Backgrounder: Convention on Cluster Munitions

08:22, August 02, 2010      

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The Convention on Cluster Munitions entered into force on Sunday, six months after 37 signatory states have ratified the 2008 treaty.

In all, 107 countries have so far signed the treaty that requires signatories to stop the use, production and transfer of the weapon.

Cluster munitions, often referred to as cluster bombs either air-dropped or ground-launched, split and scatter before impact multi-submunitions ranging from several dozen to over six hundred bomblets in the size of as small as tennis balls.

Cluster munitions can be launched through bombs or projectiles weighing up to 20 kilograms each and the scattered bomblets can cover an area of up to 30,000 square meters.

Most bomblets explode upon impact whereas quite a few remain unexploded for a long time to come, hence posing a killing or maiming threat to human beings and animals.

Records have it that the first cluster munition was dropped on the British Port of Grimsby in 1943 and the latest use was in 2006 during the Lebanon War.

Over 20 countries hold cluster munitions which combine to number in hundreds of millions in quantity.

On May 30 of 2008, representatives from 107 countries signed in Dublin the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

In February this year, Burkina Faso and Moldova became the 29th and 30th signatory states to have ratified it to quality the convention for taking effect within the next six months.

The Convention on Cluster Munitions has 23 clauses requiring signatories, under any circumstance, not to use, develop, produce, acquire, store, keep, directly or indirectly transfer cluster munitions.

The treaty also requires signatories to destroy their cluster munitions in stockpiles and to assist victims of cluster munitions.

The treaty has detailed out international cooperation on collective elimination of cluster munitions as well as the duties and obligations of signatories within the framework of the treaty.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:秦唯(实习))

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