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1. Explosive
A substance or mixture of substances which, under external influences, is capable of rapidly releasing energy in the form of gases and heat.
2. Munition, Ammunition
A complete device charged with explosives, propellants, pyrotechnics, initiating composition, or nuclear, biological or chemical material for use in military operations, including demolitions. Note: In common usage, ‘munitions’ (plural) can be military weapons, ammunition and equipment.
3. Mine
A munition designed to be placed under, on or near the ground or other surface area and to be exploded by the presence, proximity or contact of a person or a vehicle.
4. Anti-Personnel Mine (APM)
A mine designed to be exploded by the presence, proximity or contact of a person and that will incapacitate, injure or kill one or more persons. Note: Mines designed to be detonated by the presence, proximity or contact of a vehicle as opposed to a person that are equipped with anti-handling devices, are not considered APM as a result of being so equipped.
5. Explosive Ordnance (EO)
All munitions containing explosives, nuclear fission or fusion materials and biological and chemical agents. This includes bombs and warheads; guided and ballistic missiles; artillery, mortar, rocket and small arms ammunition; all mines, torpedoes and depth charges; pyrotechnics; clusters and dispensers; cartridge and propellant actuated devices; electro-explosive devices; clandestine and improvised explosive devices; and all similar or related items or components explosive in nature.
6. Unexploded Ordnance (UXO)
Explosive Ordnance that has been primed, fuzed, armed or otherwise prepared for use or used. It may have been fired, dropped, launched or projected yet remains unexploded either through malfunction or design or for any other reason.
7. Abandoned Explosive Ordnance (AXO)
Explosive Ordnance that has not been used during an armed conflict, that has been left behind or dumped by a party to an armed conflict, and which is no longer under control of the party that left it behind or dumped it. Abandoned explosive ordnance may or may not have been primed, fuzed, armed or otherwise prepared for use.
8. Explosive Remnants of War (ERW)
Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) and Abandoned Explosive Ordnance (AXO).
9. Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD)
The detection, identification, evaluation, render safe, recovery and disposal of EO.
EOD may be undertaken:

  • as a routine part of mine clearance operations, upon discovery of ERW;
  • to dispose of ERW discovered outside hazardous areas, (this may be a single item of ERW, or a larger number inside a specific area);
  • or to dispose of EO which has become hazardous by deterioration, damage or attempted destruction

10. Submunition (bomblet)
Any munition that, to perform its task, separates from a parent munition. Mines or munitions that form part of a CBU, artillery shell or missile payload.
11. Cluster Bomb Unit (CBU)
An expendable aircraft store composed of a dispenser and sub-munitions. A bomb containing and dispensing sub-munitions which may be mines (anti-personnel or anti-tank), penetration (runway cratering) bomblets, fragmentation bomblets etc.
12. Cluster munitions
Munitions are air-dropped or ground-launched explosive weapons that eject smaller submunitions: a cluster of bomblets. The most common types are designed to kill enemy personnel and destroy vehicles. Other submunition-based weapons designed to destroy runways, electric power transmission lines, disperse chemical orbiological weapons, or to scatter land mines have also been produced. Some submunition-based weapons can disperse non-munitions such as leaflets.
Because cluster bombs release many small bomblets over a wide area they pose risks to civilians both during attacks and afterwards. During attacks the weapons are prone to indiscriminate effects, especially in populated areas. After a conflict unexploded bomblets can kill or maim civilians long after a conflict has ended. Unexploded submunitions are costly to locate and remove.
Cluster munitions are prohibited for those nations that ratify the Convention on Cluster Munitions, adopted in Dublin, Ireland in May 2008 and signed by 94 nations on 3-4 December 2008 in Oslo, Norway. As of July 15, 2009, 98 have signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions of which 14 have ratified. The general rules of international humanitarian law aimed at protecting civilians also apply to cluster bombs as they do to all weapons.
13. Mine Action (humanitarian mine action)
Activities which aim to reduce the social, economic and environmental impact of mines and ERW.

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