The CCM Francophone Africa Universalization Workshop

The Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) Francophone Africa Universalization Workshop was held in Yaoundé, Cameroon, from 15 to 16 February 2023. The Workshop was organized as a follow-up to the Africa Regional CCM Universalization Workshop held the previous year in Abuja, where representatives of francophone African nations expressed their concern that they were lagging behind in their understanding of the Convention compared to their anglophone counterparts. Hence, a specific request for a French language workshop on the CCM in the region was made. The workshop was hosted by Cameroon and sponsored by Switzerland and the United Kingdom. It was organized with the logistical and technical support of the Implementation Support Unit (ISU).

The Workshop was attended by three out of the five targeted states: two Signatories (Democratic Republic of Congo and Djibouti) and one State not Party (Equatorial Guinea). State Party, Cameroon, in its capacity as the host country also participated in the workshop. Other participants were France, Iraq, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA), the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD), and the ISU. Due to a technical problem with an aircraft of a flight from Lomé to Yaoundé, representatives of a State Party (Chad), a signatory State (Central African Republic) and the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) were stranded in Abuja for two days and did not make it in time to Yaoundé for the workshop.

The workshop presented an opportunity to promote CCM universalization to francophone African signatory States and States not Party. They are considered to be “low-hanging fruits” to join the Convention since most of these states have never produced, used, or possessed cluster munitions, or been contaminated by them. This workshop provided the platform for the States to further their understanding of the Convention and discuss challenges and solutions to joining and implementing it with the expectation that this would help Signatory and States not Parties undertake the necessary efforts towards ratification or accession in the lead up to the 11MSP scheduled to take place from 11 to 14 September 2023 in Geneva, Switzerland.

The workshop provided a brief overview as well as an in-depth look at the Convention’s key provisions. It also outlined the extensive range of technical support, tools and resources available to assist States not yet party to join the treaty and implement it thereafter.

Cameroon shared its experiences in overcoming obstacles to joining and implementing the Convention. The DRC, Djibouti and Equatorial Guinea provided updates on the status of any plans to join the Convention and shared the specific obstacles and challenges faced in doing so. Resources and expert advice on the Convention’s key operational obligations and on national ratification and domestication were provided to the participants throughout the two days. A military-to-military exchange session restricted to military personnel only was held on the afternoon of day 2 of the programme. Each State not yet party came up with next steps for their country to move toward ratification/accession of the CCM.

Additional information can be accessed by clicking on the links below:

ProgrammeFrench version
Background Document French version

Final Report