Cluster Munitions

The United States shares in the international concern about the humanitarian impact of the indiscriminate use of all munitions, including cluster munitions. That is one of the reasons that it spends more than any other country to eliminate the risk to civilians from landmines and all explosive remnants of war, including unexploded cluster munitions.

Cluster munitions have demonstrated military utility. Their elimination from U.S. stockpiles would put the lives of its soldiers and those of its coalition partners at risk. Moreover, cluster munitions can often result in much less collateral damage than unitary weapons, such as a larger bomb or larger artillery shell would cause, if used for the same mission.

U.S. Landmine Policy

In September 2014, the following policy changes were announced: The United States is aligning our anti-personnel landmine (APL) policy outside the Korean Peninsula with the key requirements of the Ottawa Convention, the international treaty prohibiting the use, stockpiling, production, and transfer of APL, which more than 160 countries have joined, including all of our NATO Allies. This means that the United States will:

  • not use APL outside the Korean Peninsula;
  • not assist, encourage, or induce anyone outside the Korean Peninsula to engage in activity prohibited by the Ottawa Convention; and
  • undertake to destroy APL stockpiles not required for the defense of the Republic of Korea.

This change to U.S. APL policy builds on the announcement that the U.S. delegation made in June 2014 at the Third Review Conference of the Ottawa Convention in Maputo, Mozambique, that the United States will not produce or otherwise acquire any anti-personnel munitions that are not compliant with the Ottawa Convention, including to replace such munitions as they expire in the coming years. It also follows previous steps the United States has taken to end the use of all non-detectable mines and all persistent mines, which can remain active for years after the end of a conflict.

The measures announced today represent a further step to advance the humanitarian aims of the Ottawa Convention and to bring U.S. practice in closer alignment with a global humanitarian movement that has had a demonstrated positive impact in reducing civilian casualties from APL.

Even as we take this further step, the unique circumstances on the Korean Peninsula and our commitment to the defense of the Republic of Korea preclude us from changing our anti-personnel landmine policy there at this time. We will continue our diligent efforts to pursue material and operational solutions that would be compliant with and ultimately allow us to accede to the Ottawa Convention while ensuring our ability to meet our alliance commitments to the Republic of Korea. The security of the Republic of Korea will continue to be a paramount concern as we move forward with these efforts.

Grants and Cooperative Agreements (Assistance)

Federal Grants and/or Cooperative Agreements are used to accomplish a public purpose of support or stimulation authorized by the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended (FAA). Along with its other partners in the international community and other U.S. government agencies, PM/WRA continues to rely on the non-governmental organization (NGO) community to implement many of its Conventional Weapons Destruction (CWD) activities, for example, ground survey and clearance of landmines and unexploded ordnance or destroying excess weapons and munitions. These activities further the Department of State’s and USAID’s joint strategic objectives to:

  1. Prevent and Respond to Crises and Conflict, Tackle Sources of Fragility, and Provide Humanitarian Assistance to Those in Need (FY 2014-2017 Department of State and USAID Strategic Plan objective 2.3)
  2. Overcome Global Security Challenges through Diplomatic Engagement and Development Cooperation (FY 2014-2017 Department of State and USAID Strategic Plan objective 2.4)

These instruments invite interested parties to submit applications for PM/WRA assistance and explain what the application should contain, how it should be written, and the evaluation criteria to be used.

PM/WRA competes awards through the publication of Notice of Funding Opportunities (NOFO), found at All PM/WRA grant recipients must submit proposals through SAMS Domestic (

2 CFR 200, also known as the “Super Circular”, became active on December 26th, 2014. It streamlines eight previous federal regulations into a comprehensive guidance and serves as the current legal doctrine on Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. 2 CFR 200 can be found here.

The Department of State has adopted the entirety of 2 CFR 200 with minimal exceptions. The few allowances can be found in 2 CFR 600.

U.S. Department of State Foreign Assistance Terms and Conditions can be found here.

U.S. Department of State Bureau Award Specifics:

Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO)

Below are three (3) examples of past PM/WRA NOFOs, each pertaining to a separate mine-action field: Clearance and Survey, Stockpile Management, and Humanitarian Mine Action.. Note: All references to Grant Solutions will now be SAMS Domestic on new NOFOs

Grant Proposal Guidance and Template

PM/WRA’s NOFO Application Guidance:

To Walk the Earth in Safety

Since the inception of the U.S. Humanitarian Mine Action Program in 1993, and its merging into our overall Conventional Weapons Destruction program in subsequent years, the United States has delivered more than $2.9 billion in aid to help overcome threats from landmines and unexploded ordnance, as well as the destruction of at-risk and unsecured weapons and munitions in over 100 countries around the world. These efforts have been led by the U.S. Department of State, in close partnership with the Department of Defense, U.S. Agency for International Development, and a host of experts from across the U.S. Government, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector.

The United States is proud to be the world’s single largest financial supporter of conventional weapons destruction and we share common cause with those working to address the harmful effects of indiscriminately used landmines on civilians and to prevent small arms and light weapons from falling into the hands of terrorists. Our efforts have enabled many countries around the world to become free of the humanitarian impact of landmines. These funds also support mine risk education to prevent accidents, and provide prosthetics, physical rehabilitation services, and vocational training for the injured. Physical security and stockpile management, including destroying excess weapons stockpiles, has become a primary tool in degrading violent extremist organizations’ capabilities, preventing accidental weapons depot explosions, and mitigating internal armed conflict. The programs we fund produce tangible, measurable, and positive results.

“To Walk the Earth in Safety” documents the United States’ commitment to conventional weapons destruction programs, supporting stability around the world. The report is a publication of the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the State Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs (PM/WRA).

The Journal of Conventional Weapons Destruction

The Journal of Conventional Weapons Destruction is a forum for international discourse on issues relating to post-conflict environments and explosive hazards clearance for the humanitarian mine action (HMA) and conventional weapons destruction (CWD) community. Its purpose is to act as a conduit through which HMA/CWD operators—including nongovernemental organizations, governments/militaries, academics and practitioners—present and share information on pertinent issues, practices, experiences, case studies, and new technologies/methodologies in the HMA and CWD field. Since its first publication in 1997, The Journal continues to function as an historical resource for the community of practice, presenting a chronological reflection on the developments within the HMA/CWD field over the past 21 years.

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