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Norway condemns use of cluster munitions in Syria

According to reports by Human Rights Watch, cluster munitions are being used in the conflict in Syria. “The use of cluster munitions is completely unacceptable and is incompatible with the norm established by the international community under the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Espen Barth Eide. 

 

According to Human Rights Watch, the Syrian forces have used cluster munitions in areas in northern Syria, among other areas. Human Rights Watch has also published videos showing findings of unexploded submunitions.  

“The use of cluster munitions causes unacceptable humanitarian problems. Norway condemns all use of these weapons,” said Mr Eide. 

Cluster munitions do not discriminate between military targets and civilians, and can continue to kill and maim children and adults for decades after a conflict has ended. 

“The Syrian authorities must cease all use of cluster munitions with immediate effect and must take steps to protect the civilian population by clearing contaminated areas and providing adequate information,” Mr Eide said. 

The Convention on Cluster Munitions, which entered into force in 2010, prohibits all use of cluster munitions. Some 111 states have joined the Convention. Although Syria is not one of them, the Syrian authorities nevertheless have a duty to protect their own population.    

It is crucial that we continue our efforts to ensure that more countries join the Convention on Cluster Munitions and achieve our aim of full implementation of and global support for the Convention and the norm it establishes. 

Together with various humanitarian organisations and the UN, Norway provides support for the clearance of unexploded ordnance and for victims of cluster munitions, landmines and other explosives all over the world. Norway took over as president of the Convention on Cluster Munitions in September 2012 and will hold the presidency for a year.

 

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