The second Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions began today (12 September) in Beirut. Minister of State Werner Hoyer issued the following statement in Berlin:
“Lebanon is one of the countries most heavily affected by cluster munitions. These inhumane weapons have afflicted thousands of Lebanese people. The significance of the Convention on Cluster Munitions is palpable in Beirut.
From the very beginning, Germany has campaigned actively for these horrific weapons to be banned. As we meet in Beirut, we also appeal to those states which have not yet joined the Convention. Our goal is a world without cluster munitions.”
The conference will focus on further implementation of this relatively new agreement. Along with making decisions regarding the future form of the Convention, the conference is to take initial stock of the implementation of the action plan, for example regarding destruction of stockpiles and clearance of munitions. The action plan was agreed last year in Laos at the first Meeting of States Parties.
The Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Weapons is taking place from 12 16 September 2011 in Beirut. Germany is providing 70,000 euro in support for the meeting. This funding contributes to conference organization and also helps lower-income countries send delegations and representatives of civil society to the conference.
The United Nations Oslo Convention banning cluster munitions entered into force on 1 August 2010. 109 countries have signed the Convention to date.
Germany will have destroyed all of its own cluster munitions stockpiles even before the agreed deadline. Germany is also offering other countries assistance with destroying their stockpiles.