UNGA vote on 2018 CCM Resolution

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) voted on the latest draft Resolution on the “Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions” on 5 December 2018. This document was submitted by Sri Lanka, President of the Ninth Meeting of States Parties (9MSP) to the CCM, and co-sponsored by 42 States Parties of the Convention.

The votes were conducted in two parts on this occasion: the first vote was on the preambular paragraph 14 (PP14) of the Resolution, taking note of the UN Secretary-General’s Agenda for Disarmament; and the second on the Resolution as a whole.

  • The poll on the PP14 of the Resolution recorded 153 States votes in favour, none against, and 18 abstentions.
  • The draft Resolution was adopted as a whole by the UNGA with a record of 144 Yes votes, 1 No, and 38 abstentions.

The voting pattern on the CCM Resolutions since 2015 demonstrates an increase of Yes votes annually and a decrease in No votes in 2018 as illustrated by the table below:

In this fourth CCM Resolution adopted by the UNGA, the importance of the full and effective implementation of and compliance with the Convention is reiterated. The 9MSP President, Ambassador Aliyar Lebbe Abdul Azeez of Sri Lanka, urges all States outside the Convention to join as soon as possible and all States Parties to promote adherence to the Convention.

For more information on the 2018 CCM Resolution, click here.

The CCM celebrates 10th anniversary of its Signature

To commemorate the signing of the treaty that took place in Oslo 10 years ago, the Permanent Mission of Norway to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva hosted an informal celebratory event on 3 December 2018.

Ambassador Hans Brattskar, Permanent Representative of Norway, warmly welcomed Ambassador Aliyar Lebbe Abdul Azeez of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, President of the Ninth Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions (9MSP), and all the other attendees to the reception at the Norwegian residence in Geneva. In his speech, Ambassador Brattskar highlighted the CCM as a “striking multilateral achievement” and called for the CCM community to “continue to invoke the evidence demonstrating the unacceptable humanitarian harm caused by cluster munitions”. He expressed Norway’s appreciation of the unique partnership between States, international organizations, research institutes, civil society actors and all other stakeholders in the enduring success of the CCM.

 

Worldwide investments in cluster munitions 2018 report show marked decrease in CM investments

PAX and the Cluster Munition Coalition released the 2018 Worldwide investment in cluster munitions report on 3 December 2018. Some of the key findings in the latest report are:

  • 46 States are taking steps to outlaw investments in cluster munitions, with 11 of them having adopted specific legislation that prohibits investment in cluster munitions
  • 2 arms manufacturers have completely terminated their production and delivery of cluster munitions
  • Investment in cluster munition has dropped from USD 31 billion in 2017 to USD 9 billion in 2018
  • The number of financial institutions publicly excluding cluster munition producers notably increased: the updated report identifies 110 compared to 22 in last year’s report
  • The number of financial institutions reported to have invested in cluster munition producers have decreased from 166 in 2017 to 88 in the 2018 report

For the full report, please click here.

For the New York Times article on the report, please click here.

10th anniversary of the CCM Signature

10 years ago at the Oslo City Hall, the Convention on Cluster Munitions was opened for signature on 3 December 2008. Over the course of 2 days, 94 States signed the treaty; 4 of which, the Holy See, Ireland, Norway and Sierra Leone, also submitted their instruments of ratification immediately.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in his speech delivered at the Signing Conference on 3 December said:

“The conclusion [of this convention] indicates a significant and fundamental change in the position of many governments that, until recently, regarded cluster munitions as essential to their security policies and military doctrines. The importance of this shift cannot be overemphasised.”

 

 

The following video is on the signing ceremony of the Convention on Cluster Munitions:

The photos and video in this post are courtesy of the Cluster Munition Coalition.

ISU Director’s visit to Sri Lanka

A meeting between the Implementation Support Unit (ISU) of the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) and the government of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka was held at the Ministry of Defence in Colombo on 23 November 2018 to discuss the implementation of the Convention of this new State Party. In addition to having acceded to the CCM on 1 March 2018, Sri Lanka is currently presiding over the Convention as the President of the Ninth Meeting of States Parties (9MSP).

The meeting chaired by Mr. Anuradha Wijekoon, Additional Secretary (Defence), was attended by representatives from various governmental departments including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The ISU Director, Ms. Sheila N. Mweemba, emphasised the importance of fulfilling Article 7 (Transparency Measures) obligations and provided guidance on how to complete the reporting template. Sri Lanka’s deadline for its initial transparency report is 28 February 2019. Additionally, the meeting considered the possibility of hosting a regional workshop on CCM universalization to be held in early 2019.

Thereafter, the ISU Director paid a courtesy call on the United Nations Office in Sri Lanka, where she met and discussed the implementation of the Convention with Ms. Hanaa Singer, the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Sri Lanka. Representatives of UNOPS in Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka Campaign to Ban Landmines (SLCBL) were also present.

BOTSWANA completes destruction of its cluster munition stockpiles more than a year ahead of Convention deadline

Botswana has reported that it completed destruction of all its cluster munition stockpiles on 18 September 2018. This included the destruction of all its 10 CB-250-K cluster bombs, 2’400 PM-1 submunitions, 500 M-971 mortar bombs, and 12’000 M-87 submunitions leaving a balance of zero cluster munitions in its possession.

President of the Ninth Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions (9MSP), Ambassador Aliyar Lebbe Abdul Azeez of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, wholeheartedly congratulates Botswana for having fulfilled its obligations under Article 3 of the CCM more than a year in advance of its 1 December 2019 deadline. The President acknowledges that this major achievement came about through the successful establishment of a Country Coalition between Botswana and Norwegian People’s Aid, and urges all States Parties with obligations and requiring assistance to emulate this best practice and pursue country coalition partnerships, as appropriate, for the fulfilment of the Convention obligations.

The completion of Botswana’s destruction of its cluster munition stockpiles leaves the Convention with only 6 States Parties having current obligations under Article 3.

Lao PDR’s CCM Article 4 extension request consultative workshop

The Lao People’s Democratic Republic has an estimated cluster munition contaminated area of greater than 800 million square metres and a CCM Article 4 deadline of 1 August 2020. During the Eighth Meeting of States Parties (CCM8MSP) in September 2018, Lao PDR informed that it would not be able to comply with the 2020 deadline and would therefore need to request an extension.

The National Regulatory Authority for the UXO/Mine Action Sector (NRA) of Lao PDR held an all-day consultative workshop on 20 November in Vientiane in preparation of its Article 4 extension request due for submission in December 2018.

The consultations were aimed at promoting a collaborative effort by all stakeholders in the sector in the preparation of the extension request.  Participants of the workshop included representatives from the Lao MoFA, NRA, UXO Lao, the CCM ISU, UNDP, demining operators and all other actors in the mine action sector. The workshop was chaired by NRA Director General Mr. Phoukhieo Chanthrasomboun.

The ISU Director, Ms. Sheila N. Mweemba, presented an overview on the Guidelines in preparing an Article 4 extension request. These Guidelines were considered and adopted at the 8MSP by CCM States Parties.

Click here to view the agenda of the workshop.

States and organizations gathered at the ASEAN Regional Mine Action Center Workshop in Cambodia

The ASEAN Regional Mine Action Center (ARMAC) organized a regional workshop “Enhance mine action knowledge and promote future platforms for mine action knowledge sharing for ASEAN Member States” on 12 – 14 November in Siem Reap, Cambodia, with the financial support of the Government of Canada. This workshop aimed to provide sustained platforms to share knowledge and experiences with the aims of enhancing regional capacity and cooperation, and effectively and efficiently addressing the issue of landmines, cluster munitions and other explosive remnants of war in the ASEAN region.

This workshop brought together numerous speakers and participants from ASEAN Member States, donor States, the ASEAN Secretariat, ASEAN academic institutions, and organizations dealing with mine action. Topics discussed included the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), gender mainstreaming, and research and development in cluster munitions and mine action; clearance and risk reduction education, victim assistance, and international cooperation and assistance.

The CCM ISU was invited to give an overview of the Convention and share how the CCM has contributed to global mine action. This workshop was an opportunity for the ISU to promote the universalization of the CCM to States in the ASEAN region where Convention membership is relatively low.

Click here to view the agenda of the workshop.

Adoption of draft CCM Resolution L.39

On 6th November 2018 the First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) approved the draft resolution “Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions” (document A/C.1/73/L.39) by a recorded vote of 139 in favour, 1 against and 39 abstentions.

By its provision 1, the General Assembly would urge all States outside this instrument to join as soon as possible, whether by ratifying or acceding to it, and all States parties that are in a position to do so to promote adherence to its provisions through bilateral, subregional and multilateral contacts, outreach and other means.

The Presidency of the Ninth Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions (9MSP CCM), Sri Lanka, calls on States that abstained in the vote on the draft Resolution to join those that voted in favour during the final UNGA vote in December 2018.

Closed side event on CCM universalization (Asia/Pacific region) in New York

The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, in its role as the Presidency of the Ninth Meeting of States Parties (9MSP), organized a lunchtime meeting at the UN Headquarters in New York on the universalization of the CCM with a focus on the Asia/Pacific region. This side event took place on Friday, 12 October 2018, in the margins of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly First Committee on Disarmament and International Security and gathered States Parties and States not Party to the Convention from the Asia/Pacific region as well as from other regions.


9MSP President, Ambassador Aliyar Lebbe Abdul Azeez, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in Geneva, warmly welcomed the attendees via video conference in Geneva and presented the Presidency’s key priorities until the 9MSP. The President also introduced the 2018 UNGA Resolution on the implementation of CCM, which would be submitted by Sri Lanka and its co-sponsors. It is anticipated that States attending the meeting would vote in favour of the Resolution.

During the meeting, the CCM Implementation Support Unit (ISU) presented an overview of the Convention, with a particular emphasis on the tools and assistance available to States in their ratification/accession and further implementation of the CCM. States were afforded the opportunity to share on the obstacles they had encountered in the process of ratification of/accession to the CCM. Representatives of the ICRC and CMC also participated in the side event. In order to facilitate a candid discussion on addressing these challenges, the meeting was held under the Chatham House Rule.

Click here to view the programme of the meeting.