U.S. NGOs calls on G20 leaders to redouble diplomatic and humanitarian efforts on Syria

(St. Petersburg, Russia) Sept. 4, 2013 – As world leaders gather in here for the G20 summit, NGO alliance InterAction urges them to redouble diplomatic efforts on Syria and focus on responding to the dire humanitarian needs in the region, where the number of refugees eclipsed two million this week.

“The heavy toll of this two-year conflict on the Syrian people mounts every day,” said Samuel A. Worthington, president and CEO of InterAction. “While humanitarian organizations continue to provide life-saving assistance, more must be done to bring about a solution to end the conflict and to alleviate suffering. Amid the escalating conflict, it is the world’s responsibility to ensure civilians are protected as much as possible.”

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Record-breaking Progress as States Race to Eliminate the Scourge of Cluster Bombs

Syria’s use of the banned weapon strongly condemned

(Geneva) September 4, 2013: Governments are making record-breaking progress as they race to fulfill the 2008 treaty banning cluster munitions, while Syria’s use of this banned weapon has been widely condemned, according to Cluster Munition Monitor 2013, a global report released today in Geneva.

“The impressive rate at which states are destroying millions of stockpiled cluster munitions shows that the Convention on Cluster Munitions is already making a real difference in saving lives,” said Mary Wareham of Human Rights Watch, ban policy editor of Cluster Munition Monitor 2013. “By completing their stockpile destruction years in advance of deadline, states are boldly demonstrating their commitment to the treaty’s objective of ridding the world of these weapons.”

During 2012, the Netherlands finished the total destruction of its once-massive stockpile of cluster munitions and together with Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, and others, destroyed a total of 173,973 cluster munitions and 27 million submunitions—the most in a year since the convention’s adoption and far exceeding 2011 totals, when states destroyed a total of 107,000 cluster munitions and 17.6 million submunitions.

Under the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions, States Parties have a maximum period of eight years to destroy their stockpiled cluster munitions, but most are completing their destruction in half that time. Denmark and the United Kingdom, for example, announced plans to finish destruction by the end of this year, and Cote d’Ivoire finished destruction in early 2013. Read the rest of this entry »