Every country in the world can and should join the Convention on Cluster Munitions. It is a question of political will and placing a priority on the protection of civilians over outdated and indiscriminate weapons.
The Cluster Munition Coalition stands ready to provide advice, technical support and resources to all countries that have yet to ratify or accede to the convention. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Implementing the Convention is beneficial to affected states. Most affected states, whether or not they are party to the Convention, are already undertaking cluster munition clearance and victim assistance. By joining the Convention, they will increase their capacity to carry out such work. Indeed, the Convention requires all states "in a position to do so" to provide technical, material, and financial assistance to those affected states that have clearly presented their needs. In addition, they will become part of the community of states that meets regularly to discuss how to make progress in the most effective manner, allowing them to benefit from the experience and expertise of other states and specialized organizations.
States with stockpiles of cluster munitions are usually carrying out regular stockpile destruction as stocks reach the end of their shelf life. By joining the Convention, states will therefore not be incurring new costs, but could be receiving more support for such activities since the duty to provide cooperation and assistance also applies to technical, material and financial assistance for stockpile destruction. Many states have already benefited from such assistance, including support in finding simple and low-cost means to destroy stockpiles.
In other words, the Convention should be seen as an opportunity for affected states to get support for work that they are doing anyway. The benefits for undertaking these positive obligations are abundantly clear, from allowing vast areas of land to be cultivated and enabling survivors to gain economic independence, to building confidence with neighboring states by destroying stocks of cluster munitions.