Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons

The Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects, also known as the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), was concluded on October 10, 1980, and entered into force on December 2, 1983. There are currently 117 States Parties to the Convention and five signatories.

The CCW is made up of a framework convention and five protocols. The weapons currently covered by the CCW include:

  • Weapons leaving undetectable fragments in the human body (Protocol I)
  • Mines, booby-traps and other devices (Protocol II)
  • Incendiary weapons (Protocol III)
  • Blinding laser weapons (Protocol IV) and
  • Explosive remnants of war (Protocol V)

Protocols I, II and III entered into force on 2 December 1983. Protocol IV on blinding laser weapons was negotiated and adopted in 1995 and entered into force in 30 July 1998. Protocol II on the prohibition or restriction on the use of mines, booby-traps and other devices was amended in 1996 and entered into force on 3 December 1998. In 2001, states parties amended Article I of the Convention by extending the scope of its application to include internal armed conflicts. Protocol V was negotiated and adopted on 28 November 2003.

Australia ratified the CCW on 29 September 1983 together with Protocols I, II and III; the amended Protocol II and Protocol IV on 22 August 1997, the amendment to Article I on 3 Dec 2002, and Protocol V in January 2007.  The fourth Review Conference for the CCW was held in Geneva in November 2011.

Australia has a strong record in disarmament and international action to ban weapons that are excessively injurious or have indiscriminate effects.  The Australian Government contributes to international efforts to promote the universalisation of the Mine Ban Convention.  These efforts focus particularly on Australia immediate region, the Indo-Pacific.

Through Australia’s Mine Action Strategy for the Australian aid program 2010-2014, Australia committed $100 million to contribute to global efforts to reduce the threat and socioeconomic impact of landmines, cluster munitions and other explosive remnants of war.  Australia’s support is improving the quality of life for victims of landmines, cluster munitions and other explosive remnants of war; reducing the number of deaths and injuries from landmines, cluster munitions and other explosive remnants of war; and enhancing the capacity of countries to manage their mine action programs.

Last Updated: 18 June 2014