Help check the spread of cluster munitions – UNDP boss
5/28/2012 8:00:51 PM -
The ratification of the United Nations charter on cluster munitions is meant to ban the stockpiling and production of bombs, but this effort by the UN is under threat as from member states who are yet to sign on to the charter.
Cluster munitions are bombs and other military hardware that have the propensity to destroy a land mass, about four times the size of a football field.
Currently only 111, out of the over 190 member states of the UN, have signed on to the charter.
41 of these countries are in sub-Saharan Africa. Russia, the United States of America and China are yet to sign unto the charter, yet these countries lead the chart in the production and stockpiling of military hardware, including cluster munitions.
It is feared that if these three world powers and other member states of the UN fail to sign unto the charter, the likelihood of such ammunitions getting into the hands of dissident groups like Boko Haram and al-Qaeda is very high and could lead to the destruction of several lives and properties.
At an Accra regional workshop to universalize the convention of cluster munitions in the world, the UNDP Ghana Country Director, Kamil Kamaluddeen called for a concerted effort by all stakeholders to check the proliferation and production of cluster munitions worldwide.
'It is important that all states must shape and guide the work of this convention. The UNDP calls on states present that have not yet ratified or acceded to the convention to do so as soon as possible. We all appeal to all member states that have ratified the convention to cement their commitment to this prohibition, which categorically reject any future use of these weapons' he told delegates at opening of the Accra workshop.
Minister for the interior, William Aboah told the gathering, Ghana had drafted a legislation to prohibit the use, manufacture, stockpiling and transfer of cluster munitions including penal sanctions and was prepared to support other member states of the UN to do same.
There are currently over twelve countries in sub-Saharan Africa including Angola, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea and Sierra Leone that still bear the scars of cluster munitions.