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International: Cluster Munitions Treaty to Take Effect

(Feb. 19, 2010) According to a February 16, 2010, United Nations press release, the Convention on Cluster Munitions will enter into force in August 2010. The 29th and 30th nations, Burkina Faso and Moldova, have submitted their instruments of ratification. (Press Release, U.N. Secretary-General, Secretary-General Welcomes August Entry into Force for Convention on Cluster Munitions as United Nations Receives Thirtieth Ratification (Feb. 16, 2010), available at U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on all nations to join the Convention and said that its “entry into force just two years after its adoption demonstrates the world's collective revulsion at the impact of these terrible weapons.” (Id.)

China, India, Israel, Pakistan, Russia, and the United States, nations considered major users of cluster bombs, have yet to adopt the Convention, as they consider the bombs to be legitimate military weapons. The United States has also argued that the ban on cluster munitions would hurt humanitarian efforts by making cooperation with non-signatory nations more difficult. (Haley Wojdowski, Cluster Munitions Treaty to Take Effect August 1 After 30 Countries Ratify, PAPER CHASE NEWSBURST, Feb. 18, 2010, available at

The Convention was adopted in Dublin on May 20, 2008, and opened for signature in December of that year. It bans the use, stockpiling, production, and transfer of cluster munitions and contains articles on assistance to victims, clearance of contaminated areas, and destruction of existing stockpiles. It has been signed by 104 nations. (The Convention on Cluster Munitions, Convention website,; an English-language version of the text of the treaty is available from the same website, (both last visited Feb. 18, 2010); see also Constance A. Johnson, Cluster Bomb Ban Signed, GLOBAL LEGAL MONITOR, Dec. 16, 2008, available at //