Message from H.E Dr. Thongloun Sisoulith
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, President-Designate of 1MSP
The Lao PDR has been entrusted to host the First Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions (1MSP), which will be held in Vientiane, Lao PDR from 9-12 November 2010. The meeting will determine how the Convention on Cluster Munitions be effectively implemented. It is expected to attract hundreds of participants from states parties, signatories, states not parties to the convention, UN agencies, international organizations, civil society, and cluster munitions survivors. This will demonstrate once again the solidarity among states across the world to strengthen our resolve towards the objectives of the Convention. The Meeting will aim to chart a vision and measures that will translate the treaty into action with a view to liberating humanity from the fear and misery of cluster munitions.
As an affected country by cluster munitions, Laos is an excellent venue to tell the reason why such a convention on cluster munitions is so important for humanity. More than three decades now, the remnant and legacy of cluster bombs remain visible and devastating ever since. Fifty thousand civilians felt victims of cluster munitions during this period of time and today about three hundred more are either injured or killed every year as a result of extensive use of cluster munitions and heavy bombardment during the Indochina war.
In this regard, I would like to once again invite all countries, international organizations and civil society as well as media from all around the world to attend and actively contribute to this meeting with a view to ensuring a success and realizing its objectives. A broader participation by member states, whether as a state party or as an observer does reflect a resolve of the international community to ban cluster munitions that will turn our vision to action.
For more information on this historic meeting, visit http://www.clusterconvention.org/1msp/.