The use of cluster munitions has caused unacceptable harm to civilians for decades in many parts of the world. In February 2007, Norway launched an initiative to urgently address this humanitarian harm. The so-called Oslo-process lead to the adoption of the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) in Dublin by 107 states on 30 May 2008, and to its signature in Oslo on 3 December 2008. As of 30 September 2009, 100 states have signed the Convention, and 17 have ratified it.
The CCM prohibits all use, stockpiling, production and transfer of cluster munitions. Separate articles in the Convention concern assistance to victims, clearance of contaminated areas and destruction of stockpiles. The Convention will enter into force six months after the 30th state has submitted its instrument of ratification, and is open for ratification and signature at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
As the Asia-Pacific region includes both cluster munitions producers/stockpilers and countries affected by cluster munitions, the promotion and the universalization of the CCM is of particular relevance for the region. In this regard, the Government of the Republic of Indonesia has invited countries from the Asia/Pacific region to participate in a Regional Conference on the Promotion and Universalization of the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM). The Conference was held from 16-17 November 2009 in Bali, Indonesia, and has been supported by Australia, Austria, Germany, Norway, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD).
Objectives of the Bali Conference
Indonesia strongly believes in the importance of the CCM to address the humanitarian problems caused by cluster munitions, and wishes to promote its universalization and early entry into force. The Bali Conference has aimed at informing non-signatory states in the region about the contents and the obligations of the CCM, and to encourage them to sign the Convention. At the same time, steps towards effective national implementation have been discussed to “hit the ground running” once the Convention enters into force. Cooperation and assistance are important aspects of this.
Agenda of the Conference
In order to best address the aspects related to the CCM, the Government of Indonesia has prepared an agenda which includes the following topics: