Norway wins recognition for ban on cluster munitions

Last updated: 08/06/2009 // Norway’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jonas Gahr Støre, and Ministry official Steffen Kongstad, who led the negotiations on the cluster munitions ban, have been voted persons of the year by the prominent disarmament organisation Arms Control Association (ACA).

The Arms Control Association has announced that Minister of Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Støre and Steffen Kongstad, who led the negotiations, have been awarded the title Arms Control Persons of the Year for the key role they played in establishing an international ban on cluster munitions.

“This is welcome recognition of an important piece of teamwork towards a common goal,” said Mr Støre.

Espen Barth Eide, State Secretary in the Norwegian Ministry of Defence, and Steffen Kongstad, Deputy Director General in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and head of negotiations, after the Convention on Cluster Munitions was adopted by more than 100 states in Dublin in May 2008. Photo: Werner Anderson/Cox/ Norwegian People’s Aid.

The voting was carried out using an online poll on ACA’s website. Among the other nominees were familiar names such as Chris Hill (lead US negotiator in the six-party talks on North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme), Desmond Tutu and the Elders initiative, and several high-profile US politicians, including George Schultz, Bill Perry, Henry Kissinger and Sam Nunn.

“The attention that cluster munitions have received shows that humanitarian considerations have won through, and that we should now take a fresh look at the disarmament issue,” said Mr Kongstad.

Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg signed the convention on behalf of Norway at the signing conference in Oslo in December 2008. A total of 93 other countries did the same. Photo: Gunnar Mjaugedal /

Source: Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs   |   Share on your network   |   print