Today (26 June), the two-day Berlin Conference on the Destruction of Stockpiled Cluster Munitions came to an end with a call to implement forthwith the obligations arising from the Oslo Convention.
The Conference met with a very good response – a total of 275 representatives from 89 signatory States, 7 international organizations and a large number of NGOs accepted Federal Foreign Minister Steinmeier's invitation.
Commenting on this, Minister Steinmeier issued the following statement today (26 June) in Trieste:
"By holding the Berlin Conference we sent a clear message – the Oslo Convention must be implemented as quickly as possible and enter into force at the earliest possible opportunity. I'm confident that we can achieve this. My impression is that the momentum of the cluster munitions ban process remains unbroken, as demonstrated by the high number of participants. Germany will continue to work to ensure that the necessary 30 ratifications are completed as soon as possible."
As the Conference commenced, the German instrument of ratification of the Convention on Cluster Munitions had been transmitted to the Federal President for signature. As soon as the instrument has been signed, the Federal Foreign Office will deposit it with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the depositary, in New York. Germany will then be one of the first fifteen countries to have ratified the Convention.
On 29 May 2008 Federal Ministers Steinmeier and Jung declared that Germany would henceforth renounce the use of cluster munitions, and that the Convention on Cluster Munitions, which Federal Minister Steinmeier signed on 3 December that year in Oslo, would be ratified as soon as possible and its provisions implemented immediately.
At the Berlin Conference Germany presented a detailed plan aimed at implementing the obligation to destroy all its cluster munitions stockpiles. The Bundeswehr aims to destroy 440,000 cluster munitions cases, containing over 50 million explosive submunitions, by 2015 if possible, i.e. well before the 8-year deadline set by the Convention.