What does the Convention say?
Article 4 of the Convention on Cluster Munitions states that “Each State Party undertakes 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 entering into force of the Convention for that State Party.
If States Parties are unable to comply with the 10 year deadline for clearance, an extension request for up to 5 years can be submitted to the 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.”
Current state of play
The first deadlines of States Parties with clearance obligations are in 2020. To date, 4 States Parties have requested for an extension of their deadlines under Article 4. One State Party that had previously declared compliance had discovered previously unknown contamination.
Therefore, based on information through Transparency Reports provided by States Parties, there are currently 10 States Parties with obligations under Article 4.
In terms of clearance and risk reduction education, the Dubrovnik Action Plan encourages States Parties with obligations to:
- Assess the extent of the problem;
- Protect people from harm;
- Develop a resourced plan;
- Be inclusive when developing the response;
- Manage information for analysis, decision-making and reporting;
- Provide support, assist and cooperate;
- Apply practice development;
- Promote and expand cooperation.
By the Second Review Conference in 2020, these efforts should result in:
- A decreased number of new victims, with the aim of zero;
- Increased amounts of suspected land released for subsistence, cultural, social and commercial purposes;
- Better targeting of scarce clearance resources;
- Larger freedom of safer movement;
- Increased exchange of information of good and cost effective clearance practices including safety, environmental impact and efficiency.