An Roinn Gnóthaí Eachtracha Preas Ráiteas
Department of Foreign Affairs Press Release
Preas Oifig, Teach Uibh Eachach, Faiche Stiabhna, Baile Átha Cliath 2
Press Office, Iveagh House, St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2.
Tel: 353 -1- 478 0822 Fax: 353 -1- 478 5942 / 475 7476
Minister for Foreign Affairs welcomes passage by the Oireachtas of the Cluster Munitions and Anti-Personnel Mines Bill
Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin has welcomed the passage of the Cluster Munitions and Anti-Personnel Mines Bill by both Houses of the Oireachtas. This enables Ireland to both sign and ratify the Convention on Cluster Munitions when it opens for signature in Oslo next week. The Convention was adopted by over 100 States at the Dublin Diplomatic Conference on Cluster Munitions which took place in Croke Park last May.
The Minister said:
“For many years, Ireland has campaigned for action on cluster munitions. There has been strong cross-party support in the Oireachtas. As we did with the Ottawa Mine Ban Treaty eleven years ago, Ireland will be in a position to ratify the Convention on Cluster Munitions on the day it opens for signature. This has been made possible by the consensus among all political parties on early adoption of the necessary legislation. This spirit of cooperation reflects the will of the Irish people and is in the best tradition of Irish foreign policy over the decades, regardless of the composition of any particular Government. Our legislation can now serve as a valid model for others.
The Oslo ceremony will mark the culmination of a great deal of work, which began almost two years ago, to set in place an instrument that would establish a comprehensive ban on cluster munitions. The Convention sets a new standard for assistance to the victims of these weapons, and for clearing areas affected by them. While some important states do not yet support the Convention, I am convinced that the use of cluster munitions will be increasingly stigmatised.
In the period ahead, our priority will be to encourage the early ratification of the Convention by thirty States, which is required for its entry into force. We must also devote attention to how best to implement those aspects of the Convention relating to victim assistance and clearance and continue to work towards universal adherence.”
28 November 2008