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About The Cluster Bombs


Recently, the decision by the United States to supply Ukraine with cluster bombs has caused concern among key US allies.


Facts for Prelims

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Cluster bombs
  2. About the Convention on Cluster Munitions

About Cluster bombs

Cluster bombs, also known as cluster munitions, are weapons designed to scatter smaller bomblets over a wide area. Here are some key points about cluster bombs:

  • Function: Cluster bombs are designed to disperse multiple smaller bomblets over a large geographic area, targeting a wide range of targets simultaneously.
  • Submunitions/Bomblets: The smaller bombs contained within cluster bombs are called submunitions or bomblets. They are designed to explode upon impact or after a set time delay.
  • Delivery Methods: Cluster bombs can be deployed through aerial bombardment, such as being dropped from aircraft, or fired from ground or sea-based systems.
  • Humanitarian Impact: Cluster bombs pose a significant threat to civilians and can cause death or severe injuries. The widespread dispersal of bomblets can result in unintended harm to non-combatants, including children and civilians.
  • Unexploded Ordnance: One of the most concerning aspects of cluster bombs is the presence of unexploded bomblets. These submunitions may fail to detonate upon impact and can remain dangerous for years, posing a threat to civilians long after conflicts have ended.
  • International Condemnation: The use of cluster bombs has been widely criticized and condemned by the international community due to their indiscriminate nature and significant humanitarian consequences.
  • Convention on Cluster Munitions: The Convention on Cluster Munitions is an international treaty that aims to eliminate the use, production, transfer, and stockpiling of cluster munitions. Over 100 countries have ratified this convention to uphold the humanitarian principles and prevent the harm caused by cluster bombs.

About the Convention on Cluster Munitions:

  • Adoption and Signature: The Convention on Cluster Munitions was adopted in Dublin, Ireland, on 30 May 2008. It was opened for signature in Oslo, Norway, on 3 December 2008.
  • Prohibition: The convention prohibits all use, stockpiling, production, and transfer of cluster munitions. Its main objective is to eliminate the use and impact of cluster munitions worldwide.
  • Articles: The convention contains separate articles that address various aspects, including the destruction of stockpiles, clearance of contaminated areas, assistance to victims, submission of transparency reports, and adoption of domestic legislation.
  • Entry into Force: The convention became binding international law when it entered into force on 1 August 2010. This means that the provisions of the convention are legally binding on the states that have ratified or acceded to it.
  • State Participation: As of now, a total of 123 states have joined the convention. This includes 111 States Parties, which have ratified or acceded to the convention, and 12 Signatories, which have signed but not yet ratified it.
  • India’s Status: India is not a signatory to the Convention on Cluster Munitions. This means that India has not formally expressed its consent to be bound by the provisions of the convention.

-Source: Indian Express


July 2024