Cluster Munitions

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Jun 1, 2022, 11:59

Cluster Munitions are weapons used in modern warfare. It is a sophisticated weapon that is airdropped from a plane but can also be launched from the ground. It is a kind of weapon that releases smaller submunitions after launch.

These weapons are typically used for destroying large areas like electrical power stations and military installations. Cluster Munitions can launch anything from shrapnel for maximum damage to even discharging chemical or biological submunitions.

They can also disperse small landmines. Cluster Munitions are designed to cause maximum damage in the area where they are released.

Cluster Munitions - Damage Caused

Cluster Munitions can pose a severe danger to civilian populations during wartime. The main reason for this is that they fall on the ground indiscriminately when they are released.

After being dropped, they can release hundreds and sometimes thousands of submunitions in all directions over vast areas. The unique feature of Cluster Munitions is that they effectively over a widespread area.

Some Cluster Munitions release weapons as submunitions, like landmines. They fall on the ground and are difficult to detect. When someone accidentally steps on these much later, sometimes even years after the war ends, they explode, maiming the victim severely.

Why Are Cluster Munitions a Problem?

Cluster Munitions cause massive destruction wherever they are released. The submunitions that fail to explode continue to threaten the civilian population much after the conflict ends. Not a lot of countries have used Cluster Munitions.

But what is problematic is that many countries have them stockpiled and are willing to use them in war. A small portion of the stockpiled Cluster Munitions is enough to wreak havoc and destruction.

Worse still, if they get transferred to terrorist groups, the destruction will be massive. It could end up in uncontrolled death and destruction.

There seem to be 210 types of Cluster Munitions produced by 34 countries. Eighty-seven countries have stockpiles of millions of Cluster Munitions that can disperse billions of submunitions.

Important UPSC Topics
UPSC Exam PatternIAS Age Limit
UPSC BooksUPSC Syllabus in Hindi
UPSC Admit CardUPSC Prelims
IAS SyllabusUPSC Question Paper
UPSC Cut OffUPSC Mains

The Convention Of Cluster Munitions

The Convention of Cluster Munitions is an international treaty. It prohibits the use, production, acquisition, stockpiling, and transfer of Cluster Munitions. The treaty is signed by 94 states in total. 21 out of 27 EU states and 18 out of 26 NATO states have signed it.

However, many countries have not signed the treaty. There are allegations that many countries are actively using Cluster Munitions in wars that they are waging today. It continues to be a problem in attempts to avoid a humanitarian crisis due to Cluster Munitions.

☛ Also Read: Current Affairs 2022 PDF

The convention also facilitates the destruction of stockpiles of willing states. The Cluster Munition Monitor tracks these activities. To date, over 1.5 million Cluster Munitions and 178 million submunitions that are in stockpiles have been destroyed.

There are growing fears that Cluster Munitions will continue to be used for the mass destruction of civilian populations during future wars. We must avoid this and stop a massive humanitarian crisis from being created. The US, Russia, and other countries must sign the convention on Cluster Munitions to do that.

More Current Affairs Topics
World Bicycle DayWorld Biryani Day
World Blood Donor DayWorld Book and Copyright Day
World Braille DayWorld Cancer Day
World Chocolate DayWorld Civil Defence Day
World Consumer Rights DayWorld Day for Audiovisual Heritage

FAQs on Cluster Munitions

Q1: What is the United Nations' stance on Cluster Munitions?

The United Nations prohibits the use, manufacturer, transfer, or storing of Cluster Munitions.

Q2: Is India a part of the UN cluster munition convention?

No. India is not yet a part of the UN Convention on Cluster Munitions

Q3: When was Cluster Munitions developed?

Cluster Munitions were developed in the 1950s and 60s.

Q4: Who developed Cluster Munitions for the first time?

The United States and Russia first developed Cluster Munitions.