It is a great honour and privilege for me to be invited to address the
opening ceremony of this important event, the Oslo Signing Conference
on Cluster Munitions (CCM), in Norway. I would like to take this opprtunity
to congratulate the Government of Norway for hosting and efficiently organizing
this historic event after 107 states decided, at the Dublin Diplomatic
Conference on Cluster Munitions last May, to prohibit the use, development,
production, stockpiling and transfer of cluster munitions.
Cambodia strongly supports this historic development as it places humanitarian
disarmament at the centre stage of international affairs. The signing
in Oslo will be another milestone in this productive diplomatic disarmament
process, and will help to keep up the momentum and increase our focus
on the implementation of this new humanitarian instrument, I quote Minister
of Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Store, on this message - "Banning Cluster
Munitions - making it happen in Oslo".
Cambodia is one of the countries that suffer the most from cluster munitions,
with about 20 million bomblets dropped on its territory between 1969 and
1973. these bomblets used more than 30 years ago still claim the lives
and limbs of many civilians on a daily basis. With the casualty data recently
compiled in Cambodia we now know that the Cluster Munitions and other
UXO have overtaken landmines in killing or injuring Cambodians over the
last several years. Therefore, the Royal Government of Cambodia spares
no efforts to remove these explosive devices and to deal with this long
terms threats to human lives and development.
On the 12th of March 2007, the Royal Government of Cambodia declared
its full Support for The Oslo Declaration and has regularly dispatched
its representatives to all international meetings to draft a new convention
on banning cluster bombs. Cambodia certainly recognizes the great importance
of and fully supports this Convention. However, due to the recent security
development, Cambodia now needs more time to study the impacts of the
convention on its security capability and national defence.
To conclude, on behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia, I wish you
all good health, happiness and succecess.
Thank you very much for your attention.
Ambassador of Cambodia to the United Kingdom