An unexploded AO-1SCh submunition found in South Sudan in 2014. All forces believed capable of delivering cluster munitions have denied using them.
Status of the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions
- A total of 113 states have signed or acceded to the Convention on Cluster Munitions as of 31 July 2014, of which 84 are States Parties legally bound by all of the convention’s provisions.
- Forty-two countries that have used, produced, exported, and/or stockpiled cluster munitions have joined the convention, thereby committing to never engage in those banned activities again.
- Since the convention entered into force on 1 August 2010, becoming binding international law, states can no longer sign, but must instead accede. Five countries have acceded to date, most recently Saint Kitts and Nevis on 13 September 2013.
- In the second half of 2013 and first half of 2014, none of the 29 remaining signatories ratified the convention. The last ratification was Iraq on 14 May 2013.
- At least 22 governments have used cluster munitions during conflict in 38 countries and four disputed territories since the end of World War II.
- In Syria, government forces have used at least 249 cluster munitions in 10 of Syria’s 14 governorates in the period from July 2012 to July 2014. At least seven types of cluster munitions have been used, including air-dropped bombs, dispensers fixed to aircraft, and ground-launched rockets, and at least nine types of explosive submunitions.
- Cluster munitions were used in South Sudan and Ukraine in the first half of 2014, but it is not yet clear which party or parties were responsible.
- There have been no confirmed reports or allegations of new use of cluster munitions by any States Parties since the Convention on Cluster Munitions was adopted on 30 May 2008.
Production and Transfer
- Historically, a total of 34 states have developed or produced more than 200 types of cluster munitions.
- Eighteen states have ceased the production of cluster munitions—16 States Parties and signatories to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, as well as non-signatories Argentina and Slovakia.
- Sixteen countries continue to produce cluster munitions or reserve the right to produce in the future, but only three of these states are known to have used the weapon: Israel, Russia, and the United States.
- In the past, at least 15 countries have transferred more than 50 types of cluster munitions to at least 60 other countries. Six former exporters are now States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.
- At least three states that have not joined the Convention on Cluster Munitions have enacted an export moratorium: Singapore, Slovakia, and the United States.
Civilian harm in Syria
- The Monitor estimates that prior to the start of the global effort to ban cluster munitions, 91 countries stockpiled millions of cluster munitions containing more than 1 billion submunitions. Of the remaining 68 states that have cluster munition stockpiles, 14 have committed to destroy their stockpiles as States Parties and another six must refrain from using them as signatories to the ban convention.
- Collectively, prior to any destruction activities, 29 States Parties stockpiled more than 1.4 million cluster munitions containing 177 million submunitions.
- Under the Convention on Cluster Munitions, 22 States Parties have destroyed 1.16 million cluster munitions and nearly 140 million submunitions. This represents the destruction of 80% of cluster munitions and 78% of submunitions declared as stockpiled by States Parties.
- Four States Parties completed stockpile destruction in the reporting period, all years in advance of the deadline specified by the convention: Chile in July 2013, FYR Macedonia in October 2013, the United Kingdom (UK) in December 2013, and Denmark in March 2014. The UK destroyed a stockpile totaling 190,828 cluster munitions and 38.7 million submunitions.
- During 2013, 10 States Parties including France, Germany, Italy, and Japan destroyed a total of 130,380 cluster munitions and 24 million submunitions. Previously, in 2012, nine States Parties destroyed a total of 173,973 cluster munitions and 27 million submunitions, while in 2011, 10 States Parties destroyed 107,000 cluster munitions and 17.6 million submunitions.
- All 14 States Parties with cluster munitions stockpiles have committed to complete destruction within the eight-year deadline required by the convention. Major stockpilers have indicated they will complete in advance of the deadline, including Sweden in 2014, and Germany and Japan in 2015.
- Most States Parties that have made a formal statement have said that they will not retain any cluster munitions or submunitions for training and development purposes as permitted by the convention.
- Ten States Parties are retaining cluster munitions and/or submunitions for training and development: Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Peru, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
- A total of 23 states and three other areas were contaminated by cluster munition remnants as of 1 July 2014. Ten of these states are party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, committing to clear their land within 10 years, including Lao PDR and Lebanon, the two most affected states.
- Contamination is also still suspected, but not confirmed, in another 15 states.
- Since the last Monitor report, two states have reported completion of clearance of cluster munition remnants in areas under their jurisdiction or control: Mauritania in September 2013, and Norway in April 2014. Formal declarations of completion are still expected from these two states.
- Six states (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Iraq, Lao PDR, Lebanon, and Vietnam) as well as Nagorno-Karabakh have estimated contamination covering 10km² or more of land.
- In 2013, more than 54,000 cluster munition remnants were destroyed during clearance of almost 31km² of contaminated land in 12 states and three other areas.
- Eight contaminated States Parties conducted clearance of cluster munition remnants in 2013: Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Iraq, Lao PDR, Lebanon, Mauritania, and Norway. Among these, the greatest number of submunitions were destroyed in Lao PDR and Lebanon.
- Non-signatories Cambodia, Serbia, Vietnam, and Yemen also conducted clearance of cluster munition remnants as did other areas Kosovo, Nagorno-Karabakh, and Western Sahara.
- In 2013, at least 1,000 cluster munition casualties occurred in Syria, by itself higher than any annual global casualty total since Cluster Munition Monitor reporting began in 2009. In 2013, the only casualties recorded globally during cluster munition strikes occurred in Syria.
- Casualties from cluster munition remnants occurred in nine states and one other area in 2013, based on data available, which is improving but still incomplete. These casualties were recorded in four States Parties (Croatia, Iraq, Lao PDR, and Lebanon), five non-signatories (Cambodia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, and Vietnam), as well as Western Sahara.
- Over the past five decades and as of 31 July 2014, the Monitor reported cluster munition casualties in 31 states, including 12 States Parties and four signatories to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, as well as in three other areas. Through the end of 2013, 19,419 cluster munition casualties have been documented globally; but a better indicator of the all-time number of cluster munition casualties is the total of country estimates, coming to more than 55,000.
- Civilians accounted for the vast majority of casualties over all time, 94% where the status was recorded. In Syria during 2012–2013, 97% of the people killed were civilians.
- The Convention on Cluster Munitions continues to set the highest standards for victim assistance in international humanitarian law; in 2013, even the two non-signatory states with the most cluster munitions victims (Cambodia and Vietnam) continued reporting their efforts according to this emerging norm.
- Conflict and displacement increased dangers and hampered availability of services to victims and survivors in 2013. Refugees from the crisis in Syria increased the demand for basic services in countries to which they fled, notably Iraq and Lebanon, often overwhelming current capacity. In Afghanistan, obtaining medical treatment in conflict-affected areas remained difficult. Attacks on medical personnel and facilities further impeded services.
- All States Parties with cluster munition victims provided some victim assistance services and nearly all States Parties have acted in accordance with the time-bound actions of the convention’s victim assistance plan agreed at the convention’s First Meeting of States Parties in 2010.
- There were measurable improvements in the accessibility of services in many States Parties. However, services remain a far cry from being adequately available, particularly for survivors in remote and rural areas. In the face of declining funding for the NGOs who provide most direct, measurable assistance to survivors, overall, States Parties were yet to replace services and programs that were reduced or closed.
National Legislation and Transparency
- A total of 22 States Parties have enacted national legislation to implement the convention, but none in the second half of 2013 or first half of 2014. Another 19 States Parties are in the process of drafting, considering, or adopting national legislation. Twenty-six States Parties view existing legislation as sufficient to enforce the convention’s provisions.
- A total of 65 States Parties have submitted an initial transparency report as required by Article 7 of the convention, which represents three-quarters of all of States Parties.
Interpretation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions
- At least 38 States Parties and signatories to the convention have expressed a view that even during joint military operations with states not party, any intentional or deliberate assistance with activities banned by the convention is prohibited. Four States Parties have indicated support for the contrary view that the Article 1 prohibition on assistance with prohibited acts may be overridden by the interoperability provisions contained in Article 21.
- At least 34 states have said that both the transit of cluster munitions by a state not party across the territory of a State Party and foreign stockpiling are prohibited by the convention. Five States Parties have asserted that transit and foreign stockpiling are not prohibited by the convention.
- States Parties Norway and the UK have both confirmed that the US has removed its stockpiled cluster munitions from their respective territories. The US has stockpiled and may continue to be storing cluster munitions in States Parties Afghanistan, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Spain.
- Nine States Parties have enacted legislation that explicitly prohibits investment in cluster munitions: including Liechtenstein in 2013. At least 26 States Parties and signatories to the convention have provided their view that investment in cluster munitions production is a form of assistance that is prohibited by the convention.