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Afghanistan ratifies the Convention on Cluster Munitions

12-09-2011 News Release

Kabul (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) welcomes Afghanistan's ratification of the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

The instrument of ratification was deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations in New York on 8 September.

The Convention on Cluster Munitions, which was originally opened for signature on 3 December 2008 in Oslo, prohibits the use, development, production, acquisition, stockpiling, retention or transfer of cluster munitions. In addition, States possessing or affected by cluster munitions are required to take action to destroy stockpiles, to clear cluster munition remnants and to provide assistance for victims. The Second Meeting of States Parties to the Convention is currently taking place in Beirut.

The president of the ICRC, Jakob Kellenberger, speaking at the signing conference in Oslo in 2008 said: "The signing of this Convention by so many States is evidence that the suffering of victims and affected countries has not gone unnoticed."

"The Convention will establish that these are prohibited weapons and become a bulwark against their further proliferation," he said. Although the signing of the Convention was an important success in itself, the ICRC president emphasized that the true measure of achievement would be how the lives of victims of cluster munitions and their communities change in the months and years to come.

The ICRC stands ready to offer Afghanistan its expertise to help ensure that the provisions of the Convention are fully implemented.

Afghanistan's ratification brings to 62 the number of States that are party to the Convention, with the biggest number being in Africa, followed by Europe and the Americas. Two countries in Asia – Japan and Laos – and three in the Pacific region – Fiji, the Cook Islands and New Zealand – are also States Parties.

For further information, please contact:
Jessica Barry, ICRC Kabul, tel: +93 (0) 700 282 719
Valery Mbaoh Nana, ICRC Kabul, tel: +93 (0) 702 531 712