10 years ago at the Oslo City Hall, the Convention on Cluster Munitions was opened for signature on 3 December 2008. Over the course of 2 days, 94 States signed the treaty; 4 of which, the Holy See, Ireland, Norway and Sierra Leone, also submitted their instruments of ratification immediately.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in his speech delivered at the Signing Conference on 3 December said:
“The conclusion [of this convention] indicates a significant and fundamental change in the position of many governments that, until recently, regarded cluster munitions as essential to their security policies and military doctrines. The importance of this shift cannot be overemphasised.”
The following video is on the signing ceremony of the Convention on Cluster Munitions:
The photos and video in this post are courtesy of the Cluster Munition Coalition.
What is the Convention on Cluster Munitions?
The Convention on Cluster Munitions is a humanitarian imperative-driven legal instrument which prohibits all use, production, transfer and stockpiling of cluster munitions. In addition, it establishes a framework for cooperation and assistance to ensure adequate assistance to survivors and their communities, clearance of contaminated areas, risk reduction education and destruction of stockpiles.
By ratifying or acceding to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, States Parties commit to never use, produce, stockpile or transfer cluster munitions. Furthermore States Parties commit to destroy existing stockpiles in eight years; clear contaminated land in ten years; assist victims; provide technical, material and financial assistance to other States Parties; undertake transparency measures; adopt national implementation measures; and promote universal adherence to the Convention.
Cluster munitions are unacceptable for two reasons. Firstly, they have wide area effects and are unable to distinguish between civilians and combatants. Secondly, the use of cluster munitions leave behind large numbers of dangerous unexploded ordnance. Such remnants kill and injure civilians, obstruct economic and social development, and have other severe consequences that persist for years and decades after use.
How many States joined the Convention?
Adopted on 30 May 2008 in Dublin, Ireland and signed on 3-4 December 2008 in Oslo, Norway, the Convention on Cluster Munitions entered into force on 1 August 2010. To date 120 states have committed to the goals of the Convention, of which 105 have become full States Parties and 15 are Signatories.
Five-year road map (2015-2020)
To guide States Parties effectively implement the provisions of the Convention on Cluster Munitions from the First to the Second Review Conference, States Parties adopted a five-year roadmap called the Dubrovnik Action Plan (DAP).
Reporting on progress and challenges
In accordance with Article 7 of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, States Parties have the obligation to report on the status of their treaty implementation through an initial transparency report and annual reports thereafter. Transparency reports submitted by States Parties can be found here.
Download the Convention on Cluster Munitions brochure.