The CCM at 10
Today marks the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on Cluster Munitions! It is therefore fitting to look back at its impact over the years and to look forward to this year’s historic Meeting of States Parties, where states that have yet to join or ratify have a chance to make the 10-year anniversary a truly memorable one.
Following adoption in Dublin in 2008, states were invited to sign the convention in Oslo in December, where support for a global ban was palpable and resulted in 94 states electing to do so—a remarkable number in itself considering that just two years prior many were saying that a ban on cluster munitions would not be achieved. Along with the states that signed, many others indicated that they were willing to soon thereafter. Five years later, 112 states had signed or acceded, of which 83 were States Parties, and today that figure stands at 120, with 103 States Parties.
In the 10 years since the convention was adopted, a great deal has been achieved. Of the 34 states that had developed or produced cluster munitions at some point in the past, 18 ceased manufacturing prior to or upon joining the convention. No State Party since joining has transferred the weapon. At least 30 states have destroyed their stocks, destroying almost 1.5 million cluster munitions and over 175 million submunitions in the process. A robust disinvestment campaign is making inroads and has resulted in 10 states enacting legislation explicitly prohibiting investments in cluster munitions. Eight States Parties have completed clearance of all cluster munition remnants on their territory. A stigma against use of the weapon is now well established, proven by the global outcry and condemnations that inevitably result from new use. In addition, the convention itself enjoys consistent support by those yet to join, which is measured by the annual UNGA resolution promoting implementation of the CCM—30 non-signatories voted in favor at the last count.
However, despite all these successes, there are still recognized challenges to overcome. A full 10 years after adoption, some states that indicated in Oslo that they would ratify the convention quickly have yet to follow through on this promise. Cluster munitions are still being used in the Syrian and Yemen conflicts, and 2016 marked the second highest annual worldwide casualty figure since records began in 2009. Some States Parties are not doing their utmost to swiftly clear contaminated land and to ensure respect for the rights of survivors.
Nonetheless, overcome we shall.
With the greater significance of this anniversary year’s Meeting of States Parties, there is an opportunity for the 17 remaining signatories to fulfil the promises made in the 10 years since the adoption of the convention. Surely the time is now to make a memorable event all the more so by ratifying prior to and announcing at the MSP in September. This appeal of course extends to the 30 non-signatories that voted in favor of implementation of the convention at the UNGA, to those that abstained or were absent, and to anyone else who will listen. The time for indecision is over. Join now!
Happy 10th Anniversary!