‘We yearn for a world free of cluster munition’ | Sunday Observer

‘We yearn for a world free of cluster munition’

Ambassador A. L. A. Azeez and the Sri Lanka delegation
Ambassador A. L. A. Azeez and the Sri Lanka delegation

“Practical achievement of the target of a world free of cluster munitions demands great dedication, concerted vision and collective initiatives and responses”, said Ambassador A.L.A Azeez, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to UNO in Geneva, at the closing session of the 8th Meeting of the State Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions in Geneva today, in acceptance of the Presidency of the 9th Meeting of the States Parties (9 MSP-2019).

During the three-day meeting that commenced on 03 September 2018, Sri Lanka was specially commended for joining this key Humanitarian Disarmament Convention aimed at banning production, storage, transfer and use of cluster munitions. Sri Lanka acceded to the Convention on 01 March 2018, as the 103rd State Party. Ambassador Azeez was elected the President of the 9th Meeting of State Parties, in an year that marks the 10th Anniversary of the adoption of the Convention. The year of Sri Lanka’s leadership is an important transitioning point, building momentum for the Second Review Conference to the Convention to be held in 2020. The presidency of Sri Lanka will run through till September 2019, involving an intensive process of advocacy, consultation, coordination and strategic direction, on a multi-stakeholder platform, consisting of civil society and defense establishments in the promotion of the objectives and norms of the Convention.

The Sri Lanka delegation included Major General Kumara Peiris, Chief Field Engineer, Mrs. Samantha Jayasuriya, Deputy Permanent Representative and Ms. Shashika Somaratne, Minister Counsellor. Sri Lankan Civil Society was represented by Mr. Vidya Abeygunawardena, Coordinator, and Ms. Yanitra Kumaraguru, Campaigner for Sri Lanka Campaign to Ban Landmines.

The Convention on Cluster Munition (CCM) is a humanitarian imperative-driven legal instrument with 104 States Parties as of date, that prohibits all use, production, transfer and stockpiling of cluster munitions. In addition, it establishes a framework for cooperation and assistance to ensure adequate assistance to survivors and their communities, clearance of contaminated areas, risk reduction education and destruction of stockpiles.