The Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) prohibits all use, stockpiling, production and transfer of Cluster Munitions. The CCM was adopted in Dublin on 30 May 2008. It has 108 signatories. The Convention became binding international law when it entered into force on 1 August 2010 after 30 States had ratified it. As of September 2011, 60 States have ratified the CCM and future States Parties will accede to the Convention by submitting their ratifications to the United Nations.
Convention on Cluster Munitions
The momentum for a treaty banning cluster munitions derived from the harm caused to civilian populations. Because cluster bombs release many small bomblets over a wide area they pose risks to civilians — both during attacks and afterwards. During attacks, the weapons are prone to indiscriminate effects, especially in populated areas. Unexploded bomblets can kill or maim civilians long after a conflict has ended, and are costly to locate and remove.
United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon in his message to the signing conference of the Convention noted that “the conclusion of this Convention [indicated] a significant and fundamental change in the position of many governments that [once] regarded cluster munitions as essential to their security policies and military doctrines.” He further declared that the conference marked “a major step forward in global efforts to protect civilians and control the noxious spread of deadly, inhumane weapons.”
Under the Convention, all States Parties must destroy all stockpiles of cluster munitions under their jurisdiction and control as soon as possible but no later than eight years after the Convention enters into force for the State Party. States Parties may keep a “minimum number” of cluster munitions and submunitions for training of clearance techniques and counter-measures.
The Second Meeting of States Parties will be held in Beirut, Lebanon, from 12 — 16 September 2011 and is intended to focus on the universalization of the treaty, stockpile destruction, clearance and destruction of cluster munition remnants, victim assistance and other action topics agreed to at the 2010 First Meeting of States Parties in Vientiane, Lao Peoples Democratic Republic.
Under the treaty, States Parties are obliged to provide assistance to cluster munition victims including medical care, rehabilitation and psychological support and to assist social and economic inclusion. Cluster munition victims include all persons directly impacted by cluster munitions as well as their affected families and communities.