The Embassy of Costa Rica in Trinidad and Tobago, the United Nations Information Centre for the Caribbean Area (UNIC) and the Caribbean Coalition for Development and the Reduction of Armed Violence (CDRAV) screened the film “On Safer Ground” on 28 July this year in Puerto España, Trinidad and Tobago.
The documentary shows the experience of a football team composed of teenagers from Laos in their trip to the international youth football tournament Gothia Cup in Sweden in 2010.
Laos is the country most affected by cluster munitions in the world, with 80 million cluster munitions and a population of 60 million people.
The film was simultaneously screened by videoconference in Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and Surinam in order to raise awareness in countries of the Caribbean that have not yet acceded to or ratified the Convention on Cluster Munitions.
Members of the Diplomatic Corps of Trinidad and Tobago, officials of the Security and Foreign Affairs Ministries, the producer of the documentary, Mr. Gareth Carter, the representative of the United Nations Mine Action Team in Geneva, Mr. Bruno Donat, among other guests, attended the film screening.
After the film screening, the progresses made at the sub-regional level in the universal implementation of the Convention were analyzed and discussed and the obligations set forth in the Convention were reviewed.
Carmen Gil, Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of Costa Rica in Trinidad and Tobago, indicated that the objective of this event was to promote the universal implementation of the Convention in the Caribbean, a region of the world that, albeit unaffected by the humanitarian impact of these munitions, has still to accede to the Convention. Statements were also made by Ms. Renée Gómez, Chargée d’Affaires of the Costa Rican Embassy in Jamaica, and Ms. Marcela Zamora of the Directorate General for External Affairs, on behalf of the Costa Rican Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Costa Rican representative pointed out: “Today, there is still an unprecedented number of governments that continue to increase their stock of weapons at the expense of investments in education, health and the promotion of sport.
These reflections and questions, among others, make us more certain that weapons such as cluster munitions, which only provoke violence, sadness, crying, destruction and distress, have to disappear completely from the world.
This is and will be necessary and urgent if we want to construct a world in which girls and boys can be happy and active and live in peace and healthy rivalry can only be seen in football fields.
A speaker also recalled the appeal of the President of the Fifth Meeting of the States Parties to the Convention, Foreign Minister Manuel A. González Sanz, to bring the number of States parties to 100 before the First Review Conference in Croatia in September 2015.
Costa Rica also welcomed the deposit by the Slovak Republic of its instrument of ratification last 24 July in the UN Headquarters in New York, marking the ninety-third State party to the Convention.
The Convention of Cluster Munitions (CCM) is an international treaty that addresses the humanitarian consequences and unacceptable harm to civilians caused by cluster munitions, through a categorical prohibition and framework for action.
The Convention prohibits all use, production, transfer and stockpiling of cluster munitions. In addition, it establishes a framework for cooperation and assistance to ensure adequate care and rehabilitation to survivors and their communities, clearance of contaminated areas, risk reduction education and destruction of stockpiles.