Cluster Munition Ban Policy

Last updated: 03 July 2018

Summary: Non-signatory Qatar has never commented on its position on joining the convention. However, it has participated as an observer in every meeting of the convention and has condemned the use of cluster munitions in Syria. Qatar abstained from voting on a key United Nations (UN) resolution on the convention in December 2017.

Qatar is not known to have used, produced, or exported cluster munitions. It imported cluster munitions and has a stockpile, but has not provided information on the number and types stockpiled.


The State of Qatar has not acceded to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

When asked about acceding to the convention, government officials have given the same answer for the past decade:Qatar is studying the convention and the implications of joining it.[1] Qatar has never publicly acknowledged humanitarian concerns raised by cluster munitions or elaborated its position on accession to the convention.

Qatar participated in the Oslo Process that created the Convention on Cluster Munitions and joined in its consensus adoption in Dublin in May 2008. Yet Qatar attended the Signing Conference in Oslo in December 2008 only as an observer and did not sign the convention.[2]

Qatar has participated as an observer in every meeting of the convention. It has never made a statement at these meetings, but its representatives have discussed the government’s position with the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) and Monitor.[3]

In December 2017, Qatar abstained from voting on a UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution that calls on states outside the Convention on Cluster Munitions to “join as soon as possible.”[4]

In 2012, Qatar said it was “appalled” by the Syrian government’s use of “cluster munitions against its own people.”[5] Qatar has voted in favor of UNGA resolutions expressing outrage at the use of cluster munitions in Syria, most recently in December 2017.[6] It has also voted in favor of Human Rights Council (HRC) resolutions condemning the use of cluster munitions in Syria, most recently in March 2018.[7]

Qatar is a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty. It is also party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.

Use, production, transfer, and stockpiling

Qatar is not known to have produced cluster munitions. In 2011, a Qatari official toldthe Monitorthat Qatar has never used or exported cluster munitions.[8]

Qatar imported cluster munitions and possesses a stockpile. In 2013, a Ministry of Defense representative confirmed that Qatar possesses cluster munitions, but has only used them in training.[9] Qatar has acquired ASTROS II rockets with cluster munition warheads from Brazil.[10]

Other use

From March 2015 until 2017, Qatar participated in a Saudi Arabia-led joint military operation in Yemen against Houthi forces, also known as Ansar Allah, which has used cluster munitions. Qatar has not commented on evidence that the Saudi-led coalition has used cluster munitions in Yemen.

Foreign stockpiling

Qatar’s territory may be the location of United States (US) Armed Forces stocks of cluster munitions according to a US diplomatic cable dated 26 November 2008 and released by Wikileaks in 2011. The cable states, “The U.S. stores cluster munitions in Qatar. Post reports that it is unknown whether Qatar is aware that U.S. cluster munitions are stored there. Post suspects that if Qatar does sign the treaty, the Qataris would want to ensure no cluster munitions are stored there, though to Post’s knowledge this is not something the U.S. has ever discussed with Doha. The U.S. would need to make a direct inquiry to determine if Qatar is going to sign and to discover Qatari intentions. Post anticipates Qatar would request removal of cluster munitions if Qatar signed and were aware of U.S. stocks.”[11]

[1] In September 2017, a Qatari representative stated to the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) that Qatar was studying joining the convention while considering the regional situation, would continue to participate in the convention’s meetings of States Parties, and that it supports the principals and goals of the convention. CMC interview with Lt. Abdulaziz Hamdan Al-Ahmad, Secretary of the National Committee for the Prohibition of Weapons, in Geneva 5 September 2017. See also, CMC interview with Brig. Gen. Ahmad Abdulrahim Al-Abdellah, Ministry of Defense, in Lusaka, 11 September 2013; Monitor interview with Brig. Gen.Nasser al-Ali,Chair of National Committee for the Prohibition of Weapons (NCPW), Qatar Armed Forces, in Beirut, 13 September 2011. In March 2009, Qatar said that a committee established to review the convention had recommended that a decision on joining the convention be postponed in order to study the matter further. Letter from Amb. Nassir Adbulaziz al-Nasser, Permanent Mission of the State of Qatar to the UN in New York, New York, to Human Rights Watch (HRW), 9 March 2009.

[2] For more details on Qatar’s cluster munition policy and practice up to early 2009, see HRW and Landmine Action, Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, May 2009), pp. 228–229.

[3] Qatar has participated as an observer in every Meeting of States Parties of the convention and its First Review Conference in 2015 as well as an intersessional meeting in 2013.

[4] “Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,”UNGA Resolution 72/54, 4 December 2017. Qatar abstained from the votes on similar resolutions on 5 December 2016 and 7 December 2017.

[5] Email from Anna Fritzsche, Campaign and Research Assistant, Crisis Action, 16 October 2012.

[6] “Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic,” UNGA Resolution 72/191, 19 December 2017.Qatar voted in favor of similar resolutions in 2013–2016.

[7] “The human rights situation in the Syrian Arab Republic,” HRC Resolution 37/29, 19 March 2018.Qatar voted in favor of similar resolutions in 2013–2017.

[8] Monitor interview with Brig. Gen. al-Ali, NCPW, Qatar Armed Forces, Beirut, 13 September 2011.

[9] CMC interview with Brig. Gen. Al-Abdellah, Qatar Ministry of Defense, Lusaka, 11 September 2013.

[10] Terry J. Gander and Charles Q. Cutshaw, eds. Jane’s Ammunition Handbook 2001–2002 (Surrey, UK: Jane’s Information Group Limited, 2001), pp. 630–631.

[11] The cable also states that “Unlike other potential signatory states (Germany, Japan, UK) where U.S. military forces store cluster munitions, Italy, Spain, and Qatar have not yet approached the Department or DoD on this issue.” “Demarche to Italy, Spain and Qatar Regarding Convention on Cluster Munitions,” US Department of State cable 08STATE125632 dated 26 November 2008, released by Wikileaks on 1 September 2011.

Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 28 October 2011

The State of Qatar signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 4 December 1997 and ratified it on 13 October 1998, becoming a State Party on 1 April 1999. Qatar has never used, produced, exported, or imported antipersonnel mines, including for training purposes. It believes that existing legislation is sufficient to enforce the antipersonnel mine prohibition domestically. Qatar submitted its seventh Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report on 7 July 2011.

Qatar attended the Tenth Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in November–December 2010 in Geneva and the intersessional Standing Committee meetings in June 2011.

Qatar is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons and its Amended Protocol II on landmines and Protocol V on explosive remnants of war.


Support for Mine Action

Last updated: 22 August 2011

In 2010 Qatar contributed US$139,700 for victim assistance activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories via the International Trust Fund for Mine Victims Assistance (ITF).[1]

Qatar made its first recorded mine action contribution in 2009, when it contributed $2 million to Sudan for the purchase of mine clearance equipment.[2]


[1] ITF, “Annual Report 2010,” March 2011,

[2] Statement of Sudan, Second Review Conference, Cartagena, 3–4 December 2009.