Denmark takes an important step in global fight against cluster munitions

Denmark has destroyed its entire stockpile of cluster bombs almost five years in advance of the eight-year deadline set by the convention. This is a strong signal in the global fight against cluster munitions
©Forsvarets Materieltjeneste
The Danish cluster bombs have been disassembled at a factory in Spain.

DanChurchAid (DCA) commends the Danish authorities for getting rid of the Danish stockpile of cluster munitions four and a half years before the deadline set in the Convention on Cluster Munitions.
Denmark signed the convention in 2008 and it was integrated into Danish law in December 2010. By doing so Denmark committed itself to destroy its cluster bombs within an eight year timeframe. Today the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported that the Danish stockpile has already been destroyed in a facility in Spain.
Cluster munitions
  • Cluster munitions are large weapons which are deployed from the air and from the ground and release dozens or hundreds of smaller submunitions. Too often these “bomblets” does not detonate at impact and afterwards they constitute a danger to civil populations for many years.
  • Denmark has had cluster munitions since the Cold War. The Danish stockpile consisted of 42,000 bombs with 2.5 million submunitions.
  • The majority of the nations in the world have signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions
  • Cluster munitions has been used in the current conflict in Syria

“The sooner these terrible weapons are abolished the better, so this is a very welcome step,” says Richard MacCormac, head of Humanitarian Mine Action in DCA.
Presently, DCA is clearing cluster munitions in Lebanon and has for long time pushed for Denmark to destroy its stockpile of cluster munitions.
”We know that these weapons kill indiscriminately and are the root of major suffering in the civil populations in the countries where they are used,” says Richard MacCormac.
The international coalition against cluster bomb, Cluster Munition Coalition, is also praising Denmark’s commitment to the convention.
“We urge all other states to follow Denmark’s example to ensure all stockpiles of cluster munitions are taken out of circulation and can never be used again,” says director Sarah Blakemore.
Next step: Ban on investments
With the destruction of its own stockpile, Denmark has fulfilled its obligations in relation to the Convention on Cluster Munitions and naturally that also evokes delight in the government.

©Folkekirkens Nødhjælp
In Laos the number of unexploded submunittions by far exceeds the number of inhabitants. The mother of this family died when she hit a cluster bomb with his hoe in the family garden.

“It sends a strong signal that Denmark has now destroyed our entire operational stockpile of cluster munitions. Cluster bombs are inhumane weapons which all countries should abolish as soon as possible. Our work does not end here. All states outside the Convention on Cluster Munition must join the convention in order to ensure a total and global ban. In close partnership with likeminded countries and Danish and International humanitarian organisations, we will continue our joint efforts towards a world free from cluster bombs,” says the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Martin Lidegaard.
Cluster munitions are still in use in Syria so DCA agrees with the minister that the fight against the weapon is not won yet. DCA believes that next step towards a world free of cluster bombs should be to introduce a ban on investments in the producers of the illegal weapons.
In May 2013 the now former Minister for Business and Growth Annette Vilhelmsen announced her intention of implementing such a ban and DCA is looking forward to the current minister of the resort will announce where the government stands on the subject today.