DRC attends the 11th Meeting of State Parties of the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 11th to 14th of September.
It is 13 years since the entry into force of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, and 124 states are now signatory to it. But cluster munitions continue to be widely used.
The Cluster Munition Monitor 2023, published last week, documents over 1,100 casualties due to cluster munitions in the last year, 95% of whom are civilians. Cluster munitions affect wide areas and can remain unexploded for decades. They cause injury and loss of life, they threaten and hinder recovery from conflict, and they affect livelihoods for the long term. In countries like Iraq, Ukraine, and South Sudan, DRC and its national partners are witnesses of the threat that cluster munition remnants represent for the population during conflict, as well as in the longer term.
In this context, the Meeting of State Parties of the Convention on Cluster Munitions will take place from the 11th to 14th of September in Geneva to review progress with the implementation of the Convention. DRC has first-hand experience of the effect of cluster munitions from its clearance work worldwide and will attend to bring this experience to the discussions in Geneva.
This Meeting of State Parties will take place in challenging circumstances. According to the Cluster Munition Monitor, these weapons have already caused 916 victims in Ukraine since the Russian Federation military offensive launched in February 2022.