Three years after global ban, UK to complete destruction of all cluster bombs
On the third anniversary of the entry into force of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, the UK is on track to become the first major past user of the weapons to destroy its entire stockpile.
The UK has already destroyed 95% of its stockpile of cluster munitions and is due to complete destruction of the remainder by the end of this year, 5 years ahead of the 2018 deadline under the treaty.
Unlike Germany and the Netherlands, the UK has said that it will not retain any cluster munitions for ‘training purposes’.
“It’s encouraging to see such progress from the UK, itself a significant user of cluster bombs before the ban in 2008. It shows that radical policy shifts and real progress in disarmament are possible”, said Thomas Nash, Director of Article 36.
So far, 180,196 cluster munitions, containing 32,545,586 submunitions, have been destroyed at facilities in Italy and Germany. This includes all of the BL-755 type used in the former Yugoslavia, Iraq and the Falkland Islands, and its entire stockpile of M85 submunitions.
There are 9,648 M26 rockets containing 6,213,312 submunitions still awaiting destruction.