Minister marks first anniversary of Convention on Cluster Munitions
One year after a landmark international ban on Cluster Bombs was agreed at Croke Park, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Micheál Martin T.D., has called for a renewed effort to bring the Convention into force.
Speaking to mark the occasion of the first anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 30 May 2008, the Minister said a renewed effort is needed to get individual countries to pass individual laws banning the munitions. A total of 30 countries must agree to national laws to allow the Convention to take effect.
Ireland has shown the way by adopting its own legislation and ratifying the Convention as soon as it opened for signature last December in Oslo. Seven States had now ratified and several others were on the verge of doing so. The Minister said “This is good news for the victims of this dreadful, indiscriminate weapon. We need to put in place adequate support for victims and survivors, and affected families and communities. Vast numbers of dangerous munitions remain to be cleared. The Convention provides the structures to address these issues. Full implementation of its provisions will reduce the number of future victims, adult and child.”
Minister Martin looked forward to the Convention having a stigmatising effect on use of cluster munitions, even by those States who do not join immediately. “As we gather momentum towards entry into force, and more States commit to the ban on cluster munitions, even those who hang back will be obliged to consider their actions.” He said that “the court of public opinion is watching, and will view severely any breach of this new international humanitarian standard”.
Note for Editors
The Convention on Cluster Munitions was formally adopted by 107 States at a Diplomatic Conference in Croke Park, Dublin, on 30 May 2008. Seven of the 96 States which have signed the Convention have also ratified it. Ireland was one of four States (with Norway, the Holy See and Sierra Leone) which ratified the Convention when it opened for signature in Oslo on 3 December 2008. The Convention will enter into force six months after the thirtieth ratification. Lao PDR (the most cluster munition-affected country in the world) has offered to host the first Meeting of States Parties, which must be held within one year of entry into force.
29th May 2009