The world has moved closer to a total ban on the production and use of cluster munitions, with the entry into force on 1 August 2010 of the International Convention on Cluster Munitions.
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. It has been signed by 107 States and ratified by 37 States including Britain, France, Germany and Japan, which all have significant stocks.

Statement by Alison Smith, Legal Counsel of No Peace Without Justice:

“Cluster bombs 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.

“No Peace Without Justice and the Transnational Nonviolent Radical Party welcome the 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 November 2010, in order to strengthen support for the cluster bomb ban and realise as early as possible its full potential as a tool to protect civilians.”

For more information: contact Alison Smith:, Tel: +32-2-548-3912 or Nicola Giovannini on or +32-2-548-3915.