Canadian Pugwash Group Condemns Cluster Bombs Being Sent to Ukraine 


July 14, 2023

Canadian Pugwash Group Condemns Cluster Bombs Being Sent to Ukraine

The Canadian Pugwash Group condemns the use of cluster munitions everywhere and deeply regrets the recent decision by the United States to provide them to Ukraine. The office of Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly has now made clear: “We do not support the use of cluster munitions and are committed to putting an end to the effects cluster munitions have on civilians – particularly children.”

The Cluster Munitions Monitor reports that  well over 90% of reported cluster bomb casualties worldwide are civilians. Many are small farmers, or children who can be attracted to the toy-like appearance of unexploded but still deadly “bomblets”.

Cluster bombs are indiscriminate weapons that cannot distinguish between combatants and civilians. They may contain hundreds of explosive sub-munitions that can blanket an area the size of a soccer field. Moreover, up to 40% of sub-munitions can fail to explode upon impact and will pose a lethal threat to all who encounter them for many decades. As such their use is contrary to long-standing, internationally agreed prohibitions and regulations.

One hundred and twenty-three countries support the Convention on Cluster Munitions which further prohibits their use and transfer under any circumstances, for all time. This includes Canada and 21 other NATO allies. Regrettably, the United States is not among them, but is still obliged to abide by International Humanitarian Law, which requires that combatants and civilians be distinguished.

The Canadian Pugwash Group calls upon the Government of Canada and all Parties to the Convention to fulfill their legal obligation to do everything in their power to discourage the use of cluster munitions by all parties, including Russia, Ukraine, and allies — directly or indirectly — in the current conflict.

Canadian Pugwash Group


Cesar Jaramillo, Chairperson cjaramillo [at]
Tariq Rauf, Vice-Chairperson