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Oslo Cluster Munitions Convention

Published on July 30, 2010
Entry into force of the Convention on Cluster Munitions – Statement by Bernard Kouchner, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs

Paris, July 30, 2010

I am delighted that the Oslo Convention on Cluster Munitions will enter into force on 1 August 2010.

This essential legal instrument, which prohibits the use, development, production, acquisition, stockpiling, retention and transfer of cluster munitions, is another milestone in international humanitarian law. Already, the signing of the Oslo Convention by around 100 States makes this instrument the reference standard in the battle against cluster munitions.

France has always been in the vanguard of this battle. She was actively involved in the Convention negotiations from the moment they were launched in February 2007, and contributed to their success by announcing, even before the adoption of the legal instrument, the immediate withdrawal of her cluster munitions from operational service in Dublin in May 2008.

I made a point of going to Oslo personally, with the Chairman of Handicap International, to sign the Convention on 3 December 2008. France ratified it on 25 September 2009, becoming the 20th State Party to the Convention, and thereby demonstrating her commitment to its swift entry into force.

With the definitive adoption of the Act implementing the Convention and its publication in the Journal official of 21 July 2010, France is also one of the first States to adopt national legislation on cluster munitions, even before the Convention’s entry into force. She has thus shown, once again, the importance she attaches to the elimination of these inhuman weapons.

I want to pay tribute to those who have helped pave the way towards the complete eradication of these weapons, with, foremost among them, civil society and especially Handicap International, as well as the members of parliament, with whom we have worked very closely.

France is determined to pursue her efforts in the battle against cluster munitions by continuing to promote the universalization of the Oslo Convention, as she has already done on many occasions, and by contributing to its fullest possible implementation./.

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