Costa Rican Foreign Minister Manuel González marked the sixth anniversary of the signing of the Convention on Cluster Munitions by setting a goal for 100 countries to approve a treaty banning cluster bombs in advance of a 2015 meeting in Croatia, in a statement from the ministry on Wednesday. As of December, 88 countries have become party to the treaty.
“Costa Rica, as the president of the convention, and with the support of Ecuador and Norway, has decided to call on signatory countries and those who are not yet part of the Convention to redouble their efforts during the First Review Conference, so that we can tell the world that 100 countries have decided together to say never again to cluster munitions,” González said.
The convention was signed in Oslo on Dec. 3, 2008, and went into force in August 2010. Joining the convention means that countries promise not to produce, store, sell or use cluster bombs and destroy any preexisting arsenals. Cluster munitions are explosives dropped from planes or launched from the ground that release smaller submunitions across a board area. The bombs have been singled out for their indiscriminate attacks that could injury or kill civilians below. The bombs are being used in the ongoing Syrian conflict and were used in the Vietnam War, among several other conflicts, according to the Cluster Munition Coalition.
Central America became the first region in the world free of the deadly munitions after Belize adopted the treaty in September. The United States is neither signatory nor party to the convention.