Statement by the IASC at the Meeting of State Parties on the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons: A Call for a Freeze on the Use of Cluster Munitions, 2003
An estimated five to 30 percent of cluster munitions fail to explode when fired or dropped, either penetrating below the ground on impact, or remaining on the surface. Those underground can seriously impede the safe cultivation of land and the development of infrastructure. From a humanitarian worker’s perspective, it is essential that Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) pollution be limited. Parties to conflict must be held accountable for the use, the clean-up and the long term effects of the weapons they employ. Based on the work in the field, the IASC is convinced that within the overall problem of ERW, cluster munitions pose an exceptional humanitarian threat both during and after conflict.
The IASC is concerned that the issue of cluster munitions has not been adequately addressed. Those who use cluster munitions are unable to prevent the negative impact that these weapons have on civilians both during and after conflict. The IASC members therefore call for an immediate freeze on the use of cluster munitions until effective legal remedies aimed at resolving humanitarian concerns are in place.