The year of Germany’s Presidency of the Convention on Cluster Munitions came to a successful conclusion on 6 September. The Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) prohibits the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of cluster munitions and currently has 101 States Parties.
The goal of the German Presidency was to advance the scope and implementation of the Convention in order to increase its humanitarian impact. In the case of non‑States Parties, this involved launching a process of exchange to identify steps that could lead to accession. States Parties required assistance in implementing their obligations with regard to the destruction of stockpiles, clearance and victim support.
The Presidency was dominated by a renewed increase in the number of victims as a result of the use of cluster munitions. This situation once again shows the necessity of driving forward the global prohibition of cluster munitions. Through its Presidency, Germany contributed to this goal. In Yemen, for example, joint intervention has succeeded in halting the deployment of these weapons. No further use of cluster munitions was recorded in 2017.
Initiatives during the Presidency
During the German Presidency, progress was made on two concrete initiatives.
To enter into exchange with non‑States Parties, structured consultations were established. The most important issues in this context were views on the role of the Convention and the willingness to engage in regular exchange as well as the possibility to take interim steps such as halting the production, export and use of cluster munitions. One outcome of the talks was the desire for a specific exchange of views between representatives of the armed forces.
The second initiative helped draft a concept for improving implementation of the obligations set down in the Convention. The Country Coalition Concept is a practical approach designed to ensure the successful coordination and country‑specific adaptation of the necessary measures with the help of a tandem consisting of the State Party concerned and a donor. Two regional seminars, one for South‑East Asia and one for South‑East Europe, were held to put the idea to an initial practical test and to promote the concept.
Germany’s further commitment
Even after handing over the Presidency to Nicaragua, Germany will continue to work to promote the Convention and support the Presidency as a member of the Coordination Committee. A particular priority will be to continue discussions with non‑States Parties.