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Cluster munitions: banned at last!

29-07-2010 News Release

Geneva (ICRC) – The entry into force of the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 1 August 2010 is a major step towards putting an end to the terrible suffering those weapons have caused for decades, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said today.

The convention prohibits the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of cluster munitions. From 1 August onwards, the provisions of the treaty will be legally binding on the 30 States* that have ratified it.

"This new instrument of international humanitarian law clearly prohibits and stigmatizes the use of cluster munitions," said Jakob Kellenberger, the president of the ICRC. "This is a milestone in the fight against the use of cluster munitions and should put an end to decades of suffering for men, women and children. We take this opportunity to call on all States party to the convention to start implementing it without delay, and we hope that the entry into force will also affect the practice of States that have not yet adhered to the treaty."

Implementing the convention will require the mobilization of resources to clear contaminated areas, destroy stockpiles, and provide assistance for those whose lives have been adversely affected by cluster munitions. It will also require the adoption of domestic laws and regulations to ensure that the convention is enforced at national level.

"The entry into force only 21 months after the treaty was opened for signature in Oslo clearly demonstrates the strong commitment of the States Parties, and their collective will to begin addressing the humanitarian problems caused by these weapons," added Mr Kellenberger.

From 8 to 12 November 2010, the States Parties will gather in Vientiane, Laos, to establish an action plan for implementing the convention and to decide on procedures for regular monitoring of the progress achieved.

The ICRC played an important role in the process that led to the adoption of the convention. Through the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, it is promoting its comprehensive implementation and universal adoption.

 

For further information, please contact:
  Christian Cardon, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 24 26 or +41 79 251 93 02
  (available to arrange interviews with Peter Herby, head of the ICRC’s arms unit)

  * Albania, Austria, Belgium, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Holy See, Ireland, Japan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Luxembourg, Macedonia (former Yugoslav Republic), Malawi, Malta, Mexico, Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Norway, San Marino, Sierra Leone, Slovenia, Spain, Uruguay and Zambia.