The conclusion of the Second Review Conference of the Convention on Cluster Munitions (2RC) marked the beginning of the Presidency of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland of the Convention’s Tenth Meeting of States Parties (10MSP). On 21 September 2021, H.E. Mr. Aidan Liddle, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the Conference on Disarmament, was confirmed as President of the 10MSP, which is scheduled to take place in Geneva, Switzerland, from 30 August to 2 September 2022.
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 123 states have committed to the goals of the Convention, of which 110 have become States Parties and 13 are Signatories.
To guide States Parties effectively implement the provisions of the Convention on Cluster Munitions from the Second to the Third Review Conference, States Parties adopted a roadmap called the Lausanne Action Plan (LAP).
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.