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No More Cluster Bombs: Convention now International Law, Philippines signed treaty

Written By David D'Angelo on Sunday, August 1, 2010 | 8/01/2010


“We will no longer experience the adverse humanitarian effects of cluster bombs because the Convention on Cluster Munitions is now an international law”, according to the Philippine Campaign against Cluster Munitions (PCCM). On August 1, dozens of campaigners from around the world will celebrate this historic ban. Philippine campaigners is launching a cluster munitions information campaign in selected areas in Quezon City and Manila. Campaigners as far as Nueva Vizcaya have also joined in the celebration campaign.

The convention prohibits the use, production and trade of cluster munitions, requires destruction of stockpiles, clearance of cluster bombed areas and assistance to affected communities and survivors. The convention was negotiated in Dublin in May 2008. The Philippines signed in Oslo in December 2008. To date, 107 governments have signed the convention, of which 37 have ratified.

“Although there is no direct threat of cluster munitions in the country now, Filipinos are vulnerable to cluster bomb explosions because OFWs are working in countries such as Lebanon and Israel. In the conflict between these countries in August 2006, cluster munitions were used and their remnants continue to inflict damage”, according to Philippine Campaign to Ban Landmines.

PCCM, a national coalition spearheading the campaign in banning cluster munitions, expects that the new government will ratify the convention to signify the country’s commitment to the treaty. The Philippines is not a user, producer, stockpile or supplier of cluster munitions and as no intention to do so.

After the Convention on Cluster Munitions enters into force on August 1, the next milestone will be the First Meeting of States Parties, which is scheduled to be held in Lao PDR in November 2010. Lao PDR is the country most heavily contaminated by cluster munitions as a result of bombings more than 30 years ago.

The 37 governments that have ratified the convention are: Albania, Austria, Belgium, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Croatia, Denmark, Ecuador, Fiji, France, Germany, Holy See, Ireland, Japan, Laos, Lesotho, Luxembourg, Macedonia FYR, Malawi, Mali, Malta, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Norway, Samoa, San Marino, Sierra Leone, Slovenia, Spain, Seychelles, United Kingdom, Uruguay, and Zambia.

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