On 30 May 2008, the text of the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) was adopted by 107 States in Dublin, Ireland. The CCM is a treaty of international humanitarian law that prohibits the use, production, transfer and stockpiling of cluster munitions. Furthermore, it establishes a framework for States destroy their stockpiles, clear contaminated areas, conduct risk education and help cluster munition victims.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Why should my country join the CCM?
To exhibit global solidarity with affected States, abide by humanitarian principles and help build momentum towards a truly universal norm against cluster munitions. To date, 123 states have committed to the goals of the Convention, of which 110 have become States Parties and 13 are Signatories.
Does the treaty make a difference globally?
- 99% of the total global cluster munitions stocks declared by States Parties have been destroyed
- Over 500 square kilometres of cluster munition contaminated land has been cleared and released for productive use
- The international norm against the use of cluster munitions is very strong, even States not Parties issue public statements condemning recent use of cluster munitions
- At least 46 countries have made steps to prohibit investment in cluster munitions, causing numerous financial institutions and pension funds to disinvest in companies that produce cluster munitions
But my country does not have any victims, stockpiles or contamination…
For States with no cluster munition survivors, stockpiles or contamination joining the Convention is a simple process. Such States need to implement two key provisions of the Convention: adopt a national implementation measures (Article 9) and provide an initial transparency report followed by short annual transparency reports (Article 7). Annual transparency reports for States Parties with no obligations under articles 3, 4 and 5 only take 2 minutes to complete.
What if my country cannot meet its obligations within the stipulated deadline?
Each State Party is required to destroy its stockpiles of cluster munitions under its jurisdiction and control (Article 3) within 8 years of becoming a party to the Convention and clear its territory of unexploded submunitions (Article 4) within 10 years. While all cluster munitions-affected States Parties must do their best to respect their Article 3 and 4 deadlines, the treaty allows States Parties that are unable to do so to request initial deadline extensions.
Why should my country join when others in the region have not?
States can set a good example by joining the Convention and taking a leadership role in the region as well as reach out to existing regional and sub-regional entities to advance adherence.
What will it cost my government to join the CCM?
The Implementation Support Unit (ISU) of the CCM was established in May 2015 to support and coordinate the work of the Convention. At the First Review Conference, States Parties adopted a funding model for the ISU whereby States Parties commit to contributing towards its annual budget. States Parties’ annual contributions are calculated in accordance with the United Nations scale of assessment and prorated across the number of CCM States Parties. For example, a State Party with a UN scale of 0.005 will pay approximately CHF 60 annually.
What must my country do to join the Convention?
By submitting an instrument of ratification or accession to the UN Secretary-General, who is the Convention’s depositary. More information on the process is found on the website of the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA).
What assistance is available to States Parties to implement its CCM obligations?
Article 6 of the Convention stipulates that, in fulfilling its obligations under the CCM, each State Party has the right to seek and receive assistance. Similarly, each State Party in a position to do so shall provide technical, material and financial assistance to affected States Parties to facilitate the implementation of their obligations.
A limited Sponsorship Programme, which facilitates attendance at annual Meeting of States Parties and other formal meetings of the Convention, is available for affected and low-income States.
The Convention also has a Country Coalition initiative which offers an effective framework for ensuring national ownership and long-term commitment by donors/partners and is adapted to the particular needs of the State needing assistance.
A wide range of online resources can be found on the Convention’s website. Resources available include:
- A ratification kit
- Tools for national implementation measures including model laws
- Reporting templates
What can I do to raise awareness about the CCM when it is not a priority for my government?
Successful strategies outlined by States that have joined the Convention include:
- Designate a focal point for all CCM-related issues in capital
- Focus on decision making levels: politicians, parliamentarians and technicians in stakeholder ministries
- Set up a multi-disciplinary CCM task force or committee to improve coordination amongst national stakeholders
- Organize broader consultations domestically with members of the civil society, the academia, scientists and the local communities
- Incorporate the CCM into the agenda of different meetings
- Use national IHL Committees – if any – to promote the CCM
- Engage with regional and sub-regional entities involved in the CCM
- Participate in regional or subregional events on the CCM
- Contact the ISU for technical assistance, in-depth briefs on the Convention and/or to organize meetings with governmental representatives
- Reach out to local representatives of the Coalition on Cluster Munitions (CMC) or the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for information and assistance