On 9 February, the Government of Japan completed the destruction of their stockpiles of cluster munitions in accordance with its obligations as a State party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Costa Rica, and current President of the Convention, Cluster Munition, Manuel A. González Sanz, welcomed the destruction of stockpiles of cluster munitions by Japan, and considered the move “a clear signal of the commitment of Japan with the objectives of the Convention and a step towards achieving that these weapons not be used again in the future.”
According to Article 3 of the Convention, States Parties must destroy all stockpiles of cluster munitions within eight years after the entry into force of the Convention. Japan has fulfilled the obligation.
To date, States Parties have destroyed about 80% of stockpiles that have been reported, which is a very good indicator if we consider that the convention is still young. This shows the commitment assumed by States at the national level and high degree of involvement.
Thirty-four States Parties have reported that they have or had cluster munitions within their arsenals, according to the provisions of Article 3. Of these, 22 are already in full compliance with its obligation of destruction, either because they destroyed their stocks before the entry into force of the Convention, or because they have done so over the past five years. With the completion of the process by Japan, only 14 more State Parties are required to complete this process.
According to information available, since the entry into force of the Treaty, a total of 1.16 million cluster munitions have been destroyed, which represent nearly 140 million submunitions. States Parties to the Convention that still have cluster munitions have stated that these shall be destroyed within eight years after the entry into force of the Treaty and have provided compliance schedules.
The Convention on Cluster Munitions was adopted in Dublin on 3 December, 2008. It entered into force on 1 August 2010. To date, the Convention has 89 States Parties. Worldwide, 23 countries have been and continue to be affected by cluster munitions that have claimed more than 100,000 victims of pain, death, destruction and mutilation. 98 percent of the deaths were civilians.
The Chancellor Manuel A. Gonzalez reiterated the importance of stigmatization of cluster munitions, so that even states that are not party to the Convention to refrain from use or transfer, to the universal condemnation of public opinion.