In the sidelines of the 23rd International Meeting of Mine Action National Directors and UN Advisers (NDM-UN 23), the Director of the Implementation Support Unit (ISU), Ms. Sheila N. Mweemba, met with Mr. Brahim Djibrine Brahim, Coordinator of the National High Commission for Demining (HCND), Mr. Moussa Ali Soultani, Director of Operations and Technical Logistics of the HCND and Mr. Olivier Shu, Senior Technical Advisor of the Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD).
During the meeting, issues related to the implementation of the provisions of the CCM and progress made in this regard were discussed. Chad indicated that it would be able to fulfil its obligations under Article 4 (clearance) of the Convention well ahead of its deadline of 1 September 2023.
Chad signed the CCM on 3 December 2008, ratified on 26 March 2013 and the Convention entered into force for it on 1 September 2013. Chad is one of the 17 States Parties that has had obligations under Article 4 of the CCM. To date, 6 have declared compliance with these obligations.
As of February 2020, 11 States Parties have yet to fulfil their obligations under Article 4. It is expected that this number would be significantly reduced by the Second Review Conference (2RC) to be held in November 2020.
The government of the Republic of Zimbabwe, a State not Party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM), demonstrated its interest to receive a briefing on the Convention by accepting to host an in-country visit of the President of the CCM Second Review Conference (2RC) Ambassador Félix Baumann of Switzerland from 4-5 February 2020.
In Harare, Ambassador Baumann met with the Secretary of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Ambassador James Manzou, and Secretary of Defence and War Veterans Affairs, Ambassador Mark Grey Marongwe, to promote the CCM and encourage Zimbabwe to accede to the Convention. The 2RC President was accompanied by the Director of the CCM Implementation Support Unit (ISU), Ms. Sheila N. Mweemba, the Ambassador of Switzerland to Zimbabwe, H.E. Mr. Niculin Jäger, and representatives of the Embassies of Germany and the United Kingdom in Harare.
The visit to Zimbabwe formed part of the 2RC Presidency’s universalization outreach inspired by the Convention’s aim to achieve 130 States Parties by the 2RC that is scheduled to take place in November 2020. The CCM currently has 108 States Parties and 13 Signatories.
The Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe is State Party no. 108 and the first to join the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) in 2020. The government of São Tomé and Príncipe deposited its instrument of ratification at the United Nations in New York on 27 January 2020. The Convention will enter into force for São Tomé and Príncipe on 1 July 2020 in accordance with Article 17.2.
Ambassador Félix Baumann, President of the Second Review Conference (2RC), heartily congratulates São Tomé and Príncipe for its ratification and calls on the remaining 13 Signatory States to follow its example. The Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe’s ratification brings the CCM closer to achieving its goal of 130 States Parties by the 2RC in November 2020.
The first three Convention on Cluster Munitions 2019 annual reports submitted in accordance with Article 7 of the Convention have already been received – just 3 days into the New Year. Hearty congratulations to the three States Parties that complied with this important obligation. To salute their diligence, they have been awarded medals in of submission with Guinea-Bissau getting Gold, Australia -Silver and Saint Kitts and Nevis – Bronze.
All other CCM States Parties are encouraged to emulate the example given by Guinea-Bissau, Australia and Saint Kitts and Nevis in submitting their 2019 annual transparency reports well before the due date of 30 April. 2020. Under Article 7 of the Convention all States parties are required to report annually to the Secretary-General of the United Nations by 30 April of each year. The report should cover the previous calendar year (1 January to 31 December) and should be sent to the UN Secretary-General, via the Office for Disarmament Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org. The ISU would also appreciate a copy of the submitted report sent to email@example.com.
To facilitate reporting, States Parties are recommended to use the reporting template, which is available in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese and Russian.
On 12 December 2019, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the resolution on the implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) by 144 Yes votes, 38 abstentions and 1 No. A vote on the preambular paragraph 14 of the Resolution was carried out, with a recorded vote of 153 in favour, 17 abstentions and none against.
For more information on the 2019 CCM resolution, visit the dedicated webpage. The adopted resolution will be made available on the webpage soon.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.