the key achievements since the convention came into force. Mozambique and Sweden announced completion of their stockpile destruction, while Germany said it would finish this month, and Italy stated it would complete destruction next month. France reported it will finish in mid-2016.

Five years after the convention entered into force, states are reporting steady progress clearing land once contaminated with cluster munition remnants. This week Mozambique announced it will be done verifying it is free of contamination by 2016, while Lao PDR - the most cluster munition contaminated country in the world - announced a 50% increase in clearance productivity.

Since the Convention entered into force, between 2010 and 2014, more than 255km2 of land was cleared worldwide and 295,000 submunitions destroyed, primarily by states that have joined the convention. Eight States Parties have reported completely clearing their land of life-threatening cluster munition remnants during the same period.

The Convention on Cluster Munitions' unique provisions for assistance to victims were reaffirmed under the Dubrovnik Action Plan adopted this week. The plan mandates States to collect information on the availability of services for victims while emphasizing survivor participation and economic inclusion.

The Cluster Munition Convention comprehensively prohibits cluster munitions, requires destruction of stockpiles within eight years, clearance of areas contaminated by cluster munition remnants within 10 years, and assistance for victims of the weapon.

First Review Conference host Croatia took over leadership of the convention this week from outgoing president, Costa Rica, with a strong call for all countries to join the Convention on Cluster Munitions and end suffering caused by the weapon.




For more information or to schedule an interview, contact:

• Firoz Alizada, ICBL-CMC Campaigns and Communications Manager, Geneva (CET), Mobile +41-(0)76-577-331, or email firoz@icblcmc.org