What does the Convention say?
Article 4 of the Convention on Cluster Munitions requires every State Party to “clear and destroy, or ensure the clearance and destruction of cluster munition remnants located in cluster munition contaminated areas under its jurisdiction or control” as soon as possible, but no later than 10 years after the Convention has entered into force for that State.
If States Parties are unable to comply with their clearance deadline, an extension request for up to 5 years can be submitted to a Meeting of States Parties or Review Conference.
States Parties shall also “conduct risk reduction education to ensure awareness among civilians living in or around cluster munition contaminated areas of the risks posed by such remnants.” To learn more about Explosive Ordnance Risk Education (EORE), an introductory e-learning course on EORE developed by the GICHD is available.
Current state of play
The first deadlines of States Parties with clearance obligations were in 2020. To date, 7 States Parties have requested for an extension of their deadlines under Article 4. One State Party that had previously declared compliance had discovered formerly unknown contamination.
Therefore, based on information reported by States Parties, there are currently 10 States Parties with obligations under Article 4.
In terms of survey and clearance, the Lausanne Action Plan (LAP) encourages affected States Parties:
- to complete an evidence-based and inclusive baseline survey as well as mark the hazardous areas by the Eleventh Meeting of States Parties (11MSP);
- to develop evidence-based national strategies and work plans, and detail progress in implementing those strategies and plans in annual transparency reports;
- that have to submit an extension request to include detailed, costed multi-year work plans for the extension period;
- to take appropriate steps to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of surveys and clearance, as well as promote the research and development of innovative methodologies;
- to ensure that national strategies and work plans provide for a sustainable national capacity to address residual contamination;
- to consider humanitarian and sustainable development criteria, as well as gender and diversity of populations, in survey and clearance planning and prioritisation;
- to provide disaggregated information on the extent and nature of all remaining cluster munition contaminated areas and on progress in survey and clearance efforts in annual Article 7 transparency reports;
- that have completed their Article 4 obligations to submit voluntary declarations of compliance; and
- that have recently completed clearance to share experiences and lessons learned.
Regarding risk education, the LAP encourages affected States Parties to:
- develop national strategies and work plans that integrate risk education into ongoing survey, clearance and victim assistance activities and into humanitarian, development, human rights, environmental and education areas;
- implement tailor-made risk education activities, and report on them in annual transparency reports;
- provide detailed, disaggregated reporting on risk education focused on most at risk groups in annual transparency reports;
- take measures to better understand and more effectively demonstrate the impact of risk education, and report on the measures; and
- develop national capacities to adapt risk education initiatives to changing circumstances.