06 March 2009

Opportunity to sign and ratify the Convention in New York: 18 March 2009

ACTION ALERTOn Wednesday 18 March the United Nations is hosting an event on the Convention on Cluster Munitions where countries are being invited to sign and / or deposit their instruments of ratification. This is a perfect opportunity to pressure states to take these formal steps and to ask them to give an update on measures they are taking nationally. It is also an opportunity for government officials to get an update on progress and next steps for the Convention on Cluster Munitions.The following is the Note Verbal invitation on the event which has been sent to all UN permanent missions in New York:UN Note Verbale, 5 March 2009There has been a natural lull in activities post-Oslo, but now we need to boost the momentum on the Convention. With only one further signature and no further ratifications since Oslo, we have a big job to do but we know with everyone's help we can do it. Make sure that your government is there!TAKE ACTIONIf your government has NOT YET SIGNED the Convention, encourage them to sign in New York on 18 March under the spotlight of other governments, campaigners, UN representatives and the media.

  • Send the note verbale invitation, along with a copy of the ‘How to sign the Convention' guide prepared by the CMC to the relevant government officials in capital as well as your country's UN mission in New York.
  • If you would like a supporting letter from the CMC, or need additional support and help encouraging your government to sign, please contact Laura (laura@stopclustermunitions.org).
  • States must complete and send back a copy of the ‘full powers' document that can only be signed by the Foreign Minister or Head of State/ Government nominating and authorising one or more representatives (preferably the ambassador AND deputy permanent representative at their mission in New York) to sign the Convention. This must be sent to the UN treaty section (contact details and a model full powers document are in the ‘How to Sign the Convention' guide).
If your government is able to complete its RATIFICATION procedure in the next couple of weeks please encourage officials to deposit the ratification instrument at this event on 18 March.
  • Send the invitation, the ‘How to ratify the Convention' and the ICRC's Ratification Toolkit guide to the relevant government officials in capital and to your country's UN mission in New York.
  • If you would like a supporting letter from the CMC, or need additional support and help encouraging your government to ratify on 18 March please contact Laura (laura@stopclustermunitions.org).
  • States can use the model instrument of ratification which can be found in the ICRC Ratification Toolkit and must be signed by the Head of State / Government or Foreign Minister.
Even if your country is not signing or ratifying at this event, encourage a representative from your country's UN mission in New York to attend the event.This is also an opportunity for participating states to give an update and hear what other actions are taking place around the world on this Convention. States should give an update on:
  1. Steps they are taking to sign, ratify and/or implement the Convention (such as commencing stockpile destruction, nominating a victim assistance focal point, etc.);
  2. Any initiatives they are undertaking to host a national or regional event on the Convention and/or encourage other states to join the Convention.
Contact Information:Contacts to UN missions are here:http://www.un.org/members/missions.shtmlParticipating states should RSVP to: Gustavo Laurie, UN Mine Action Service, laurie@un.orgIf your government is signing or ratifying the Convention at this event they must also contact the UN Treaty Office with a copy of the ‘full powers' or ‘instrument of ratification'.Contact: Holbrook@un.orgRESOURCES* How to sign the Convention (including model ‘full powers')* How to ratify the Convention* ICRC Ratification Toolkit (including model instrument of ratification)* Template letter encouraging governments to sign and / or ratify on March 18These are all available on our website, along with other lobbying and campaigning tools:http://www.stopclustermunitions.org/campaign-resources/Please raise this event with your contacts in government and let us know whether your government is likely to sign, ratify or otherwise attend on 18 March in New York.Please note that CMC does not have any funding to support the participation of campaigners to this event unfortunately. If you are able to attend the event with your own funding you are of course most welcome. Also there will not be a sponsorship scheme for governments to travel to New York, instead governments should be represented through their missions in New York.