African states meet in Abuja for CCM regional universalization workshop

The Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) Africa Regional Universalization Workshop took place in Abuja, Nigeria, on 23-24 March 2022. The workshop was co-hosted by the governments of the United Kingdom, Nigeria and Switzerland, with the organizational support of the Implementation Support Unit (ISU).

During the workshop, states yet to join the Convention were given an opportunity to share the perceived obstacles and challenges faced in joining the CCM, to provide an update on the status of their national ratification/accession and explore possible solutions to the challenges identified. Four African CCM States Parties were also on hand to share their experiences in joining and subsequently implementing the Convention. A closed-door session on a military-to-military dialogue was also held for military representatives to discuss national defence considerations of joining and implementing the CCM.

The event brought together 8 Signatory States (Angola, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda), 2 States not Party (South Sudan and Zimbabwe) and 4 States Parties (Botswana, Cameroon, Mozambique and Zambia) from the region. Participating as resource persons were representatives of the UK, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) and the ISU.

Many African states were actively involved in the Oslo Process that led to the creation of the Convention. In addition, they were among the earliest countries to sign the treaty when it opened for signature on 3 December 2008 in Oslo, Norway. To date, 9 out of the 13 Signatory States that have yet to ratify the Convention are from the continent.