Minister welcomes major progress towards ban on cluster munitions
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Dermot Ahern T.D., today warmly welcomed the Declaration of the Wellington Conference on Cluster Munitions. Speaking this morning, the Minister stated:
“I congratulate the New Zealand Government on the very considerable
progress made at Wellington. While there are still difficult
issues to resolve, we are on track for a successful outcome to the
Dublin Diplomatic Conference on Cluster Munitions in May, which is
intended to finalise the first international instrument of cluster
munitions. Ireland is playing a key role in the
process, in line with the commitment in the Programme for
Government to campaign for a complete ban on the use of cluster
Note to Editors
The Dublin Diplomatic Conference (19-30 May) is intended to complete negotiations on a new instrument of international humanitarian law on cluster munitions that cause unacceptable harm to civilians
States endorsing the Oslo Declaration of February 2007 committed themselves to conclude by 2008 a legally binding instrument to prohibit such cluster munitions and to establish a framework for cooperation and assistance to survivors, provide for clearance of contaminated areas and for destruction of stockpiles of prohibited cluster munitions. The process is being driven by a small group of States – Ireland, Austria, New Zealand, Norway, Mexico, Peru and the Holy See.
The past year has seen intensive work to that end with the active support of Governments, the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Cluster Munition Coalition and other NGOs. The Wellington Declaration endorsed the urgency and importance of the objective and demonstrated strong political momentum to achieve an early and ambitious result in Dublin. Over 80 States have already subscribed to the Declaration and many more are expected to do so in the three months leading up to the Diplomatic Conference.