States are rallying in support of the 2008 treaty banning cluster munitions amid global outcry against their use in five countries. These are the findings of the annual monitoring report released by the Cluster Munition Coalition today.
Millions of cluster munitions destroyed
Much progress has been made in the five years since the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) took effect as states accede and ratify the ban treaty, destroy tens of millions of explosive submunitions from stockpiles, conduct clearance operations, and assist victims.
Destruction of stockpiled cluster munitions under the CCM is seen as a major success. To date, states that have joined the convention have destroyed 1.3 million cluster munitions and 160 million submunitions.
Concern over use of cluster munitions
Cluster munitions have been used in Libya, Sudan, Syria, Ukraine, and Yemen in 2015. None of these countries are part of the ban treaty. More than 140 countries have condemned new use of cluster munitions in Syria, including the Netherlands, while use in Libya, Sudan, Ukraine, and Yemen has also met with a strong response. Such swift and strong condemnations show the stigma against use of cluster munitions is growing stronger.
Civilian harm form cluster munitions
Civilians continued to suffer the most harm among known cluster munition casualties. Where the status was indicated, civilians comprised 92% of all recorded casualties in 2010-2014. Horrifically, half of those killed and injured were children.
The ban is growing
Since August 2010, when the convention took effect, a total of 48 signatories to the convention have ratified it, including Canada, Iceland, Republic of the Congo, Guinea, Paraguay, Rwanda and South Africa in the past year. Nine more countries have acceded to it, most recently Belize, Guyana, Palestine, and former cluster munition producer Slovakia. To date, 117 countries are part of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, committing themselves never to use, produce, stockpile or transfer this weapon.
First Review Conference in Croatia
Most of the 117 states that have signed or acceded to the Convention on Cluster Munitions are expected to attend its high-level First Review Conference. This conference will take place in Dubrovnik, Croatia on 7 September 2015. PAX will be present in Dubrovnik, encouraging states to keep the norm against cluster munitions strong and condemn any use of these horrendous weapon by any actor.
Together with the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC), PAX will also be speaking about the Stop Explosive Investments campaign. PAX, the CMC and a growing group of countries believe that the convention’s prohibition on assistance with production of cluster munitions includes a ban on investments. After all, no money means no production. PAX will encourage states to enact legislation banning investments in producers of cluster munitions.
The full Cluster Munition Monitor 2015 and related documents is available at www.the-monitor.org