CSOs Step Up Pressure to Sign Cluster Munitions Treaty

1210 Views Kampala, Uganda
Civil society representatives have increased the pressure on all countries around the world to announce their intent to sign the international treaty banning cluster bombs. This comes just two months until the treaty is opened for signature in Norway. This week 42 African states gathered in Kampala for a regional conference calling for the earliest possible signature and ratification of the international treaty banning cluster bombs. Uganda and 27 other countries made firm commitments to sign the convention on December 3rd. Speaking at the conference, Ethiopian bomb survivor, Aynalem Zenebe, said that victims are not alone in their fight to ban cluster munitions. She thanked those African countries that have publicly announced their support, expressing optimism that they will keep their promise to sign the Convention this December. Zenebe lost her right leg in June 1998 when a school near her home in Mekele, Ethiopia, was hit by a cluster bomb strike. The international treaty banning cluster bombs is the result of a diplomatic initiative known as the "Oslo Process," the Convention on Cluster Munitions. It was negotiated and adopted by more than 100 states in May 2008. It will be opened for signature in Oslo, Norway on December 3rd, coinciding with the International Day for Persons with Disabilities. Ayman Sorour, a member of Protection, an anti-war organization, said it was disappointing that North African states did not take up the invitation to participate in the conference in Kampala. Libya was the only North African state to participate in the Kampala Conference, but did not make a public statement indicating their support for the cluster munition ban. Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia were absent. Sorour said it was not too late for countries to join the Convention. The Kampala Conference was the second in a series of regional meetings held to build support for the Convention on Cluster Munitions. States from the Balkans and South Eastern Europe met in Sofia, Bulgaria in September. Further regional meetings are scheduled to be held in Laos and Ecuador.

 

Tagged with: cluster munitions