Published on November 1st, 2019

Ecuador and Madagascar reject cluster munitions financing at UN

During the 74th meeting of the First Committee of the General Assembly of the United Nations, Ecuador and Madagascar have reiterated their rejection of investments in cluster munition producers.

The United Nations General Assembly is where all UN member states discuss issues of international peace and security . After two weeks of General Debate that take place in September each year, it  breaks up into 6 specialized committees. The First Committee focusses on disarmament and international security. During the discussion about conventional weapons, which covers all weapons except for weapons of mass destruction, Ecuador and Madagascar raised concerns over investments in companies involved in the production of cluster munitions.

States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) have prohibited cluster munitions because of the humanitarian harm they cause. However, cluster munitions continue to be
produced in some states that have not yet joined the Convention. Financing cluster munition producers contributes to the continued production of these weapons. Assisting anyone to make, have, get, or use cluster munitions in any way is prohibited by article 1(1)c of the CCM. Financing and investing in companies involved in these actions is increasingly understood to be prohibited under this prohibition.

In order to build on this growing international norm, it is important that states repeatedly express their understanding that the financing cluster munitions producers is prohibited. The statements by Ecuador and  Madagascar are therefore an important contribution to the norm against the financing of cluster munition production.

Ecuador said: “We reiterate our firm commitment to the Convention on Cluster Munitions and promote its universalization. Today we call for a definitive stop to financing and investing in companies that produce cluster munitions, as it is a weapon of particular cruelty that especially affects the most vulnerable groups.”

Madagascar said: “Madagascar also takes this opportunity to once again urge States Parties to restrict and eliminate funding for prohibited weapons and thereby allow the Treaties that regulate this prohibition to be complete in their intrinsic value, to achieve, indeed, the vision to which these instruments have been devoted.”

For an overview of all countries that have taken steps against investments in cluster munition producers, see our factsheet.

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