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Canada’s dodgy commitment to the Convention on Cluster Munitions

The Sixth Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) will take place in Geneva, Switzerland from 5 to 7 September 2016. Will Canada’s new government take this opportunity to signal its intention to remedy its controversial implementing legislation?

The World Federalists were a leading critic of Bill C-6, passed under the Harper Government, implementing the CCM. That legislation included a number of “exceptions” to the treaty’s general prohibition on use of cluster bombs, allowing Canadian personnel to participate in operations where cluster bombs were used when operating in combined operations with states not party to the treaty. At the last Meeting of States Parties to the CCM, Canada’s legislation was strongly criticized by allied governments, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and the NGO Cluster Munition Coalition.

Earlier this summer, representatives of the World Federalists and Mines Action Canada met with officials at Global Affairs Canada, including a senior advisor to Minister Dion, to remind them that, come September’s meeting of states parties, the international community will be expecting Canada to signal its intention to repair the significant flaws in its legislation, in order that it be consistent with, and not undermine, the objects and purposes of the CCM.

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