2010-11-10 15:38:13

UN urges more States to join cluster munitions ban

(November 10,2010) United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro on Tuesday, praised the parties to a convention banning cluster munitions and urged more States to support the international agreement that outlaws their use. Addressing delegates at the first meeting of parties to the new Convention on Cluster Munitions, which is taking place in Vientiane, Laos.
Migiro said the treaty gave a great boost to international humanitarian law. “It is unambiguous in banning the use, production, transfer and stockpiling of cluster munitions,” she added. In addition to its prohibitions, the Convention requires States to give assistance to victims of the weapons and provides a framework for donor assistance and cooperation to affected countries. It entered into force on 1 August 2010 and 108 nations have signed the agreement with 46 of those countries having also ratified it.
Migiro reiterated UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s call for all States to become party to the Convention without delay. Migiro paid tribute to Laos, the country most affected by cluster munitions, for holding the meeting. “For more than half a century, these weapons have robbed lives and limbs from the people of Laos. You have counted more than 50,000 casualties from unexploded ordnance. By hosting this meeting, your Government is demonstrating its commitment to human security – here and throughout the world,” she said.
In the six decades since they were first used, cluster munitions have been deployed in 39 countries and areas around the world by at least 18 countries – by the end of 2009, 16,816 cluster munitions casualties were recorded. However, due to significant under-reporting, the actual number of casualties might be as high as 85,000 worldwide.

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