The Convention on Cluster Munitions includes an obligation never to use, produce, transfer or stockpile cluster munitions. It also includes several positive obligations to ensure no further use and to redress past harm caused by the weapons.
The ban on cluster munitions needs to be universally respected for it to have full impact and prevent further harm to civilians. Getting more states on board the Convention on Cluster Munitions is an essential part of spreading the ban norm given its comprehensive and unequivocal prohibition on cluster munitions. It is also important to discourage any actors – even if not yet part of the convention or non-state actors – from using cluster munitions ever again. The rare cases of use of cluster munitions in recent years have been met with widespread, firm condemnation by the international community, and the CMC encourages any future use to be met with the same strong response. Promotion of both universalization of the convention and the ban norm are requirements under the convention.
Summary of the key convention obligations (Article 21)
States Parties are required to promote universalisation of the convention, to notify states not party of their treaty obligations, and to discourage states not party from using cluster munitions. States Parties may engage in military cooperation and operations with states not party that might engage in prohibited activities, but still must respect their Article 1 duty to never assist anyone with any prohibited act.