Defend International continues its lobbying efforts and congratulates Iraq on the Cabinet’s recent decision to join the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions.
Iraq’s Cabinet recently made a decision to sign the Convention on Cluster Munitions.
In the Iraq war of 1991, 24 to 30 million sub munitions were used in Iraq and Kuwait. In 2003, another two million sub munitions were dropped in Iraq.  As a country affected by cluster bombs, Iraq’s signature would send a strong signal to the world that cluster bombs are unacceptable weapons, enabling Iraq to receive assistance for clearance of cluster bomb remnants and to help Iraqi victims.
“The ban will put a stop to future use of these weapons, but true success will be the difference it makes to people in affected countries like Iraq. No one should go through what I went through and the Iraqi authorities now have a real opportunity to make that a reality by signing the treaty.” said Ms. Ayat Syleiman Ali, Iraqi cluster bomb survivor and member of the Ban Advocates group of survivor advocates.
Letter From Co-founder Of Defend International To His Excellency Hoshyar al-Zebari
29 May 2009
Mr. Hoshyar al-Zebari
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Opposite State Org. for Roads and Bridges
I am writing to congratulate Iraq on the Cabinet’s recent decision to join the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions and urge swift signature of this important agreement.
This international treaty comprehensively prohibits cluster munitions, requires destruction of stockpiled cluster munitions within eight years and clearance of contaminated land within 10 years, and recognises the rights of individuals and communities affected by the weapon to receive assistance. Since December 2008, a total of 96 governments have signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions including stockpilers, former users and producers of the weapon as well as affected countries from every region of the world.
Iraq participated in several diplomatic meetings held to develop the draft text of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, including the negotiations in May 2008. As an affected country, Iraq should benefit from the Convention’s provisions on international cooperation and assistance.
Every country wishing to prevent further suffering from the horrors of cluster munitions should join the Convention on Cluster Munitions. This instrument is crucial to ensure the stigmatisation of cluster munitions to make sure this weapon is never used again.
Co-founder, Defend International
- Dr Narmeen Othman, Minster of Environment
- Dr Ayaad Alsamaraee, Chair of Parliament
- Mr. Mustafa Radhi, Foreign Affairs Committee
- Mr Hadi Alameri, Defence Committee
- Dr. Hamid Al-Bayati, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Iraq to the United Nations, NY
- Mrs. Ahlam Al-Gailani, Counsellor, Switzerland