09 February 2015

CMC Statement at the First Preparatory Meeting of Dubrovnik Conference

When we gathered in Oslo in 2008 for the signing of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, we knew that the convention would largely be preventative. We had great hopes that it would be instrumental in addressing suffering. And this is largely the case – cluster munitions are being destroyed, safe land is returned to communities, and any use of the weapon sparks an international outcry. Yet in the past two years, we have seen more casualties than in all years combined since 2008, due mostly to ongoing use in Syria and Ukraine. Just last week, innocent people died in a cluster munition strike in Ukraine, according to a report by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

Clearly, a broader acceptance of the ban is urgent.

There is no better way to prevent harm than by bringing all states on board the convention and making sure it is fully respected. With every new State Party, we strengthen the norm against these horrid weapons, decrease the likelihood that they will be used again and together, save lives.

The following states signed in 2008 and must now ratify urgently.

Six years since signature is long enough. Please, if you have signed, make sure to ratify before you come to Dubrovnik, and be ready to participate as a full State Party. If there are non-signatories in the room today – there are a whole range of resources that can support your accession process, from legal advice to template parliamentary memos. We look forward to welcoming you on board the convention.

Last year in San José and at First Committee, a large number of States Parties made strong statements emphasizing the need for further universalization. All states have a role to play to make this happen. Please do what you can: put the convention on the agenda of regional meetings, adopt a neighbor, and engage in bilateral demarches. Bring a new state on board the convention by the Review Conference. We thank those that are already reaching out to their neighbors and across the world, including Costa Rica that has set the goal of 100 States Parties by the Review Conference.

We are confident that all States Parties will make every effort to implement any pending item from the Vientiane Action Plan, and will come to Dubrovnik with detailed and specific progress reports. We also look forward to reading your Transparency Reports due on April 30th. We will be happy to publicize your efforts and your successes through our public communication channels.

The Cluster Munition Coalition looks forward to working with you to stop cluster bombs. We are confident that under the excellent leadership of Costa Rica as President, and Croatia as President-Designate, we can make significant progress this year.


For official documents of the Preparatory Meeting click here.