On the heels of the fifth anniversary of the signing of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Cluster Munition Coalition member Hector Guerra (CMC-Mexico), spoke with Ambassador Christian Guillermet-Fernandez, Deputy Permanent Representative from Costa Rica to the UN in Geneva, on the status of the Convention and what remains to be done.
Latin America and the Caribbean could well be the first cluster munitions free zone in the world with 22 countries already on board the Convention on Cluster Munitions.
Costa Rica will host the Fifth Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions in September 2014.
Why is it so important to continue working on cluster munitions?
First of all, thank you for giving me the opportunity to share the views on this important issue of the Convention. I think that, actually, it is very pertinent to ask this question, because following the first important step that was the Oslo Process, which represented a change in paradigm from the perspective on national security to the humanitarian one, we live in a world where cluster munitions still exist and cause victims. Thus it is essential for Costa Rica to push for the promotion of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, its universalization and effective implementation.
What has been the main success of the Convention so far?
The main success is that we have fewer victims, and a very limited use of this kind of cluster munitions. Lives and livelihoods are being saved and protected. Through the Convention on Cluster Munitions a change in mentality has been successfully constructed in the sense that we can have secure borders and without cluster munitions. Many years ago, many countries opposed the idea of prohibiting and eliminating cluster munitions, whereas now, they are really engaged, and are also giving cooperation for those countries who engage with, be part of the convention, and I am thinking about those countries who are now giving cooperation for the destruction of cluster munitions, who are really important.
What is your message to states about this treaty?
For sure, we call on them to stay committed, bearing in mind that this is an on-going process that will require years and years of continuous work and commitment. Even if even if we can have less production of cluster munitions, more destruction of these weapons, we need to remember the victims and how they are coping with the impact of this kind of weapon. This is really important.