Afghanistan is covered with metal scraps and live munitions from years of fighting. . 
Photo: UN Photo/Luke Powell.Afghanistan is covered with metal scraps and live munitions from years of fighting. . Photo: UN Photo/Luke Powell

The threat of conventional weapons

10/19/2009 // The Norwegian government is strongly committed to humanitarian disarmament. Its engagement in the fields of landmines, cluster munitions, small arms and other related areas is motivated from the unacceptable harm to civilians caused by the use of these weapons.

Every day, armed violence kills more than 2000 people. The large majority are civilians. This is no less than a global crisis, affecting the lives and security of millions of people, and threatening international peace and security. It affects all societies and countries in the world.

The use of cluster munitions has been the cause of human suffering for more than 50 years. The Convention on Cluster Munitions, which opened for signatures in Oslo last year, is a categorical ban. It prohibits the use, production and transfer of cluster munitions. Laos PDR will host the first meeting of the States parties to the Convention next year.

“This will be a historic event and a milestone in the work of the Convention. It is now establishing itself as a new international norm. The Convention on Cluster Munitions not only addresses a humanitarian problem, but it has also great value in preventing a future humanitarian disaster that could easily reach the magnitude of the landmine problem., “ senior advisor on disarmament and non-proliferation, Erling Skjønsberg, said in a statement at the UN in New York on October 19, 2009.

Today a hundred states have signed the new Convention and 23 countries have ratified it. The Convention should enter into force in 2010.


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