Disinvestment campaign gains momentum at milestone Laos meeting on cluster bomb treaty

Governments showed a strong level of support for banning investments in cluster munition producers during the First Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster munitions, held on 9-12 November 2010 in Vientiane, Lao PDR. A number of high-level delegations, including ministers from Luxembourg, New Zealand and Norway made encouraging statements at the conference, which was attended by 121 governments as well as hundreds of representatives of civil society, the United Nations and international organisations.

“Luxembourg is one of the few countries to have gone further in their national legislation than the text of the Convention in also prohibiting the financing of cluster munitions,” said Jean Asselborn, Luxembourg’s Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, in a particularly strong statement. “I call upon all states who have signed the Convention to join us in that endeavour.

The Holy See, Ireland, Madagascar and the United Kingdom also mentioned the financing of cluster munitions production in their statements. CMC campaigners, who launched the “Stop Explosive Investments” campaign a year before the First Meeting of States Parties welcomed this high number of statements on the disinvestment issue.

“It’s encouraging that so many governments want to act to stop the flow of funds to cluster bomb producers,” said Kimberly Brown, CMC campaign officer. “We hope more will follow in their footsteps and pass stringent national legislation to ban investments in cluster bomb producers and put an end to these weapons that have been outlawed in countries around the world.”

Information on legislation, ministerial statements, parliamentary initiatives and statements are available on the Stop Explosive Investments webpage here.