The Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) is the international agreement prohibiting cluster munitions. The official title of the CCM is “the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Cluster Munitions and on the Destruction of such Munitions”. It was adopted in 2008 and came into force in 2010.
The Convention on Cluster Munitions bans the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of cluster munitions. Additionally, the CCM lays down deadlines for the clearance of areas affected by cluster munitions bomblets (within 10 years), and for the destruction of stockpiles of such weapons (within 8 years). The convention includes ground-breaking provisions concerning the rights of victims and affected communities.
NPA is by far the largest survey and clearance operator of Cluster Munition Remnants globally.
The CCM has already gained wide support and implementation is well on its way.
Cluster munitions, also known as cluster bombs, are weapons containing tens or hundreds of smaller explosive submunitions. Cluster munitions are area-effect weapons which spread their submunitions over areas that can be as large as several football fields in size, killing and injuring civilians and combatants indiscriminately. Like landmines, unexploded submunitions can also remain a fatal threat to anyone in the area for decades after a conflict ends. Cluster bombs have killed and injured thousands of civilians during their history of use and continue to cause new casualties today.
The Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM), which was adopted in 2008 and entered into force in 2010, prohibits the use, production, transfer, and stockpiling of cluster munitions.
It requires States Parties to clear cluster munition remnants on their territory within ten years (Article 4) and destroy stockpiles within eight years (Article 3), as well as to provide assistance to victims (Article 5).
The CCM has rapidly gained momentum and has built a strong norm against the use of cluster munitions. Sadly, however, cluster munitions still continue to be used, mainly by a small handfull of states not party to the convention. Cluster munitions were used in 2014 in South Sudan and Ukraine, and the Syrian government’s on-going use of cluster munitions since mid-2012 has left a devastating civilian casualty toll in its wake.
By the end of 2014, 24 states and three other areas were contaminated by cluster munition remnants. The good news is that most of these can clear their territory in less than five years with political will, the latest land release methodology, and adequate international support. There are only a few cases where clearance should take longer.
The States Parties to the CCM are showing an impressive commitment to rapidly implement the convention’s Article 3 obligation to destroy their stockpiles of cluster munitions. By 2014, more than 85 million submunitions, or 60% of all States Parties’ reported stocks, had already been destroyed. All of the states that have joined the CCM thus far should be able to complete stockpile destruction well in advance of the convention’s eight-year deadline. Not a single one should need to request an extension of this deadline.
NPA calls on all states and stakeholders to ensure full implementation of the CCM, and more specifically of the clearance and destruction obligations of the convention’s Articles 4 and 3 respectively. Strong political will is the key to reach this objective.
Concretely, NPA calls for the following:
- All states should ratify/accede to the CCM if not already a State Party.
- Contaminated states should establish an ambitious plan for completion of their clearance obligations under Article 4 of the convention; secure resources; and build necessary institutions and capacities for timely implementation.
- Contaminated states should establish policies and laws that enable the application of sound land release methodology as a major opportunity for improved efficiency and more expedient treaty compliance.
- Stockpiling states should establish an ambitious plan for completion of their stockpile destruction obligations under Article 3 of the convention; secure resources; and build necessary institutions and capacities for timely implementation.
- Donor states should provide sustained, or for some countries, increased levels of funding for cluster munition survey and clearance, while making clear demands on recipient governments to facilitate the application of good land release methodology. As more and more of the countries with light and medium contamination are ticked off the list, sustained levels of funding will ensure that all countries can reach completion.
- Donor states should make assistance for cluster munition stockpile destruction as systematic as other types of mine action assistance, and develop programmes for the provision of such aid to countries that require assistance in destroying their stockpiles of cluster munitions.
NPA’s advocacy in support of the above call is an integral and continuous component of all of our cluster munition clearance and stockpile destruction operations. NPA also pursues a regional approach, carrying out advocacy in neighbouring countries where there is no NPA presence. Such regional advocacy can often be done from existing operations with minimal additional effort.
On a global level, NPA’s advocacy on cluster munitions takes place in partnership with likeminded operational NGOs and as an active member of the governance board of the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) (www.stopclustermunitions.org),... international civil society campaign working to eradicate cluster munitions, prevent further casualties from these weapons, and to put an end for all time to the suffering they cause. NPA is also a key contributor of research and analysis to the Cluster Munition Monitor, the de facto monitoring regime for the implementation of the CCM.
Finally, NPA participates in relevant forums that aim to enhance the quality, impact, and coordination of mine action and cluster munition clearance, such as the Meetings of States Parties to the CCM and the annual International Meeting of Mine Action National Programme Directors and UN Advisors.
Custer Munitions - a deifinition
Cluster munition refers to a conventional munition that is designed to disperse or release explosive sub-munitions each weighing less than 20 kilograms.(Source: www.mineactionstandards.org )
Convention on Cluster Munitions
The Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor
Progress in implementation of Article 4 of the CCM