Assessing the likelihood of the 77 non-signatories joining the CCM

In this, the second in a series of web stories, we look at the 77 states that have yet to join the convention and assess the likelihood of them doing so in the near future.

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One could be forgiven for being slightly pessimistic at the prospect of the 77 non-signatories joining the convention, particularly if one simply accepts the data at face value. After all, 16 of the 77 are or were producers of cluster munitions at some point; 11 have exported the weapon; 21 have claimed that regional security issues are a factor in their decision not to join; and 43 possess or are suspected to possess stocks. All blots on their copybooks sure, however when we look more closely, it is clear there is yet cause for optimism.

For instance, using these same figures, we see that although 16 are or were producers of cluster munitions, 61 of the 77 have never produced; 66 have never exported the weapon; and, perhaps crucially, 28 do not have stockpiles.* And the optimism should not end there.

Forty-two of the 77 have condemned the use of cluster munitions in Syria; 24 have never used, produced, transferred, or stockpiled cluster munitions; 14 have made recent positive statements on joining the convention; 32 have attended meetings on the convention in recent years; and 45 are States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty—signaling their commitment to eradicating similarly indiscriminate weapons. But wait, there’s more.

A clear indication of the attitude of non-signatories to the convention can be derived from the annual UN General Assembly resolution promoting implementation. In 2017, 30 of the 77 non-signatories voted in favor of the resolution that calls on all states outside the convention to “join as soon as possible,” with just two states voting against.

Bearing all this in mind, it is clear that non-signatories continue to demonstrate an enduring interest in and support for the convention and that there is the strong possibility of a good proportion of the 77 joining in the near future…with the rest to follow not too long thereafter!

* For six states it is unclear or unknown if they possess stockpiles. 

This is part two in a series of web stories that celebrate the double anniversary year of 2018. In the coming weeks further stories on the convention and the campaign will be published. Stay tuned!