23 September 2015
First Review Conference: A Great Success
Nicolas Marzolino, a survivor from Italy, delivering personal statement in Plenary, 1RC ©CMC
The First Review Conference of the Convention on Cluster Munitions was a great success! The Review Conference was held from 7-11 September in Dubrovnik, Croatia with government delegates representing more than 100 countries and with more than 100 CMC members participating.
As a result of the hard work of CMC campaigners in capitals and at the Conference, alongside the hard work of many dedicated members states, States Parties adopted a strong Dubrovnik Declaration that condemns all use of cluster munitions. Efforts by a handful of States Parties to water down this strong language in the Declaration were rejected by the vast majority of States ensuring that the conference sent a clear message about the stigma around all use.
The Dubrovnik Action Plan lists activities that states must undertake in the next five years to rid the world of cluster munitions and to address their deadly legacy.
What should we do now?
Use of cluster munitions: We hope that no one will use cluster munitions in the future. However, if this happens, we can use the Dubrovnik Declaration and Dubrovnik Action Plan to remind States Parties that they promised to publicly speak up against any use. These documents can also be shared with other states that may want to use cluster munitions, to warn them that all members of the Convention will condemn the use of this stigmatized weapon.
Universalization: States adopted a target of 130 States Parties by the Second Review Conference, and the CMC thinks we can even go beyond that number! Who’s next? Costa Rica suggested the “One Plus One” approach: each State Party should bring on board one other state.
Stockpile Destruction: With 90% of stocks already destroyed, this is a major success of the Convention. States agreed to share information and expertise to ensure the rapid destruction of all remaining stocks.
Clearance: States agreed to better target clearance resources and to share information on effective practices. The first deadlines will arrive soon, and the only states that should ask for an extension are those with very heavy contamination.
Victim Assistance: States agreed to increase the quality and quantity of services and to ensure that victims participate in governmental decisions that affect their lives.
Cooperation: States promised to improve partnerships, to better communicate their needs, and to increase assistance including through multi-year partnerships.
Transparency: States agreed to turn in their initial report and annual reports. Better transparency will help in measuring progress.
National Laws: States promised to enact any necessary legislation to implement the Convention. This should include laws prohibiting investments in cluster munition producers.
States Parties have committed to implementing the Dubrovnik Action Plan and can be reminded of this commitment. Signatories and non-signatories can also be encouraged to implement it, destroying their stocks, clearing land, and assisting victims, while they move toward ratification or accession. There is no need to wait!
CMC delegate Ayman Sorour with CMC Ambassador Branislav Kapetanovic at Handicap Intl. Sitting Volleyball match. ©Mark Hiznay
More about the First Review Conference
Annual findings on cluster munitions and their impact from the Cluster Munition Monitor, launched just before the Review Conference.
Ten years ago, a Convention banning cluster munitions was still just a dream. Now we have a strong international instrument, a norm against use that is taking hold, and a series of detailed political commitments. Let’s work to make sure these can make a difference for affected communities, and to ensure that ultimately, no one ever uses cluster munitions. We look forward to the next five years!