“The Oslo Conference has been very successful, and has surpassed our expectations. We are now ready to move ahead towards an international ban on cluster munitions,” says Norway’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jonas Gahr Støre.
Representatives from almost 50 states, UN organisations, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Cluster Munitions Coalition and other humanitarian organisations have met in Oslo over two days to discuss how the problem of cluster munitions that cause unacceptable humanitarian consequences can be addressed effectively.
Forty-six of the participating states have committed themselves to concluding, by the end of 2008, a new international legal instrument prohibiting the use of cluster munitions with unacceptable humanitarian consequences. The process towards achieving this goal will include further meetings in Lima, Vienna and Dublin over the course of the next year.
“We have given ourselves a strict deadline for concluding our efforts. This is ambitious, but we have to respond to the urgency of this humanitarian problem,” concludes Mr. Støre.
During the meeting in Oslo, several countries have announced concrete national measures to address the problem of cluster munitions, and both Austria and Bosnia-Herzegovina have announced national moratoriums on their use. The next meeting will take place in Lima, Peru in May 2007.