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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The CCM Newsletter covering the first quarter of 2019 is out. Click here to check key highlights.
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.
For more information:
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.
Australia and Austria not only have similar names but they have submitted their 2018 annual transparency report at the same time this year. For this reason, they are jointly awarded the bronze medal for the timely submission of their reports. Congratulations!
Australia and Austria join Saint Kitts and Nevis and Costa Rica in setting an example of submitting their annual transparency report well before the due date of 30 April 2019. Under Article 7 of the Convention, States Parties are required to submit updated information covering the previous calendar year (1 January to 31 December) to the UN Secretary General annually (firstname.lastname@example.org).
States are invited to also share a copy of their report to the ISU at email@example.com
Report templates are available in all six UN languages and can be accessed here.
Costa Rica is the second State Party to have submitted its annual transparency report this year, well in advance of the due date of 30 April 2019. ¡Enhorabuena!
Costa Rica joins the gold-medalist, Saint Kitts and Nevis, in demonstrating the importance of submitting its annual transparency report on time, as required by Article 7 of the Convention.
Report templates and submission instructions can be found here.