10 October 2017

CMC addresses UN Headquarters

States urged to vote in favor of the resolution on the Convention on Cluster Munitions

 Elizabeth Minor 1Stcomtt 10Oct17 NY C 4Disarmament

Elizabeth Minor, Article 36, delivering a statement at the UNGA First Committee on behalf of the Cluster Munition Coalition, 10 October 2017 ©4disarmament

Statement by the Cluster Munition Coalition
First Committee on Disarmament and International Security
10 October 2017

One hundred and nineteen states have agreed to renounce cluster munitions forever through their signature, ratification or accession to the Convention on Cluster Munitions. The large majority of other states abide de facto by the prohibition on the use and production of this weapon.

The few states that are using cluster munitions at the moment are responsible for tremendous suffering. Cluster munitions are indiscriminate at the time of use, because of their wide area effect, and also on the long-term because of the explosive submunitions they leave behind. Ongoing use in Syria by Syrian and Russian government forces and in Yemen by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition shows the horrible toll the weapon takes on civilians: over 90% of the people recorded as injured or killed by cluster munitions are civilians. The Cluster Munition Coalition condemns any use of cluster munitions by any actor, and urges current users to stop.

All states can take action to address the problem posed by cluster munitions. This can start with joining the convention. Whether or not you have stockpiled or used them, whether or not communities in your country are affected by cluster munitions – please take a stand against this unacceptable weapon. Here at First Committee, you can also vote in favor of the resolution on the convention, and show support for its humanitarian aims.

Collectively, States Parties to the convention have already destroyed 97% of their cluster munitions, ensuring they will never claim a life or limb. Steps are being taken to assess the needs of survivors and to increase their participation in governmental decision-making that impacts their lives. The use of specific methodologies continues to greatly improve the efficiency of clearance of contaminated land. We expect these laudable efforts will further be bolstered when donor states put into practice the “country coalitions” concept, and work in a concerted manner to tackle country-specific challenges under the leadership of an affected state.

In the coming weeks we look forward to hearing what actions states are taking towards joining the convention and implementing its five-year Dubrovnik Action Plan.

Thank you.