STAGE 2 OF THE OSLO PROCESS: THE LIMA CONFERENCE ON CLUSTER MUNITIONS – SUPPORT FOR A NEW TREATY GROWS
On 23-25 May, representatives from 67 states, as well as international and non-governmental organizations, gathered in Lima, Peru for the second international conference on cluster munitions.
For three days delegates discussed the substantive elements of a new treaty, agreeing on the need to include obligations to provide assistance to victims, clear contaminated land, destroy stockpiles and provide international cooperation and assistance. Remarkably, victim assistance was the first topic on the agenda. Twenty-eight new countries joined the process in Lima, bringing the number of states supporting a cluster munition ban treaty to 75. The number subsequently rose again, reaching 80 after the Latin American Conference on Cluster Munitions hosted by Costa Rica at the beginning of September.
Among other highlights of the Lima Conference were:
- A strong voice and commitment to the new treaty from African states.
- Laos, the most affected county in the world, expressing support for the process and a new treaty.
- Hungary announcing an immediate moratorium.
- Peru launching a regional imitative for a Latin American cluster munitions free zone.
On the down side, however:
- A number of countries tried to slow down the process and weaken the future treaty by referring to the CCW as the appropriate forum to address the cluster problem.
- A few countries, including Australia, Finland, France, and Poland supported major exceptions to allow cluster munitions with self-destruct mechanisms.
- Some countries, including the UK and Japan, pushed for transition periods when prohibited weapons could still be used.
The Lima Conference was a stepping stone in the international process towards a ban on cluster munitions, and it concluded with clear and strong support for a new treaty, setting the tone for future meetings in the process.
- Kasia Derlicka, ICBL
Upcoming events in the Oslo Process:
2-4 October - International Forum and Conference of States Affected by Cluster Munitions, Belgrade, Serbia
30 October - Regional Conference on Cluster Munitions, Brussels, Belgium
5 November - Global Day of Action to Ban Cluster Bombs, worldwide
5-7 December - Vienna Conference on Cluster Munitions, Vienna, Austria
18-22 February - Wellington Conference on Cluster Munitions, Wellington, New Zealand
19-30 May - Dublin Conference on Cluster Munitions, Dublin, Ireland
States (80) participating in the Oslo Process as of 20 September 2007: Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Holy See, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Lao DPR, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malta, Mauritania, Mexico, Mozambique, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Nigeria, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Senegal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Venezuela, Yemen and Zambia.
* Japan, Poland and Romania took part in Oslo process meetings but have not yet supported the Oslo Declaration.
* Russia attended as an observer in Lima and is invited as an observer to Belgrade.