‘WE MUST CONSIGN CLUSTER MUNITIONS TO THE PAGES OF HISTORY,’ ENSURE RAPID OPERATION OF CLUSTER MUNITIONS CONVENTION, SAYS DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL

18 March 2009
DSG/SM/450-DC/3159

‘WE MUST CONSIGN CLUSTER MUNITIONS TO THE PAGES OF HISTORY,’ ENSURE RAPID OPERATION OF CLUSTER MUNITIONS CONVENTION, SAYS DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL

18 March 2009
Deputy Secretary-General
DSG/SM/450 DC/3159
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

‘WE MUST CONSIGN CLUSTER MUNITIONS TO THE PAGES OF HISTORY,’ ENSURE RAPID

OPERATION OF CLUSTER MUNITIONS CONVENTION, SAYS DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL

Following is Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro’s message to a special event on the Convention on Cluster Munitions, in New York, 18 March:

The Convention on Cluster Munitions was first opened for signature in Oslo on 3 December 2008.  It has now been signed by 95 countries.  Four have ratified it.  This event is part of our effort to encourage further signatures and ratifications, so the Convention can enter into force as soon as possible.

Cluster munitions have caused unacceptable harm to civilians in more than 20 countries and territories since they were first introduced in World War II.  The Convention will help to address the humanitarian, socio-economic and environmental damage these weapons cause.  It will also prevent future suffering by providing a comprehensive framework to eliminate the vast stockpiles of these dangerous weapons.

The Convention on Cluster Munitions is the first instrument of international humanitarian law to address, in a clear and straightforward manner, the needs and rights of victims of a specific weapon.  It outlines a broad definition of victims.  It assigns responsibility for their care to States parties in areas under their jurisdiction and control.  And it requires all States parties in a position to do so to provide technical, financial and other forms of assistance so affected States parties can meet their obligations.

The Convention also highlights the important role of partnerships between the United Nations system, other international and regional organizations, civil society, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

This year, the United Nations Mine Action Team will support projects to remove and destroy cluster munitions and other explosive remnants of war.  It will educate people how to remain safe as they go about their daily lives.  And it will assist victims in Cambodia, Chad, Ethiopia, Laos, Lebanon, Tajikistan, Western Sahara and Zambia.

We need to remove the need for such action.  We need to consign cluster munitions to the pages of history.  We need to ensure the rapid entry into force of this Convention.

We also need to mobilize more resources.  We must step up our efforts so women, men and children can walk free of fear of the terrible injuries these munitions inflict.  Today’s event reminds us all of our shared commitment.

In closing, I would like to emphasize the key role that the Cluster Munitions Coalition has played, from the first discussions on a possible instrument to the active promotion of early ratification and entry into force.

On behalf of the United Nations, the Secretary-General and I call on all States that have not yet done so to sign and ratify the Convention.  I congratulate those countries that are taking the opportunity today.

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.