“This is a historic day for international humanitarian law and for cluster munitions victims. Cluster munitions have killed and maimed innocent civilians for more than 50 years. Today most of the world’s countries are choosing to ban any further use of these merciless weapons,” said Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.
“It looks as though around 100 states will sign the Convention in the course of the day, and more countries are expected to sign it at UN Headquarters in New York in the coming weeks,” said the Foreign Minister.
“Civil society actors, the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross have, through unique and close cooperation with states, established a strong Convention that strengthens international humanitarian law, without transitional arrangements or loopholes,” said Mr Støre.
This agreement prohibits a whole category of weapons. The signatories to the Convention commit to encouraging additional states to follow suit.
“The Convention requires us to assist victims, clear unexploded duds and destroy stockpiles. This will make a real difference to the people who are affected and threatened by cluster munitions,” said Mr Støre.
Norway will continue to support victims and munition clearance programmes in affected countries.
“This is a start. Now begins phase two, which will involve getting more countries to sign and step up their efforts to assist the victims,” said the Foreign Minister.