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Country Reports
Congo Rep

Republic of the Congo

The Republic of the Congo (Congo-Brazzaville) signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions in Oslo on 3 December 2008. The status of the ratification process in not known. Congo is not believed to have used, produced, stockpiled, or transferred cluster munitions.

Congo participated in only one of the four international Oslo Process conferences to develop the convention text, in Vienna in December 2007.[1] It attended the regional conference in Livingstone in March/April 2008, and endorsed the Livingstone Declaration, calling for a comprehensive treaty with a prohibition that should be “total and immediate.”[2]

During the formal negotiations in Dublin in May 2008, Congo opposed efforts to weaken the draft treaty text, including the notion of a transition period that would allow the continued use of cluster munitions.[3] At the conclusion of the negotiations, it stated that the convention would be “a sword of Damocles” hanging over the heads of countries that did not join.[4]

In September 2008, Congo endorsed the Kampala Action Plan, which declared that states should sign and “take all necessary measures to ratify the convention as soon as possible.”[5] At the Oslo Signing Conference in December 2008, Congo invited all states to sign without delay on humanitarian grounds. It stated that it wished to see the convention enter into force quickly, and said that it would take measures to ratify the convention and urged others to do likewise.[6]

Congo is not party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.

[1] Congo did not attend the Wellington conference in February 2008, but adopted the Wellington Declaration on 17 May 2008, indicating its intention to be a full participant in the formal negotiations starting in Dublin two days later. New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, “List of countries subscribing to the Declaration of the Wellington Conference on Cluster Munitions,” www.mfat.govt.nz.

[2] Livingstone Declaration, Livingstone Conference on Cluster Munitions, 1 April 2008.

[3] Statement of the Republic of the Congo, Committee of the Whole, Dublin Diplomatic Conference on Cluster Munitions, 23 May 2008. Notes by Landmine Action.

[4] Ibid, 28 May 2008.

[5] CMC, “Report on the Kampala Conference on the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” 30 September 2008; and Kampala Action Plan, Kampala Conference, 30 September 2008.

[6] Statement of the Republic of the Congo, Convention on Cluster Munitions Signing Conference, Oslo, 4 December 2008.