This issue of Disarmament Forum focuses on cluster munitions. For several years, government experts have touched upon cluster munitions in their discussions at the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) meetings in Geneva, mainly in the context of broader work on explosive remnants of war. While these talks have raised some useful issues, discussions have largely been restricted to technical aspects and general considerations of the adequacy of existing international humanitarian law given the effects of these weapons on civilians at the time of use and post conflict. But international concern is growing and has intensified following the recent use of cluster munitions in Lebanon. Concerned states and civil society groups are now considering different options and mechanisms to develop stronger responses to this weapon.

This issue of Disarmament Forum provides a survey of views of the humanitarian impacts of cluster munitions: it is intended as a resource for multilateral practitioners and the general public prior to and immediately following the crucial 2006 CCW Review Conference. Articles consider the humanitarian effects of these weapons, look at previous use and existing stocks, examine relevant international humanitarian law, offer personal reflections from a deminer and reflect upon the potential role of civil society.

Citation: Kerstin Vignard (ed.) (2006). "Disarmament Forum: Cluster Munitions", UNIDIR, Geneva.

Disponible aussi en français.


  • Editor’s note, Kerstin Vignard
  • Special Comment, Jonas Gahr STØRE
  • The humanitarian effects of cluster munitions: why should we worry? John BORRIE & Rosy CAVE
  • Operational and technical aspects of cluster munitions, Mark HIZNAY
  • Cluster munitions: moving toward specific regulation, Louis MARESCA
  • Stopping cluster munitions, Thomas NASH
  • Cluster munitions and their submunitions—a personal view, Kevin BRYA