NPWJ welcomes critical step towards banning cluster munitions

17 Feb, 2010 | Publications

The world has moved closer to a total ban on the production and use of cluster munitions, with the recent ratifications by Burkina Faso and Moldova of the International Convention on Cluster Munitions. The Convention, which required 30 ratifications to become legally binding on its States Parties, will enter into force on 1 August 2010.
The international treaty – which was opened for signature in Oslo in December 2008 – comprehensively bans the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of cluster munitions. The treaty sets strict deadlines for the destruction of existing stockpiles and the clearance of contaminated land and enshrines humanitarian and human rights principles for assistance to victims and affected communities.

Statement by Sergio Stanzani and Niccoló Figa-Talamanca, President and Secretary-General of No Peace Without Justice:

“Cluster bombs break open in the air and send hundreds of bomblets across wide areas, the size of football fields. They are a scourge of modern-day warfare and rival landmines in their capacity to kill, main and injure civilians indiscriminately. They have caused untold and unacceptable harm to civilians, particularly to children, in so many conflicts throughout the world for the last 50 years, including as recently as 2008. Cluster bombs -like landmines- don’t simply go away when conflict is over: the bomblets remain where they have fallen, often active, ready to kill unexpectedly until and unless they are expensively and dangerously removed.

“NPWJ applauds the recent ratifications by Burkina Faso and Moldova and welcomes the imminent entry into force of this extremely important tool for the protection of civilians during armed conflict and beyond. We welcome this indication of a strong global commitment to take urgent and immediate steps to rid the world of all cluster munitions.

“We strongly hope that the treaty’s entry into force will help to prevent more human suffering in the future. Given the shocking deadly legacy of cluster bomb use, there is no excuse not to join the ban, including for their biggest producers and stockpilers.

“We urge States to sign, ratify and implement the Convention before the First Meeting of States Parties, which is scheduled to be held in Vientiane in late 2010, in order to strengthen the support to the cluster bomb ban and ensure its prompt effectiveness.”

For more information: contact Alison Smith:, Tel: +32-2-548-3912 or Nicola Giovannini on or +32-2-548-3914.