Here Comes the Convention on Cluster Munitions
The Convention on Cluster Munitions, which bans “cluster bombs,” received its 30th ratification yesterday when Burkina Faso and Moldava deposited their ratifications. The treaty, which was signed back in 2008, set 30 as the number of nations needed for it to go into effect. It will now become active on August 1, 2010. Apparently, this treaty was spearheaded by New Zealand and has been signed by 104 nations.
One problem with this treaty, like the Land Mine Treaty, is the non-participation of states, few in number, but by far the most important users of a particular weapon. The U.S. is not a party, and will likely not become a party, to this treaty. Nor will China, Russia, India, Israel, Pakistan, and Brazil. In other words, it seems highly unlikely that New Zealand, Norway, or Spain would need cluster munitions (not to mention Burkina Faso), so their signatures are not exactly crucial or reflective of an international consensus. But the next time a cluster bomb is used, expect the claims that it violates international law to rely on this treaty.