The Convention is the result of the Oslo-process, a diplomatic process that included States, civil society, the International Committee of the Red Cross as well as the United Nations. Following up on the progress made at the Lima Conference (May 2007), the Viena Conference (December 2007), and the Wellington Conference (February 2008), in May 2008 107 participating states agreed to adopt the text of the new convention at the Dublin Conference on cluster munitions. In doing so, they keept their commitment made in the Oslo Declaration of February 2007, to:
“Conclude by 2008 a legally binding international instrument that prohibits the use and stockpiling of cluster munitions that cause unacceptable harm to civilians and secure adequate provision of care and rehabilitation to survivors and clearance of contaminated areas”.
The new Convention prohibits all use, stockpiling, production and transfer of cluster munitions, as defined in the Convention. The Convention also addresses assistance to victims, clearance of contaminated areas and destruction of stockpiles. Furthermore, it includes transparency measures as well as guidance to address possible compliance issues.
The United Nations plays a key role in the efforts to prevent the use of cluster munitions causing unacceptable humanitarian harm. In his message to the Oslo signing event, the UN Secretary-General emphasized that this Convention “marks a major step forward in global efforts to protect civilians and control the noxious spread of deadly, inhumane weapons”.
The full text of the message by the Secretary-General was read in Oslo by Mr. Sergio Duarte, UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs.