FIRST REVIEW CONFERENCE OF THE CONVENTION ON CLUSTER MUNITIONS
STORAGE AND STOCKPILE DESTRUCTION
STATEMENT OF AUSTRALIA
Australia does not need to undertake a stockpile destruction process, as Australia does not have, and has never had, operational stocks of cluster munitions.
As required by the Convention, Australia will not use, develop, produce or otherwise acquire operational stocks of prohibited cluster munitions.
As permitted by Article 3(6) of the Convention, Australia reserves the right to retain and acquire limited numbers of cluster munitions for training and counter-measures purposes.
However, as reported in Australia’s transparency report, all cluster munitions and explosive submunitions previously retained for training purposes were destroyed in 2013.
These previously retained cluster munitions were not part of the Australian Defence Force’s operational weapons inventory, and were not – in either numbers or configuration – suitable for operational use by the Australian Defence Force.
In addition, for training and counter-measures purposes, the Australian Defence Force also holds some inert samples of cluster munitions and practice munitions.
However, these are not defined as cluster munitions under the Convention.
The Australian Defence Force does not train to use cluster munitions operationally, only to detect and clear them.
This enables the Australian Defence Force to conduct training in cluster munitions detection, clearance and destructions techniques for battlefield and humanitarian clearance operations.
This assists in educating civilians living in areas contaminated with explosive remnants of war, and in the protection of Australian Defence Forces personnel.
We recognise the need for transparency and Australia supports simplified reporting that does not duplicate existing United Nations reporting requirements.
Thank you Madam President.