On 16 February 2010 Burkina Faso and the Republic of Moldova ratified the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM), thereby bringing the total number of ratifications to 30 and thus triggering the six-month count-down to entry into force. The Convention will enter into force on 1 August 2010, and the First Meeting of States Parties will be held in Lao PDR in November. At the time of writing, over 100 countries have already signed this humanitarian disarmament treaty, negotiated in May 2008. While encouraging additional states to ratify is critical to the ultimate success of the treaty, international attention will be shifting to the nuts and bolts issues of implementation of the Convention's provisions.
The CCM comprehensively bans the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of cluster munitions. In addition, the treaty obliges its member states to assist victims of cluster munitions, clear cluster munition affected areas, destroy their stockpiles of the weapon, and cooperate and assist each other toward these ends. These are formidable tasks. How can states party to the Convention, in partnership with international organizations and civil society, ensure the treaty's practical goals are achieved? This issue of Disarmament Forum will examine what will be required to implement some of these humanitarian and development commitments.
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Editor’s note, Kerstin Vignard
The Ban Advocates: cluster munition victims’ commitment to the implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Stan Brabant
Implementation aspects of stockpile destruction, Vera Bohle
Assistance to cluster munition victims: a major step toward humanitarian disarmament, Markus A. Reiterer
The Convention on Cluster Munitions: considering implementation from a battle area clearance perspective, Chris Clark
The role of NGO activism in the implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Thomas Nash
UNIDIR focus: Some lessons learned in South Lebanon for the Convention on Cluster Munitions, John Borrie