Today, 1 August 2018, marks the 10th Anniversary of the entry into force of the Convention on Cluster Munitions. To date 120 states have committed to the goals of the Convention, of which 103 have become full States Parties and 17 are signatories.
 
As the most heavily bombed country in the world per capita, Lao PDR was the second country to sign the Convention in Oslo in 2008 following host country, Norway. Over two million tonnes of bombs were dropped on Lao PDR between 1964-1975, equal to a planeload of bombs every 8 minutes, 24-hours a day, for 9 years.
 
By ratifying or acceding to the Convention on Cluster
Munitions, States Parties commit to:
– Never use, produce, stockpile or transfer cluster munitions;
– Destroy existing stockpiles in eight years;
– Clear contaminated land in ten years;
– Provide comprehensive assistance to victims;
– Provide technical, material and financial assistance to other States Parties;
– Undertake transparency measures;
– Adopt national implementation measures; and
– Promote universal adherence to the Convention.
 
The map above shows the countries which are signatory parties. 

SOME STATISTICS TO REMEMBER:

  • 270 million
    Estimated number of sub-munitions (bombies) from cluster bombs dropped over Lao PDR between 1964 and 1973.
  • 2 million tons
    Estimated ordnance dropped on Lao PDR between 1964 and 1973
  • 580 000
    Estimated number of bombing missions flown over Lao PDR between 1964 and 1973
  • Between 10% and 30%
    Estimated failure rate of sub-munitions under ideal conditions.
  • 80 million
    Estimated number of sub-munitions that failed to explode.
  • 1,090,228
    Estimated number of unexploded sub-munitions destroyed by UXO LAO from 1996 to December 2009.
  • ~40
    Estimated number of new casualties from UXO incidents every year in Lao PDR

Sources: NRA Annual Report 2009/NRA Website

CLUSTER MUNITIONS

‘Bombies’, which are the bomblets or submunitions from cluster bombs are the most common cause of UXO incidents in Lao PDR. Roughly 30% of all of the patients who are provided with prostheses through COPE are UXO survivors. The human cost of UXO incidents in Lao PDR is ongoing and requires actions to both ban the future use of cluster munitions and to provide resources to rehabilitate affected people and land.

One of the most significant issues facing Lao PDR is the task of removing unexploded cluster munitions scattered throughout the landscape. Of 270 million cluster bombs dropped on the Lao PDR during the time of the Vietnam War it is estimated that up to 30% (80 million) failed to detonate and continue to pose a threat.

WHAT HAPPENED 10 YEARS AGO?

Key dates:

  • 30 May 2008 – Adoption of the Convention in Dublin
  • 3 December 2008 – The Convention opened for signature in Oslo

The negotiation and conclusion of an international treaty to specifically address the humanitarian issues related to cluster munitions began in Oslo, Norway, in February 2007, as what is termed to be the ‘Oslo Process’. On 23 February 2007, the Declaration of the Oslo Conference on Cluster Munitions (also known as the ‘Oslo Declaration’) was adopted by 46 States, committing themselves to:

‘Conclude by 2008 a legally binding international instrument that will: (i) prohibit the use, production, transfer and stockpiling of cluster munitions that cause unacceptable harm to civilians, and (ii) establish a framework for cooperation and assistance that ensures adequate provision of care and rehabilitation to survivors and their communities, clearance of contaminated areas, risk education and destruction of stockpiles of prohibited cluster munitions.’

Following this, a series of global and regional conferences took place to discuss draft versions of the proposed international treaty and address particular themes surrounding the issue of cluster munitions. The ‘Wellington Declaration’ was adopted by 79 States in Wellington, New Zealand, on 22 February 2008, which proposed the principles that would go into the Convention, such as:

  • A prohibition on the use, production, transfer and stockpiling of cluster munitions that cause unacceptable harm to civilians, and
  • A framework for cooperation and assistance that ensures adequate provision of care and rehabilitation to survivors and their communities, clearance of contaminated areas, risk education, and destruction of stockpiles.

On 30 May 2008, the final draft of the Convention on Cluster Munitions was adopted by 107 States in Dublin, Ireland. The support for the Convention was considered to be far-reaching, as 7 out of 14 States that had used cluster munitions and 17 out of 34 States that had produced them were amongst the States that adopted the treaty.

As stipulated in Article 15 of the Convention, it was opened for signature in Oslo, Norway, on 3 December 2008, and was signed by 94 States by the end of the ceremony in Oslo. To date, a total of 120 States have joined the Convention, as 103 States Parties and 17 Signatories.

Sources: Convention on Cluster Munitions Website

ACHIEVEMENTS

Since the entry into force of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, States Parties have been implementing the Convention according to the guidance and goals of the CCM Action Plans, each lasting for a period of 5 years:

The following provides a summary of the achievements of the Convention to date under each action as outlined by both Action Plans.

Universalization
States Parties: 103
Signatory States: 17*
States not Party: 77

*Angola, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cyprus, Djibouti, Gambia, Haiti, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Liberia, Namibia, Nigeria, Philippines, São Tomé and Principe, Tanzania, and Uganda

Click here for the latest universalization status map and list of States by region.

Stockpile destruction(Article 3)
Number of States Parties:-

  • Completed before Convention entered into force: 14
  • Completed ahead of deadline: 16
  • With current obligations: 10

Every State Party has 8 years to destroy all cluster munitions after the Convention enters into force for that State. Click here for an overview of stockpile destruction completion and deadlines.

Clearance and risk reduction education (Article 4)
Number of States Parties:-

  • Completed before Convention entered into force: 2
  • Completed ahead of deadline: 4
  • With current obligations: 10

Every State Party has 10 years to clear and destroy all cluster munition remnants after the Convention enters into force for that State. Click here for an overview of clearance of contaminated areas completion and deadlines.

Victim assistance (Article 5)
To date, 11 States Parties have reported to have cluster munition victims. As required by the Dubrovnik Action Plan, the majority of States Parties with victim assistance obligations have reported on the designation of a national focal point, provided information on a national action plan  on victim assistance, and reported having involved victims in decision-making process.

In recent years, Coordinators have increased efforts to work across Conventional Weapons Treaties (CCM, APMBC and CCW) in promoting an integrated approach to victim assistance. Convention on Cluster Munitions Coordinators for 2016 and 2017 on Victim Assistance (Australia, Chile and Italy) developed the Guidance on an Integrated Approach to Victim Assistance which was published in late 2016.

International cooperation and assistance (Article 6)
There has been an increasing trend in the number of States Parties with obligations under Articles 3, 4, 5 and/or 9 sharing challenges and requesting for assistance through their Article 7 reports. Likewise, there is a positive increase of States Parties reporting to have provided assistance, with a majority of them having reported a rise in their global funding for mine action activities in their most recent Article 7 report.

More workshops and meetings have been hosted by Coordinators on International Cooperation and Assistance in 2017 and 2018 to facilitate communication and foster partnerships between donor and States that have requested assistance. In 2017, the German Presidency of the 7MSP introduced the country coalitions concept to the Convention as a means to enhance international cooperation, which has already led to the formation of few partnerships. An example of a country coalition under the CCM is the Mine Action Forum in Lebanon, where engagement between stakeholders in Lebanon and donors (led by Norway) would be conducted in a predictable manner with a long-term commitment to clear Lebanon of cluster munitions and landmines.

Transparency measures (Article 7)
Initial reports clarify which obligations are relevant for which States Parties, and are essential for establishing the benchmark against which progress is measured. To date 89 States Parties have submitted their initial report, leaving 13 States Parties that have missed their deadline to submit their initial report.

Annual reports demonstrate individual States Parties’ ongoing efforts in implementing the Convention. Timely and quality reports are also key in allowing States to share their challenges and request assistance to fulfill their obligations.

Reporting rates have been notably steady since States Parties began reporting, averaging 70% compliance each year. However, increasing the reporting rate and quality remains a priority under the Convention.

Click here for the UNODA database of Article 7 reports.

National implementation measures (Article 9)
The number of States Parties that have reported through their Article 7 reports to have enacted specific implementation law or that their existing law is deemed sufficient has been steadily increasing over the years. In 2011, only 11 States Parties had specific implementation law, and this has increased to 28 in the present day. 8 States Parties had reported to have sufficient existing law in 2011, and this has arisen to 23. In addition to that 17 States Parties currently have legislation under consideration or in the process of being adopted. Nevertheless, 34 States Parties still need to report or clarify if they have introduced national legislation that is specific to the Convention.

Source:  Convention on Cluster Munitions Website

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