Pascal Rapillard, Head of External Relations and Policy, Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD)
The GICHD welcomes the recent anniversary of the signing of the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) which took place last month. Although it has been only five years since the signing, it has already made a significant contribution in addressing humanitarian disarmament.
For the GICHD, one vital aspect of the convention is its role as preventive instrument (“prohibition on any use at any time”): our joint efforts already show that as we progress with clearance, destruction or assistance, general rejection of this weapon is becoming more widespread every day. This stigmatisation is a good indication that more and more countries worldwide are taking the threat of cluster munitions seriously and are ready to take action.
There is an urgent need to protect civilians and help affected communities. In line with the fourth meeting of the States Parties in Lusaka in September 2013, we need to focus on “universalisation” and make it a priority to rid our planet of the threat of cluster munitions and all explosive remnants of war.
The GICHD is broadening its efforts to wider security and humanitarian and disarmament issues that impact the protection of civilians. Whether they are anti-personnel mines, cluster munitions, other explosive devices or ammunition stockpiles, these weapons affect communities indiscriminately and have a massive impact on development long after armed conflicts have ended.