Negotiating the Convention on Cluster Munitions The role of African States

"On 30 May 2008, 107 governments participating in a Dublin Diplomatic Conference formally adopted the text of a new Convention on Cluster Munitions banning those that cause unacceptable harm to civilians. The convention is the culmination of what has become known as the Oslo Process – a process similar to that which resulted in the 1997 Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction. The Oslo Process involved like-minded states, in cooperation with global civil society, negotiating a new disarmament treaty outside of the UN’s normal structures and processes. This paper describes cluster munitions and the humanitarian impact of their use. It critically assesses Africa’s role in what has been described as a new chapter in arms control and disarmament."