Oslo was the site of a gathering of representatives from more than 120 countries who came to Norway’s capital to sign a landmark treaty banning the use of cluster munitions. That the US, China and Russia were no-shows wasn’t surprising. But Finland’s fierce opposition to the ban caught many nations off guard.
The signing ceremony was held at Oslo’s City Hall, after which Norway’s Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg declared: “The world will never be the same after this. Today we confirm that cluster munitions are banned forever. That we, a partnership of states, international organisations and civil society have moved the world forward. This convention will make the world a safer and better place.”
According to the Norway Post, the final version of the treaty had already been drafted and agreed on at a similar meeting in Dublin, Ireland last May. Norway was one of the more supportive nations behind the treaty, having taken the initiative to ban cluster bombs two years ago.
Norway’s Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere said during the Ireland summit that, “This is a victory for international humanitarian law. The ban will cover cluster munitions that have unacceptable humanitarian consequences, which in practice means that all cluster munitions that have been used in war to date will now be prohibited. This means, for example, that Norway will have to destroy its stockpiles of cluster munitions.”