Palestine Accedes to Convention on Cluster Munitions
On 2 January Palestine became the 116th nation to join the Convention on Cluster Munitions, after depositing its instrument of accession with United Nations authorities in New York. This makes Palestine the first nation to join the Convention in 2015, and the fifth to do so since states met in Costa Rica in September 2014 to assess treaty progress and to call for universal adoption of the ban on cluster munitions.
In December 2014, the Costa Rica Chair of the Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, called on states to join the Convention in the run up to the First Review Conference taking place September 2015 in Dubrovnik, Croatia.
“Palestine’s accession is a great start to 2015 and a great follow up to the call from Costa Rica. This sets an example as states prepare for the Review Conference,” said Megan Burke, ICBL-CMC Director. “The Cluster Munition Coalition urges all states that have not joined the Convention on Cluster Munitions yet, to do so as soon as possible. Palestine has also shown interest in joining the Mine Ban Treaty and ICBL-CMC welcomes this at the earliest possible moment,” she added.
Palestine is the fourth state in the region – following Iraq, Lebanon,and Tunisia – to ban cluster munitions. To date 116 countries have joined the Convention of which Palestine is the 89th State Party; the remaining 27 states are signatories and have yet to ratify the Convention.
Since 2010, Palestine has participated in the work of the Convention on Cluster Munitions as an observer. It attended the Convention’s Meeting of States Parties in 2010, 2011, and the Fourth Meeting of States Parties in Lusaka, Zambia in September 2013. Palestine also participated in the Convention’s intersessional meetings in Geneva in 2013 and April 2014.
In November 2010, a government representative informed the Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor that Palestine does not possess any cluster munitions and that there had never been any use of cluster munitions in the Occupied Palestinian Territories by Israeli forces.
The Convention on Cluster Munitions will enter into force for Palestine on 1 July 2015.