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No Rest for Weary Arms Control Campaigners

September 8, 2015

Campaigners have recently dragged their suitcases from Cancun to Croatia to raise their voices against weapons of war and the suffering they inflict on humans and the environment around the world.

The First Conference of States Parties to the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) #CSP2015 no sooner ended in late August in Cancun, Mexico when the First Review Conference to the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) began yesterday in Dubrovnik, Croatia.  IPPNW leaders have been active in both efforts for many years.

Dr. Bob Mtonga from Zambia has brought a critical health expertise to both the ATT and CCM NGO coalitions.

Dr. Bob Mtonga from Zambia has brought a critical health expertise to both the ATT and CCM NGO coalitions.

IPPNW served on the steering committee of the Control Arms Coalition, and IPPNW Zambia and Russia continue on the governing council of the Cluster Munitions Coalition, both civil society alliances that have been instrumental in the passage and implementation of the ATT and the CCM, respectively.

The 6th annual Cluster Munitions Monitor was released a few days ago. The report provides a five-year overview (2010-2014) of the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

According to the press release, “More countries are embracing the ban on cluster munitions by joining the treaty and rapidly destroying their stocks—evidence that the treaty is working well five years on,” said Mary Wareham, Human Rights Watch, editor of the ban policy chapter of Cluster Munition Monitor 2015. “The new use of cluster munitions by a handful of armed forces outside the ban has been met with swift and strong condemnations, showing the stigma against their use is growing stronger.”cluster munitions monitor

The release went on to say that, “Cluster munitions have been used in Libya, Sudan, Syria, Ukraine, and Yemen in 2015—countries that are not part of the ban treaty. However, more than 140 countries have condemned new use of cluster munitions in Syria, while use in Libya, Sudan, Ukraine, and Yemen has also met with a strong response. None of the 93 States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions have used the weapons or engaged in any prohibited activities since its entry into force on 1 August 2010. (at 24 August when the Monitor went to print.)

For a recap of the ATT #CSP2015, see Rachel Stohl at the Stimson’s Center’s “Now the real work begins.”

To follow the action at the CMC RevCom, go to the CMC page  or follow @banclusterbombs.

In a solemn moment at the #1RevCCM, States listened in silence to survivor statements. “This is a reminder of why we are all here”, said Convention President, Croatia Vice Foreign Minister.

That’s right friends – that’s why we are here – and there – and wherever we need to be.

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