Global campaign urges Jordan to join cluster bomb ban treaty
Civil society organisations worldwide are urging the Kingdom of Jordan to join the international treaty banning cluster bombs before it takes effect on 1 August 2010. As a leader on the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, Jordan has expressed concern about the humanitarian consequences of cluster bombs and participated in the initial stages of the "Oslo Process" to negotiate the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions, but it has not yet signed the treaty.
"Joining this key humanitarian and disarmament treaty should be a clear priority for Jordan, given its widely recognised commitment to human security," said Ayman Sorour, executive director of Protection, a Cairo-based organisation on the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) steering committee that works to promote the Convention in the Middle East. "Unexploded cluster bombs from past conflicts continue to maim and kill civilians in the Middle East, and Jordan should be counted among those leading the charge to ban these weapons, clear the land and assist survivors."
Jordan is not believed to have used or produced cluster munitions, but it has a sizeable stockpile of US-produced cluster munitions that it imported in 1995 and earlier.
The Middle East and North Africa are heavily affected by cluster bomb use, but only three countries in the region have signed the Convention – Tunisia and affected countries Iraq and Lebanon. The CMC urges Jordan and all countries in the region to show solidarity with their neighbours affected by cluster bombs and join the Convention to prevent future civilian suffering.
On 25-26 May, CMC co-chair Handicap International will host a victim assistance workshop in Amman. Governments from around the Middle East, donors, cluster munition survivors and civil society will exchange information on best practices for including provisions on victim assistance –principles that are enshrined in the Mine Ban Treaty, the Convention on Cluster Munitions and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – into international cooperation programmes.
The CMC urges all countries to join the Convention without delay to prevent further suffering from cluster bombs.