A History of How the Treaty to Ban Cluster Munitions Was Won
On the occasion of the imminent entry into force of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Norwegian Peoples’ Aid and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs invite you to a special event launching the new book Unacceptable Harm: A History of How the Treaty to Ban Cluster Munitions Was Won, published by the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR).
The book, written by Mr John Borrie, Senior Researcher at UNIDIR, tells the story of international efforts to address the humanitarian impacts of cluster munitions, which eventually culminated in the Oslo process and negotiations on the Convention on Cluster Munitions. The book further explores why it took the world so long to act and how the Oslo process might affect future multilateral disarmament and humanitarian work.
A light lunch will be served, after which Mr Borrie will give a presentation of his book. There will then be a panel discussion on how the Oslo process may affect future multilateral humanitarian disarmament work, moderated by Theresa Hitchens, Director of UNIDIR.
In order to reflect the partnership model of the Oslo process, the panellists will include:
Ms Gry Larsen, State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
Mr Espen Barth Eide, State Secretary, Ministry of Defence;
Mr Saleumxay Kommasith, Director General of the International Organizations Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Laos;
Mr Pierre Krähenbühl, Director of Operations, International Committee of the Red Cross;
Ms Sara Sekkenes, Senior Programme Advisor and Team Leader at UNDP’s Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery; and
Mr Thomas Nash, Coordinator, Cluster Munitions Coalition.
The Convention on Cluster Munitions was opened for signature in Oslo 3.-4. December 2008. The Signing Conference thus marked the end of diplomatic negotiations, but perhaps even more significantly the beginning of implementation, aimed at achieving a world free of cluster munitions. The Convention will enter into force sixth months after the 30th instrument of ratification is deposited with the United Nations Secretary-General. To date 24 states have ratified the Convention, and with several states in the final stages of their ratification processes, we will soon reach this milestone. The strong support for the Convention makes us confident that it will enter into force in 2010.
The Oslo process came about as a response to the humanitarian problem caused by the use of cluster munitions. Therefore, the real measure of the success of our work will be, and should be, the actual difference the Convention on Cluster Munitions makes on the ground in affected communities. The entry into force of the Convention will ensure that States will be under a legal obligation to take effective action to clear affected areas, assist victims and destroy the enormous stockpiles. By making the Convention work, a new humanitarian crisis will be prevented; thousands of lives and limbs will be spared, and scarce resources can be spent on development and other pressing needs.