Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Clock ticking on approval of cluster ban

Clock ticking on approval of cluster ban

Clock ticking on approval of cluster ban

ADVOCATES for disarmament are calling on Cambodia to sign and ratify a convention banning cluster bombs before it enters into force in less than two months.

In the middle of a conference in Santiago, Chile, where delegates are discussing the next steps to take with respect to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, several groups are taking particular aim at Cambodia and a handful of other countries for not signing on.

“As a highly affected country, Cambodia knows the devastating effects of cluster munition use on families,” Handicap International said in a statement.

The convention was ratified earlier this year, and its stringent regulations banning the use of cluster bombs and requiring the destruction of stockpiles will come into effect August 1.

Cambodia has so far opted not to sign the convention, despite its being an early and active proponent of the ban.

Leng Sochea, the deputy secretary general of the Cambodian Mine Action Authority, said the government still plans to sign it eventually, but that officials must first study its implications.

“Cambodia is one of the victims of land mines,” he said.

Defence Minister Tea Banh, meanwhile, said the country needs to ensure that it can protect itself.

“We will sign in the future,” he said. “Now we need to protect our country and our sovereignty first from other countries like Thailand, which has border problems with us.”

Jamie Franklin, country programme manager for the Mines Advisory Group, said he took officials at their word that they are committed to signing the treaty at some point.

But he, too, urged them to do so “as soon as possible”, noting that the first states party meeting scheduled after the treaty comes into force will take place in Laos in November.

“It will certainly be good for the government to sign on to the treaty before the meeting,” he said.

“It would be a good stage ... for the government to seek international support for clearing [cluster munitions].”

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman