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Disarmament: A Basic Guide

Fourth Edition

image of Disarmament: A Basic Guide

Conceived as a comprehensive introduction to a field central to the work of the United Nations, Disarmament: A Basic Guide aims to provide a useful overview of the nuanced challenges of building a more peaceful world in the twenty-first century. It was written with the general reader in mind and it strives to be accessible without downplaying the complexity of the issues it explores. This fourth edition includes updated figures, tables and treaty statuses; new analysis of the key developments since 2012; discussion of two recently agreed legal instruments, the Arms Trade Treaty and the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons; and a new chapter on emerging threats from cyber weaponry, unmanned combat aerial vehicles and lethal autonomous weapons systems.

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Cluster munition

In simple, functional terms, a cluster munition (or cluster bomb) is a container that holds a number of submunitions, ranging from a few to several hundred. They can be airor ground-launched, releasing “bomblets” or “grenades”, respectively. Since their design and first use over half a century ago, more than 35 countries and territories have been affected by their use and more than 20 countries have used them (Cluster Munition Coalition). Cambodia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Viet Nam, which were bombed between 1964 and 1973, together have the tragic distinction of being the world’s most heavily cluster-bombed region. Other areas affected by cluster munitions include Chad, Eritrea, Sierra Leone and the Sudan in Africa, as well as Afghanistan, Albania, Chechnya and the former Yugoslav Republics. The Cluster Munition Coalition and Human Rights Watch report the use of cluster munitions in a number of countries since the year 2000, including in Afghanistan, Cambodia, Georgia, Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, Libya, South Sudan, the Sudan, Syria, Ukraine and Yemen.

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