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 It is a question of political will and placing a priority on the protection of civilians over outdated and indiscriminate weapons.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

States that signed the convention before its entry into force (1 August 2010) must ratify it to become full States Parties. Non-signatories can join the convention through accession. Certain states use the terms “acceptance” or “approval” to describe their adherence to international treaties. These terms all have the same legal effect 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). This is the step that makes that state a State Party to the convention.

How to find model national legislation

The Harvard Law School International Human Rights Clinic makes recommendations on national legislation and has studied existing legislation to help states draft their own national laws: Staying Strong: Key Components and Positive Precedent for Convention on Cluster Munitions Legislation (download the PDF in the top right corner).

The ICRC has model legislation for common law states (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 convention'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