Norwegian stockpiles of cluster munitions are history

State Secretary Roger Ingebrigtsen and Trond R. Karlsen, head of The Norwegian Defence Logistics Organisation (NDLO). - Photo: The Norwegian Ministry of Defence

On Friday the 16th of July at 2 p.m., the State Secretary for the Norwegian Ministry of Defence, Roger Ingebrigtsen, pushed the button to destroy Norway’s last batch of cluster munitions. The destruction took place in an old mine at Løkken Verk south of the city of Trondheim. With today’s destruction Norway has completed one of the key obligations of the Convention on Cluster Munitions even before its entry into force on the 1 August 2010.

Humanitarian Threat

Cluster munitions have killed and maimed several thousands of civilians. Cluster munitions continue to constitute a large humanitarian threat long after the cessation of hostilities by leaving several unexploded bomblets on the ground. – I am very pleased that the Convention on Cluster Munitions now enters into force and has received such a great number of signatures and ratifications, says Ingebrigtsen. Additionally, it contributes to a further stigmatisation of this type of ammunition, making it very difficult for states which are not parties to the Convention to use cluster munitions.

Norwegian initiative

Norway took the initiative for an international ban on cluster munitions in 2007 through a process later named the Oslo Process. The Convention was adopted in Dublin on the 30 May 2008 and forbids not only the use of, but also the production, transfer and stockpiling of cluster munitions. The Convention has per today been signed by 106 states. It has already been ratified by 30 states and will thus enter into force on the 1 August this year.

The State Secretary for the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Espen Barth Eide, states the following: – The obligation to destroy stockpiles of cluster munitions is the most important guarantee for non-proliferation. By destroying stockpiles we ensure that the ammunition will never be used again and that resources will be re-allocated for the clearance of contaminated areas and for victim’s assistance.

Stockpile destruction

Norway was among the first states to start stockpile destruction of cluster munitions after the Convention was signed. In March 2009 the Norwegian Armed Forces and Nammo Demil Division AB entered into a contract on destruction of the Norwegian stockpiles of cluster munitions. The first batch was destroyed at Løkken Verk on the 29 April 2009.

Source: Norwegian Ministry of Defense

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