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25 September 2009 - Ratification of the Convention on Cluster Munitions - Statement by Mr. Bernard Kouchner, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs

Today, at the United Nations headquarters, France deposited its ratification instruments for the Convention on Cluster Munitions which I signed on 3 December 2008 in Oslo.

France has become the 18th State Party to the Convention which prohibits the use, production, transfer and stockpiling of cluster munitions. Thanks to the unanimous vote of the French National Assembly and the French Senate, our country is thus making it possible to take a further step towards the entry into force of the Oslo Convention which is to take place within the six months following the 30th ratification.

I am proud of this ratification, which bears witness to France’s commitment in the fight for the advancement of international humanitarian law and is in keeping with my deepest and long-held convictions.

The completion of the process that led to the Convention is the outcome of the close work conducted between States and non-governmental organisations. France largely contributed to this work, through its diplomacy and in consultation with Handicap International.

My thoughts today go to the victims of those barbarous weapons, most of whom are civilians and endure the intense physical suffering brought on by the terrible effects of those weapons. The populations of more than thirty countries are still affected and live in dread of being maimed or killed by those weapons.

I want to tell them that, now, there is hope. France will not let up its efforts to achieve the universalisation of the Oslo Convention.

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Organisation des Nations Unies Présidence de la République France Diplomatie La France à l'Office des Nations Unies à Genève Union Européenne Première réunion de l'ONU