The terms conventional weapons or conventional arms generally refer to weapons that are in relatively wide use that are not weapons of mass destruction (e.g. nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons). Conventional weapons include small arms and light weapons, sea and land mines, as well as (non-weapons of mass destruction) bombs, shells, rockets, missiles, and cluster munitions. These weapons use explosive material based on chemical energy, as opposed to nuclear energy in nuclear weapons.
The acceptable use of all types of conventional weapons in war time is governed by the Geneva Conventions. Certain types of conventional weapons are also regulated or prohibited under the United Nations Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons. Others are prohibited under the Convention on Cluster Munitions, the Ottawa Treaty (also known as the Mine Ban Treaty) and Arms Trade Treaty.
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