PAX wants further progress on international ban on cluster munitions

Image: Beeld uit de video Ukraine: More Civilians Killed in Cluster Munition Attacks van Human Rights Watch.

September 5, 2016

Together with campaigners from around the world, united in the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC), PAX is in Geneva this week. The goal is to urge the international community to increase its efforts on the implement of the Convention Cluster Munitions (CCM). The CMC further calls for the strong condemnation of recent use of cluster munitions, notably in Syria and Yemen.

The countries that have joined the convention are convening for the sixth Meeting of States Parties to discuss the progress of the convention. They report on the implementation of their obligations under the treaty and the Dubrovnik Action Plan. The Netherlands presides over the meeting.

Syria: increase in cluster munitions attacks
The Cluster Munition Monitor 2016, that was launched last week, shows that cluster munition attacks in Syria have increased since Russia began its joint military operation with Syrian government forces at the end of September 2015. Between April 2015 and March 2016, a Saudi Arabia-led coalition of states used cluster munitions in at least 19 attacks in Yemen. None of these countries have signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions. “The 119 countries that did join the convention should strongly condemn all use of cluster munitions by any actor “, says Suzanne Oosterwijk, project leader Cluster munitions at PAX

Good news
That this many countries, of which 100 are also state party, have joined the international ban on cluster munitions is good news. The monitor report shows that 29 States Parties have completed the destruction of nearly 1.4 million stockpiled cluster munitions and 172 million submunitions. This represents 93% of all cluster munitions and 97% of all submunitions declared as stockpiled under the treaty.

Textron stops production of cluster munitions
There was more good news in the lead up to the meeting. Last week, US company Textron announced it will  cease the production of cluster munitions. PAX has been leading the Stop Explosive Investments campaign for years, urging investors, banks and other financial institutions to remove their financial support from Textron for its involvement with cluster munitions.

Legislation banning investments in cluster munitions producers
On Tuesday 6 September, PAX and the Cluster Munition Coalition will hold a side event about the Stop Explosive Investments campaign. The Netherlands is amongst the ten countries that has legislated against investments in cluster munitions and will speak at the event. PAX and the CMC will encourage other countries to install disinvestment measures of their own.

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