Madagascar

Cluster Munition Ban Policy

Last updated: 26 June 2017

Summary: Madagascar ratified the convention on 20 May 2017 and the convention enters into force for the country on 1 November 2017. It joined after participating as an observer in most of the convention’s meetings and voting in favor of UN resolutions promoting universalization of the convention in 2015 and 2016. Madagascar has condemned new use of cluster munitions and elaborated its views on several important issues for the interpretation and implementation of the convention. Madagascar states that it has never used, produced, transferred, or stockpiled cluster munitions.

Policy

The Republic of Madagascar signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 3 December 2008 and ratified on 20 May 2017. The convention will enter into force for Madagascar on 1 November 2017.

Madagascar became the 101st State Party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions after depositing its instrument of ratification at the United Nations on 20 May 2017. The Cluster Munition Coalition met with Madagascar’s representatives in the months leading up to the ratification to encourage it to swiftly complete the process.[1] Madagascar announced that the deposit of its instrument of ratification was “imminent” during the convention’s Sixth Meeting of States Parties in September 2016.[2]

Madagascar’s national assembly adopted ratification legislation for the convention on 12 May 2015, which was enacted on 8 June 2015.[3] It is not clear if Madagascar intends to enact national implementation legislation to enforce the convention’s provisions.

Madagascar’s initial Article 7 transparency report for the Convention on Cluster Munitions is due by 30 April 2018.

Madagascar voted in favor of a UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution promoting implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions in December 2016 that urges states outside the convention to “join as soon as possible.”[4]

Madagascar participated in the Oslo Process that created the Convention on Cluster Munitions and advocated for a strong and comprehensive convention text.[5]

Madagascar has attended every Meeting of States Parties of the convention as well as the convention’s First Review Conference in September 2015 and intersessional meetings in Geneva in 2011–2015. It has also participated in regional meetings on the convention, most recently in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in August 2016.[6]

Madagascar has condemned the use of cluster munitions “by any actor under any circumstances” on several occasions.[7] Previously, in April 2014, it stated it “strongly condemns” the use of cluster munitions and urged all states to respect the provisions of the convention.[8] In September 2013, Madagascar stated it “forcefully condemns the use of these weapons that do nothing but make innocent civilians suffer, as is happening in Syria.”[9] Madagascar has also voted in favor of UNGA resolutions condemning the use of cluster munitions in Syria.[10]

Interpretive issues

Madagascar has elaborated its views on several important issues relating to interpretation and implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions. It has stated that any investment in cluster munitions should be prohibited because of the unacceptable suffering caused by these weapons.[11] Similarly, it has stated that it would not allow any transit or foreign stockpiling of cluster munitions on its territory.[12] In regard to the issue of “interoperability,” Madagascar has stated it would refuse to provide assistance in military operations with states not party to the convention who might use cluster munitions and that in its view “assistance to prohibited acts during joint military operations with non State Parties is not permitted by the Convention.”[13]

Madagascar is party to the Mine Ban Treaty. It is also party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.

Use, production, transfer, and stockpiling

Madagascar has stated on several occasions that it has never used, produced, transferred, or stockpiled cluster munitions.[14]



[1] In August 2016, officials from Madagascar told CMC representatives that the ratification bill was pending final approval by the president. ICBL-CMC meeting with Lt.-Col. Rakotondrasoa Hajarizaka, Deputy Chief of International Relations Service, Ministry of National Defense of Madagascar, Addis Ababa, 5 August 2016.

[2] ICBL-CMC meeting with Harifera Elisa Rabemannjara, Counselor at the Permanent Mission of Madagascar to the UN in Geneva, 6 September 2016.

[4]Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA Resolution 71/45, 5 December 2016. It voted in favor of a similar UNGA resolution in 2015. See: “Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA Resolution 70/54, 7 December 2015.

[5] For details on Madagascar’s cluster munition policy and practice up to early 2009, see Human Rights Watch and Landmine Action, Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, May 2009), p. 114.

[6] Convention on Cluster Munitions Ratification Seminar, Kampala, 29–30 May 2017; “The Addis Ababa Commitment on Universalization and Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” Africa Regional Workshop on the Universalization of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, 5 August 2016.

[7] Statement of Madagascar, Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 23 June 2015.

[8] Ibid., 7 April 2014. Unofficial translation by the Monitor.

[9] Statement of Madagascar, Convention on Cluster Munitions Fourth Meeting of States Parties, Lusaka, 11 September 2013. Unofficial translation by the Monitor.

[10]Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic,” UNGA Resolution 70/234, 23 December 2015. Madagascar voted in favor of similar resolutions on 15 May and 18 December 2013, and in 2014.

[11] Statement of Madagascar, Convention on Cluster Munitions First Meeting of States Parties, Vientiane, 10 November 2010. Notes by the CMC; and letter from Amb. Rajemison Rakotomaharo, Permanent Mission of Madagascar to the UN in Geneva, 2 April 2010.

[12] Statement of Madagascar, Convention on Cluster Munitions First Meeting of States Parties, Vientiane, 10 November 2010. Notes by the CMC; statement by Gen. Marcel Ranjeva, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Convention on Cluster Munitions Signing Conference, Oslo, 4 December 2008; and letter from Amb. Rakotomaharo, Permanent Mission of Madagascar to the UN in Geneva, 2 April 2010.

[13] Statement of Madagascar, Convention on Cluster Munitions First Meeting of States Parties, Vientiane, 10 November 2010. Notes by the CMC; letter from Amb. Rakotomaharo, Permanent Mission of Madagascar to the UN in Geneva, 2 April 2010. When signing the convention in 2008, the foreign minister said that the question of “interoperability” (joint military operations with states not party) should not constitute a barrier for countries to sign the convention. He stated that the goal is to encourage those outside of the convention not to resort to the use and transfer of cluster munitions. Statement by Gen. Ranjeva, Convention on Cluster Munitions Signing Conference, Oslo, 4 December 2008.

[14] Statement of Madagascar, Lomé Regional Seminar on the Universalization of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Lomé, Togo, 22 May 2013. Notes by Action on Armed Violence (AOAV); statement of Madagascar, Convention on Cluster Munitions First Meeting of States Parties, Vientiane, 10 November 2010. Notes by the CMC; letter from Amb. Rakotomaharo, Permanent Mission of Madagascar to the UN in Geneva, 2 April 2010; and statement by Gen. Ranjeva, Convention on Cluster Munitions Signing Conference, Oslo, 4 December 2008.