Samoa reaffirms commitment to the Convention on Cluster Munitions

The Independent State of Samoa reaffirmed its commitment to the implementation of the CCM in making a two-year contribution towards the 2019 and 2020 ISU annual budget. H.E. Ali’ioaiga Feturi Elisaia, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Representative of Samoa to the United Nations, met with Ms. Sheila N. Mweemba, Director of the Implementation Support Unit of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, on 15 October 2019 in the margins of the UNGA 74 First Committee Meeting at the Permanent Mission of Samoa in New York.

During the courtesy call paid on him by the ISU Director, the Ambassador acknowledged the ISU’s unwavering support to States Parties, including small states like Samoa, in implementing the Convention. In that regard, he expressed his appreciation for the ISU Director’s facilitation of cash payments for States Parties with small assessed contributions to avoid incurring high bank transaction costs. Furthermore, Ambassador Elisaia stressed that universalization of the CCM was instrumental in working towards global peace and security and was in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The Maldives joins the Convention on Cluster Munitions

Congratulations to the Republic of Maldives on its accession to the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) thus becoming the Convention’s 107th State Party! Maldivian officials deposited the accession instrument to the United Nations in New York on 27 September 2019 and the Convention will enter into force for the Maldives on 1 March 2020 in accordance with Article 17 of the CCM.

H.E. Mr. Félix Baumann of Switzerland, President of the Second Review Conference (2RC) of the CCM, warmly welcomes the Maldives to the CCM community and encourages States that have not ratified or acceded to the Convention to do so as a matter of priority.

The Republic of Maldives’ accession increases CCM membership in the Asia-Pacific region and brings the Convention closer to achieving its goal 130 States Parties by the Second Review Conference (2RC) in November 2020.

9th Anniversary of the Convention’s entry into force

Statement by the President of the Ninth Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions (9MSP),  H.E. Ambassador Aliyar Lebbe Abdul Azeez of Sri Lanka, on the 9th anniversary since entry into force of the Convention on Cluster Munitions

Thursday, 1 August 2019 marks the ninth year since the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) entered into force. The past nine years since 1 August 2010 have undoubtedly seen significant progress in achieving the objectives of this humanitarian imperative-driven legal instrument.

During this period, 120 Sates have committed to the goals of the Convention, 106 as States Parties and 14 as signatories. Additionally, States Parties to the Convention have destroyed over 95% most of their cluster munition stockpiles, leaving only five States Parties with stockpile destruction obligations while hundreds of square kilometers of land have been cleared of cluster munition remnants and concerted efforts have helped improve the lives of victims. In this regard, States Parties should be proud of these achievements made within a short time and which establish it as one of the more successful disarmament treaties today.

Nonetheless, this enormous achievement must not be cause for complacency as cluster munitions continue to pose a significant threat to particularly civilians in certain parts of the world.

Therefore, in my capacity as President of the 9MSP, I wish to take this opportunity as we commemorate this important milestone to call on all States not yet Party to the Convention to ratify or accede to it without delay. I also urge States Parties to step up their universalization efforts to reach the CCM Dubrovnik Action Plan target of 130 States Parties by the Convention’s Second Review Conference scheduled for 2020, which is just over one year away. Achieving a world free of cluster munitions depends on the strengthening of its norms which are also universally accepted and implemented.

Download the statement in pdf.

Coordination Committee mid-term review

Ambassador Aliyar Lebbe Abdul Azeez, CCM 9MSP President, hosted the Coordination Committee mid-term review as a working lunch on 26 June 2019 at Shiva Restaurant in Geneva. The aim of the meeting was to conduct a comprehensive stock-take of the Convention’s implementation since the 8MSP and consider the necessary efforts to apply in the lead up to the 9MSP which will be held from 2 to 4 September 2019 in Geneva. The working lunch was attended by 22 Coordination Committee members, including Ambassador Elisabeth Tichy-Fisslberger of Austria.

The President also took the opportunity to bid farewell and thank Dr. Patricia Cullen, Deputy Permanent Representative at the Permanent Mission of Ireland, for her contribution to the work of the CCM and other sectors of humanitarian disarmament affairs. Dr. Cullen entered retirement on 25 June 2019.

States meet in Manila for CCM Asia-Pacific regional workshop

On 18-19 June 2019, 13 countries met in Manila, Philippines, to discuss the universalization and implementation of the CCM. The workshop was organized by the Philippines in collaboration with New Zealand and with the support of the ISU-CCM.

The event brought together 8 States not Party (Bangladesh, Bhutan, Mongolia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and Vietnam) and 5 States Parties (Lao PDR, New Zealand, Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Switzerland). The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) were also in attendance as expert resources. The workshop was made possible through the generous contribution of New Zealand and Switzerland and the in-kind support provided by the Philippines.

As of June 2019, 120 States have committed to the goals of the CCM, 106 as States Parties and 14 as signatories. Increase in adherence with the Convention especially in Asia Pacific would be critical in reaching its 130 States Parties target by 2020. Click here for additional information on the seminar.

Japan reaffirms commitment to the Convention on Cluster Munitions

His Excellency Mr. Nobushige Takamizawa, Permanent Representative of Japan to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, paid a courtesy call on the ISU Director, Ms. Sheila N. Mweemba, on 11 June 2019. The Ambassador was accompanied by Colonel Jun Yamada, First Secretary and Defense Attaché of the Permanent Mission of Japan. The Director expressed her appreciation for their visit and also for Japan’s support in advancing the norms of the CCM. Japan was among the earliest States to ratify the CCM and destroyed all its cluster munition stockpiles more than 3 years ahead of its deadline. It also served as first Coordinator on Universalization of the CCM Coordination Committee. Ambassador Takamizawa assured the ISU Director of Japan’s steadfast commitment to the work of the Convention.

ISU Director’s visit to Lebanon

Lebanon has a CCM Article 4 deadline of 1 May 2021 to clear its estimated contaminated area of 17.18 million square metres and destroy the cluster munition remnants. At the 8MSP, Lebanon had reported to be facing a variety of obstacles in meeting its clearance obligations, including a decrease in funding, the discovery of new cluster munition contaminated areas and a complex terrain. As a consequence, Lebanon has informed that it will not be able to meet its 2021 deadline and will therefore need to request an extension.

In order to assess the situation and to offer support in the Article 4 Extension Request process, the ISU Director, Ms. Sheila N. Mweemba, paid a visit from 26 to 28 March 2019 to the Lebanon Mine Action Center (LMAC). She took the opportunity to visit two clearance operations sites in South Lebanon that are currently being cleared by the Lebanese Association for Mines and Natural Disaster Action (LAMINDA) and DanChurchAid (DCA). Meetings were held with the outgoing LMAC Director, Brig. Gen. Ziad Nasr, the incoming LMAC Director, Brig. Gen. Jihad Al Bechaalany, and LMAC Head of Operations, Maj. Fadi Wazen.

Switzerland announces destruction of its stockpiles of cluster munitions

The 9MSP Presidency, Sri Lanka, is pleased to announce that Switzerland has declared fulfillment of its obligation under Article 3 pertaining to stockpile destruction and retention, 2 years ahead of its January 2021 deadline. The announcement was made on 19 March 2019. Congratulations Switzerland!

Under the Convention on Cluster Munitions, States have eight years from the entry into force of the Convention to complete stockpile destruction. To date, there remains only 5 States Parties with obligations under Article 3 of the Convention.

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Round table discussion on promoting the establishment of Country Coalitions

An informal roundtable discussion on the Country Coalitions Concept under the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) took place on 13 March 2019 in Geneva. The event hosted by the Implementation Support Unit of the Convention was facilitated by Sri Lanka, President of the Ninth Meeting of States Parties. The roundtable event was made possible as a result of the generous contribution of Canada.

The Country Coalitions Concept was introduced by Germany, in its capacity as the President of the Seventh Meeting of States Parties, as an initiative that builds on a country specific approach to complying with CCM commitments. The purpose of the lunchtime discussion was to bring together States Parties with outstanding CCM Article 3 and 4 obligations to exchange experiences on the numerous benefits of such a customized approach.

In that context, 16 States Parties gathered to share views and exchange best practices on the benefits of establishing country coalition partnerships to ensure the timely completion of CCM obligations. Two States Parties that have recorded progress in the implementation of their Article 4 obligations through the implementation of such a model also shared their successful experiences as a means to encourage other States Parties with outstanding obligations to establish similar partnerships.