ICRC vice president gives address at Convention on Cluster Munitions

Olivier Vodoz, the vice president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, gave an address on September 10 to the Fourth Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Vodoz began his address by expressing his pleasure in being part of the conference. He gave a nod to the city hosting the event, Lusaka, mentioning that it was fitting one of the first countries to ratify the Convention was hosting this conference.

"The number and range of countries attending this meeting are a testament to the success that the Convention is having in helping to end the use of cluster munitions and reducing the suffering that they cause," Vodoz said. "Present here today are States that have used cluster munitions in past conflicts, those with stockpiles of these weapons, States with significant numbers of cluster munition victims on their territory and States with extensive cluster munition contamination."

Vodoz said that more States ratify the convention every year. He asked States that haven't ratified the Convention yet to do so as soon as possible.

"Promoting adherence to the Convention and discouraging the use of cluster munitions help bring us closer to a world free of these weapons," Vodoz said. "Yet, equally important, in the view of the ICRC, is to ensure that the Convention is fully implemented at the national level. It is self evident that the elimination of cluster munitions and the alleviation of their consequences depend on action being taken domestically by each and every State Party, regardless of whether or not they are affected by or have stockpiles of cluster munitions."