What does the Convention say?
Article 3 of the Convention of Cluster Munitions states that every State Party must destroy all stockpiles of cluster munitions under its jurisdiction and control as soon as possible but no later than 8 years after the Convention enters into force for the State Party. Should States Parties need additional time to destroy cluster munition stockpiles, an extension request must be submitted and extensions for a period of up to four years may be granted.
Action 13 of the Lausanne Action Plan (LAP) requires States Parties, upon completion of their obligations under Article 3, to make an official declaration of compliance at the latest by the next Meeting of States Parties or Review Conference, using the Article 3 Declaration of Compliance where possible.
The Convention’s Article 3.6 allows for the retention of a limited number of cluster munitions and submunitions for the development of and the training in cluster munition and explosive submunition detection, clearance or destruction techniques, or for the development of cluster munition counter-measures. States Parties should only retain the minimum number absolutely necessary for these purposes and are required to submit a detailed annual reporting on the retained munitions.
Current state of play
The first deadlines for States Parties with stockpile destruction obligations were in 2018 and 2019. To date, 2 States Parties have requested for an extension of their deadlines under Article 3.
Based on information provided through transparency reports and public statements provided by States Parties, there are currently 4 States Parties with obligations under Article 3.
According to transparency reports submitted, 99% of the total global cluster munitions stocks declared by States Parties have been destroyed.
In terms of stockpile destruction, the LAP encourages States Parties:
- with outstanding Article 3 obligations to develop a clear destruction plan, and report on progress made and challenges encountered through annual Article 7 reports and at Meetings of States Parties or the Review Conference;
- having completed their Article 3 obligations to make an official declaration of compliance;
- that have discovered previously unknown stockpiles to immediately report such findings through established channels;
- that have to submit an extension request to include detailed, costed multi-year work plans for the extension period;
- with stockpile destruction experience to provide information to further build capacity in States Parties with outstanding Article 3 obligations; and
- retaining or acquiring cluster munitions in accordance with Article 3.6 to annually review the number of cluster munitions and/or explosive submunitions, and to destroy all weapons that are not absolutely needed for the reported purpose.