MEDIA RELEASE - 4 December 2008
Aotearoa New Zealand Cluster Munition Coalition (ANZCMC) *
NZ One Of The First Countries To Sign Global Treaty Banning Cluster Bombs
New Zealand was one of the first countries to sign the Convention on Cluster Munitions at a high-level signing
conference in Oslo, Norway on 3 December. By the close of the first day of the two-day conference a total of 92 nations
had signed the treaty, which bans cluster munitions outright and provides strong humanitarian provisions for their
“This Convention represents a significant step forward in efforts to protect civilians from harmful weapons,” said Mary
Wareham, coordinator of the Aotearoa New Zealand Cluster Munition Coalition. “The signatures we witnessed today are a
huge reward for the campaigners, survivors, deminers and diplomats who have fought so hard to create a strong treaty
banning cluster bombs.”
The Convention on Cluster Munitions was created through an 18 month period known as the “Oslo Process,” during which the
New Zealand government hosted a crucial meeting in Wellington in February 2008. The agreement prohibits the use,
production, transfer and stockpiling of cluster munitions. It commits signatories to clear affected areas within ten
years, declare and destroy stockpiled cluster munitions within eight years, and provide comprehensive assistance to
victims of the weapon.
“We are disappointed that New Zealand could not send a minister to sign on the government’s behalf, but it was fitting
that Ambassador Don MacKay undertook this honour given his central role in negotiating the Convention,” said Wareham.
“We’re very pleased at the Pacific signatures to this life-saving agreement and hope that New Zealand and these states
will swiftly ratify the treaty over the coming year,” she added.
New Zealand’s Geneva-based Ambassador Don MacKay signed the treaty on the government’s behalf in an opening event
featuring ministers from affected states Laos and Lebanon as well as treaty leaders Norway, Holy See, Ireland, Mexico,
Peru, and Zambia. Five Pacific states (Cook Islands, Fiji, Nauru, Palau, and Samoa) signed the Convention on 3 December
joining Afghanistan, Laos, Lebanon and other countries seriously affected by cluster munitions. Most NATO states,
including the UK, France and Germany, signed the agreement as well as other producers, stockpilers and past users of
More countries are expected to sign the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 4 December at Oslo's ornate City Hall, site
of the annual Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony. The agreement will enter into force six months after 30 signatories
ratify the agreement. Wareham is participating on behalf of the ANZCMC, a network of over 20 non-government
organisations and a member of the international campaign to ban cluster bombs.