Every country in the world can and should join the Convention on Cluster Munitions. It is a question of political will and placing a priority on the protection of civilians over outdated and indiscriminate weapons.

The Cluster Munition Coalition stands ready to provide advice, technical support and resources to all countries that have yet to ratify or accede to the convention. Contact us at for more information.

For states that have signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions, the next step is to ratify it. The purpose of ratification is to ensure that the government has thoroughly examined the implications of the obligations in the convention and has determined that it is in a position to comply with them. Ratification is the process by which a particular state becomes a State Party.

Now that the convention has entered into force, those states that did not have the opportunity to sign need to join by acceding to the convention – a one-step process. Certain states use the terms “acceptance” or “approval” to describe their adherence to international treaties. These terms all have the same legal effect as ratification and consequently express a State’s consent to be bound by a treaty.

How does the convention become law for a particular country?

States must carry out the national domestic requirements necessary to ratify or accede to an international convention. The procedure to ratify or accede to an international convention differs from country to country and is usually set by the constitution or in national law. For some countries, ratification or accession requires drafting national legislation before it can take place, while in some states this step can wait until afterwards. In almost every country, ratification or accession involves consideration by the parliament and/or executive, in addition to consultations among various government departments or ministries.

After the decision to ratify or accede to the convention has been made at the national level, states must then deposit their instrument of ratification or accession with the United Nations, which has been tasked as depository of the Convention (Article 22).

How to find model national legislation

The ICRC has model legislation for common law states (available in English).

New Zealand has prepared a national legislation model for small states that do not possess cluster munitions and are not contaminated by them.

The Cluster Munition Coalition and the Implementation Support Unit of the Convention are available to provide assistance with legislation.

How to deposit instruments of ratification or accession

Instruments of ratification or accession must be deposited with the United Nations as the treaty's depositary.

The ICRC has drafted model instruments of ratification and accession.

To deposit the instrument of ratification or the instrument of accession, states should contact the Treaty Section of the United Nations:

Treaty Section
Office of Legal Affairs
2 UN Plaza - 323E 44th St.
Room DC2-0513
United Nations
New York 10017
United States

Telephone: +1-212-963-5047
Fax: +1-212-963-3693