01 July 2016
France gets rid of all its cluster munitions
France completed the destruction of its stockpile of cluster munitions! The announcement was made jointly by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defense on 30 June 2016. Congratulations, felicitations!
In the joint communique, France also firmly condemned the use of cluster munitions and noted the severe consequences that cluster munitions have on civilian populations. It invited all states not yet party to the Convention to come on board and to fully implement it.
This important announcement occurs two years ahead of France's mandatory deadline for stockpile destruction.*
"France had a large stockpile of almost 15 million sub-munitions. It is heartening to know that none of them will ever claim a child's life," said Marion Libertucci, Head of the Advocacy Unit at Handicap International, a founding member of the Cluster Munition Coalition. "This should be an inspiration for other major stockpilers of cluster munitions to get rid of this horrifying weapon."
As noted by the Cluster Munition Monitor, France is a past user, producer, and exporter of cluster munitions, and is now a proactive member of the Convention banning the weapon. France's stockpile of cluster munitions included M26 rockets and OGR 155mm artillery projectiles.
The President of the Convention on Cluster Munitions issued a congratulations note. Other states that recently completed stockpile destruction include Italy and Germany, in late 2015.
*Under the Convention on Cluster Munitions, states have eight years from the entry into force of the Convention to complete stockpile destruction. The Convention entered into force in 2010 for France.