In his opening speech Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon underlined the importance of this session, the last in a three-year cycle. He urged member states to strengthen efforts to reach agreement.
Towards a Convention on Cluster Munitions
Earlier this year, 40 African states gathered in Zambia for the Livingstone Conference of Cluster Munitions, which is part of the Cluster Munitions process (aka the Oslo process). This conference also served as preparation for negotiations on an international convention on cluster munitions that will take place in Dublin in May 2008, the final conference in the cluster process.
In keeping with the 2007 Oslo Declaration on Cluster Munitions, 46 states have committed to “Conclude by 2008 a legally binding international instrument that prohibits the use and stockpiling of cluster munitions that cause unacceptable harm to civilians and secure adequate provision of care and rehabilitation to survivors and clearance of contaminated areas”.
A World Free of Nuclear Weapons
In February the Conference on Nuclear Disarmament in Oslo gathered experts on disarmament and heads of state to discuss how we can reach the goal of a world without nuclear weapons. Among the participants were former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz and former senator and CEO/Co-chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative Sam Nunn. Dr Mohamed ElBaradei, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) also took part in the conference.
In his concluding remarks, Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre included recommendations from the participants at the conference for further nuclear disarmament efforts: They underlined the need for committed leadership at the highest level, concrete steps has to be taken now, by all states, non-nuclear weapon and nuclear weapon states alike, and it has to be done with transparency and with effective multilateralism.