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U.S. Deeply Disappointed by CCW’s Failure to Conclude Procotol on Cluster Munitions
November 25, 2011

Statement of the United States of America on the Outcome of the Fourth Review Conference of the CCW

The United States is deeply disappointed by the failure of the Fourth Review Conference of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) to conclude a protocol on cluster munitions.

The past four years of negotiations in the CCW offered a rare opportunity to place the major users and producers of cluster munitions, who represent between 85 and 90 percent of the world’s stockpiles, under a legally binding set of prohibitions and restrictions regarding cluster munitions for the first time.  The protocol would have led to the immediate prohibition of many millions of cluster munitions; placed the remaining cluster munitions under a detailed set of restrictions and regulations; and subjected member states to a detailed list of additional obligations on issues such as clearance, transparency and destruction, all of which would have led to a substantial humanitarian impact on the ground.

In fact, the protocol would have prohibited a greater number of cluster munitions for the United States alone than the Oslo Convention has prohibited for all of its member states combined.

In the wake of this outcome, the United States will continue to implement its own voluntary policy to prohibit by 2018 the use of cluster munitions with more than a one percent unexploded ordnance rate, and we encourage other countries to take similar steps.   The United States will also continue to serve as a world leader in addressing the humanitarian impact of cluster munition and other explosive remnants.  Since 1993, the United States has provided more than $1.9 billion to mitigate the threat from explosive remnants of war and other conventional weapons destruction in 81 countries.