Treaty obligations

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.

Interpretive issues under the convention on cluster munitions

While the Convention on Cluster Munitions contains a clear and unequivocal ban on cluster munitions, some states have differing views on a few issues related to its implementation and interpretation. The Cluster Munition Coalition and the vast majority of convention member states believe that the convention’s prohibition on assistance with banned acts means it is also against the convention to:

  • Provide direct and indirect assistance with the use of cluster bombs, including during joint military operations with states not party;
  • Permit the transit of cluster munitions through the state’s territory;
  • Allow other states to stockpile cluster munitions on their territory; and
  • Authorize investment of public or private funds in the development or production of cluster munitions or their key components.

However, a small number of states have taken a contrary view and believe some or all of these acts are allowed under the convention. It is important for states that have not yet made clear their views to do so through statements and/or national laws and policies. The CMC recommends a ban on all these forms of assistance be included in national implementation laws.