The Philippines submits its initial transparency report on time

CCM State party no. 106, the Philippines, sent its initial transparency report to the UN Secretary-General on 11 December 2019, 17 days ahead of its due date of 28 December. The Philippines’ timely submission resulted in all four initial transparency reports due in 2019 (Sri Lanka, Namibia, the Gambia and the Philippines) being submitted before their deadlines.

The 2RC President, Ambassador Félix Baumann, warmly congratulates the Philippines for leading by example and strongly encourages States parties with outstanding initial reports to submit their reports as a matter of priority. Initial reports are key for establishing the benchmark against which progress will be measured.

ISU Director’s visit to Montenegro

State party, Montenegro, has an obligation under CCM Article 4 to complete clearance of all cluster munition remnants by its deadline of 1 August 2020.  At the 9MSP on 2 September 2019, Montenegro highlighted that its country coalition with Norway, through Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA), had been highly successful and that clearance activities were progressing well and that it was confident of fulfilling its Article 4 obligation before the deadline.

The Director-General of the Directorate for Emergency Situations of the Ministry of Interior, Mr. Mirsad Mulić, invited the ISU Director, Ms. Sheila N. Mweemba, for an official in-country visit to Montenegro from 9-10 December 2019. In Podgorica, the ISU Director met with Mr. Mulić and Mr. Milovan Joksimovic, Head of Department of UXO at the Ministry of Interior, who informed on the positive experiences and progress stemming from the international cooperation established under the country coalition concept. Also participating in the meeting was the Norwegian People’s Aid Mine Action and Disarmament team led by Ms. Alyson Lewis, Programme Manager, and Mr. Zoran Papic, Operations Manager.

The ISU Director also visited some of the task sites including one that is adjacent to the regularly functioning Podgorica International airport, where current clearance operations are being finalized. A team from Bosnia and Herzegovina has been implementing the programme, exhibiting another application of international cooperation and assistance in accordance with Article 6 of the Convention. The Director witnessed first-hand the challenges and complexities of the programme. She commended the team for the great work undertaken, and its diligence and commitment to the Convention. The Director was particularly delighted that Montenegro is on track to declare completion well ahead of its deadline.

The Gambia submits its initial transparency report on time

The Republic of the Gambia submitted its initial transparency report on 23 November 2019, 5 days before its due date of 28 November. H.E. Mr. Félix Baumann, President of the 2nd Review Conference (2RC) to the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) extends his warm congratulations to the Gambia for honouring its reporting obligations and urged other States Parties that had upcoming and overdue initial report deadlines to submit their reports as soon as possible.

The Gambia ratified the CCM on 12 December 2018 and the Convention entered into force for it on 1 June 2019. According to Article 7, each State Party shall report to the Secretary-General of the United Nations within 180 days after the entry into force of the Convention for that State Party. Gambia’s submission brings the initial reporting rate of the CCM to 92%.

Transparency reporting is a key obligation under the Convention and establishes a benchmark against which implementation progress is measured and evaluated. It is also a practical tool for States Parties to request and provide requisite assistance and cooperation in implementing the CCM. For more information on transparency reporting, click here.

First Committee approves 2019 CCM Resolution

On 5 November 2019, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) First Committee approved the draft resolution “Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions” (document A/C.1/74/L.46) by a vote of 138 in favour to 1 against, with 39 abstentions. A separate vote on the preambular paragraph 14 of the Resolution was carried out, with a recorded vote of 147 in favour to none against, with 16 abstentions.

A final vote at the UNGA will be taking place in December 2019.

For more information on the resolution, click here.

LMAC pays courtesy call on ISU Director

Lebanon Mine Action Center (LMAC) Director, Brigadier General Jihad Al Bechelany, and LMAC Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QAQC) Section Head, Colonel Ahmed Lababidi, paid a courtesy call on the ISU Director, Ms. Sheila N. Mweemba, on 4 November 2019.

Lebanon is one of the 11 States Parties under the CCM with an obligation to clear and destroy cluster munition remnants located in cluster munition contaminated areas under its jurisdiction or control. At the 9MSP in September 2019, Lebanon had reported that due to a number of challenges it would not be able to meet its Article 4 deadline of 1 May 2021 and had begun preparing its extension request. Lebanon recently submitted a draft of the request for the ISU to make an initial determination to ensure that the request would not lack any component.

During the courtesy call, the LMAC Director and the QAQC Section Head discussed with the ISU Director whether the extension request contained all the necessary information required under Article 4 of the Convention. The GICHD’s Cooperation Programmes Coordinator, Ms. Rana Elias, was also invited to participate in the in-depth exchange.

Side event on the Convention on Cluster Munitions in New York

New Zealand, Coordinator on National Implementation Measures, and the Republic of Iraq, Coordinator on Transparency Measures, with the support of the Implementation Support Unit (ISU), organized a lunchtime meeting at the Permanent Mission of New Zealand to the United Nations in New York themed “A Decade of the Cluster Munitions Convention: its Past, Present and Future”. The event that took place on 16 October 2019 in the margins of the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly First Committee gathered 31 participants from 22 States Parties, the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) and the ISU.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ambassador Dell Higgie, Permanent Representative of New Zealand to the Conference on Disarmament, who moderated the meeting opened with and offered the welcoming remarks. This was followed by presentations by the troika of CCM presidencies. The first speaker was immediate past President of the 9MSP represented by Mr. Satyajit Arjuna Rodrigo, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka to the United Nations. He highlighted the work of Sri Lanka’s presidency and provided an overview of the Convention’s successes and challenges over the past 9 years of implementation.

He was followed by current President of the CCM 2nd Review Conference, Ambassador Félix Baumann, Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, who shared the priorities and areas of focus in the period up to the 2RC.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lastly, 10MSP President-Designate, Ambassador Aidan Liddle, Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva gave a longer-term vision for the Convention beyond the 2RC building on the present success.

Most of the thematic Coordinators were present and provided updates on their respective thematic areas of work. They also highlighted their willingness to work with States that require assistance in fulfilling their CCM obligations. These were followed by an extensive and productive exchange amongst the participants.

Click here to view the programme of the meeting.

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.