This remarkable achievement shows the determination with which states have sought to demonstrate their commitment to eradicating cluster munitions and ensuring this convention succeeds. Progress in stockpile destruction illustrates the convention’s preventative power in ending, not just curbing, proliferation of cluster munitions, even in states that have not joined. As the latest Cluster Munition Monitor report shows, most countries that have not joined the convention are nonetheless aligning their policies with its strict prohibitions as they no longer acquire cluster munitions and phase them out of service, destroying stocks. Four states parties still have cluster munition stocks left to destroy under the convention. We welcome the progress made by Bulgaria, Peru, and Slovakia in destroying their respective stockpiles over the past year. We appreciate the statement just made by South Africa, and especially its assurance that it will meet its stockpile destruction deadline in 2023. We also appreciate that it is working on an Article 7 report and we look forward to receiving some details on stockpile destruction activities in South Africa, We thank Bulgaria for its second extension request and the complete, detailed and fully costed workplan, for a relatively short period of 15 months. We understand the challenges that Bulgaria faced during 2021 and are relieved that the destruction process got back on track earlier this year. We welcome Bulgaria’s regular process updates and urge it to do all it can to complete the destruction as soon as possible and no later than the newly requested deadline in 2023. Questions remain over whether Guinea knowingly possesses cluster munitions. This is a matter that must be clarified.
The Cluster Munition Coalition urges signatories to the Convention on Cluster Munitions Cyprus, Indonesia, and Nigeria to ratify without delay and provide information on the steps they are taking to destroy their stockpiled cluster munitions. Unfortunately, 11 states are retaining cluster munitions for research and development purposes. While permitted under the convention, this is not a crucial provision, and we urge them to reconsider and destroy the stocks. This would be in keeping with the actions of the vast majority of states parties who see no need to retain live cluster munitions for such purposes. In closing, we would like to take the opportunity to thank the Coordinators and the Analysis Group for their ongoing efforts to ensure timely implementation of Article 3. Thank you.
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