04 April 2016
Nobel Laureates and campaigners urge Democratic Republic of Congo to ratify the Convention
On 4 April 2016, International Mine Awareness Day, campaigners from all over the world called on H.E. Joseph Kabila, President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, to ratify the Convention on Cluster Munitions.
The Democratic Republic of Congo actively participated in the Oslo Process that created the Convention on Cluster Munitions. In 2009, the DRC signed the Convention and amended existing legislation to implement the Convention’s provisions, but it has not ratified it yet.
Jody Williams, 1997 Nobel Peace Laureate, Dr. Shirin Ebadi, 2003 Nobel Peace Laureate, CMC Ambassadors Branislav Kapetanovic and Margaret Arach Orech, and national campaigners from over 45 countries joined the Campagne congolaise pour interdire les mines and the Cluster Munition Coalition to urge the Democratic Republic of Congo to ratify the Convention on Cluster Munitions as soon as possible before the Sixth Meeting of States Parties that will take place in September 2016 in Geneva. This global action aims to reinforce tireless advocacy by the Campagne congolaise pour interdire les mines and its members during the past eight years.
In the lead up to and on 4 April, the Campagne congolaise pour interdire les mines in collaboration with other stakeholders carried out several advocacy activities in Kinshasa strengthening the call for rapid ratification.
In 2013, the parliament approved the ratification legislation for the Convention on Cluster Munitions and since then it has been reported that the law has been undergoing a judicial review. The DRC participated in all of the Convention’s international meetings and it supported the 2015 United Nations General Assembly Resolution 70/54 on the total ban on cluster munitions.
The DRC is affected by cluster munitions and in 2011 an abandoned stockpile containing 1,593 ShAOB submunitions was destroyed in Goma province.
118 countries have joined the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions, including 43 of 54 African countries, demonstrating African states’ strong commitment for a region free of cluster munitions.