Summary: Non-signatory Serbia acknowledges the humanitarian concerns raised by cluster munitions, but has not taken any steps to accede to the convention. It has participated in several meetings of the convention, most recently in September 2017. Serbia voted in favor of a key United Nations (UN) resolution promoting universalization of the convention in December 2017.
Serbia possesses cluster munitions inherited from the break-up of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY), but has not provided information on the types or quantities stockpiled. Cluster munitions were used by SFRY, ethnic militias, and secessionist forces during the conflicts that resulted from the break-up of Yugoslavia. NATO forces used air-dropped cluster munitions in Serbia during the 1998–1999 conflict over Kosovo.
The Republic of Serbia has not yet acceded to the Convention on Cluster Munitions despite playing an important role in the diplomatic process that created it.
Serbia acknowledges the humanitarian concerns raised by cluster munitions, but has not taken any steps to accede to the convention. Officials from Serbia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs have generally expressed interest and support for the convention’s humanitarian objectives, while the Ministry of Defense has generally objected to accession. For example, in 2015, Serbia’s Minister of Defense said the government will consider acceding to the convention after it acquires new weapons and military equipment to replace its stockpiled cluster munitions.
Serbia played a leadership role throughout the Oslo Process that created the Convention on Cluster Munitions, most notably by hosting a conference for states affected by cluster munitions in Belgrade in October 2007. It actively participated in the formal negotiations in Dublin in May 2008 and joined in the consensus adoption of the convention text at the conclusion. However, Serbia attended the convention’s Oslo Signing Conference in December 2008 only as an observer. At the time, it did not provide an explanation for its lack of signature. The following year local media reported that all actions directed towards signing the convention stopped after the General Staff of the Serbian Army recommended to the National Security Council that Serbia not sign.
Serbiahas participated in most of the convention’s meetings, most recently the Seventh Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in September 2017.
Serbia voted in favor of a UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution in December 2017, which urges states outside the Convention on Cluster Munitions to “join as soon as possible.”
Serbia has voted in favor of UNGA resolutions condemning the use of cluster munitions in Syria.
Civil society representatives from Serbia and particularly cluster munition survivors, such as Branislav Kapetanovic and Slađan Vučković, continue to advocate for Serbia to accede to the Convention on Cluster Munitions without delay.
Serbia is a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty. It is also party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.
Production, transfer, and stockpiling
In 2009, Serbia stated that it does not have the capacity to produce cluster munitions and has not produced cluster munitions since the dissolution of the SFRY. In 2011, the Ministry of Defense affirmed that Serbia “is not a producer of cluster munitions.” According to standard reference works, Serbia was thought to have inherited some of those production capabilities. A number of Serbian companies have advertised surface-to-surface rocket launchers, rockets, and artillery that could be used with either unitary warheads or submunitions.
The precise size and composition of Serbia’s stockpile of cluster munitions is not known, but it is thought to be substantial and comprised of air-delivered cluster bombs, ground-launched rockets, and artillery projectiles. Jane’s Information Group lists Serbia as possessing BL755 cluster bombs.
Assuming Serbia’s stockpile contains cluster munitions that were produced by the SFRY, it may also possess 120mm M93 mortar projectiles (containing 23 KB-2 submunitions), 152mm 3-O-23 artillery projectiles (containing 63 KB-2 submunitions), and 262mm M87 Orkan surface-to-surface rockets (containing 288 KB-1 submunitions). KB submunitions are the dual-purpose improved conventional munition (DPICM) type. It may also possess RAB-120 and KPT-150 cluster bombs.
In 2011, Serbia’s Ministry of Economy and Regional Development told the Monitor that it has no records in its database detailing any foreign trade of cluster munitions in the period from 2005 to 2010.
In 2013 and 2015, the Ministry of Defense stated that the army of Serbia has taken steps to recall from operational use “part” of its cluster munitions stockpile and initiate its disposal. No further information has been provided on the quantities and types of stocks or the status of the destruction process.
In April 2015, the Minister of Defense said that “the Army of Serbia has taken steps and implemented activities to recall from operational use a part of cluster munitions [sic] and start with its disposal” due to several reasons, including “the ban on use, the limited shelf-life of the cluster munitions available, and the limited possibilities of the military industry in regard of repairs and [performance] enhancement” of the munitions.
Cluster munitions were used by the SFRY as well as ethnic militias and secessionist forces during the conflicts resulting from the breakup of Yugoslavia starting in 1991. During the 1998–1999 conflict in Kosovo, aircraft from the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States (US) dropped cluster bombs in Serbia and Kosovo during the NATO air campaign. During the Kosovo conflict, forces of the SFRY also launched several cluster munition rocket attacks into border regions controlled by Albania.
 In 2016, a representative said the government is interested in the convention, but is concerned about the costs of joining it. ICBL-CMC meeting with Tijana Bokic, First Secretary, Permanent Mission of Serbia to the UN in New York, New York, October 2016.
 For example, in a 2013 letter, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs described Serbia’s perspective as a countrywhose citizens had been injured and killed by cluster munitions. The letter highlighted the convention’s importance in introducing “new international values and standards in regard of the development, production, possession, use, and stockpiling of this inhumane and dangerous weapon,” but did not articulate Serbia’s views on accession. Letter from Amb. Miomir Udovicki, Assistant Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to Assistance Advocacy Access–Serbia (AAAS), 15 August 2013. Translation by AAAS, a member of the CMC. In2011, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs representative informed the CMC that Serbia would join the convention “sooner than expected.” CMC meeting with Branka Latinović, Head of Arms Control Directorate, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Zoran Vujić,Head of the Department of Security Policy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Convention on Cluster Munitions Third Meeting of States Parties, Oslo, 12 September 2012; and CMC meeting with Zoran Vujić, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Convention on Cluster Munitions, Second Meeting of States Parties, Beirut, 13 September 2011.
 Letter from Bratislav Gašić, Minister of Defense, to AAAS, 15 April 2015. Translation by AAAS.
 For more details on Serbia’s cluster munition policy and practice through early 2009, see Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Landmine Action, Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, May 2009), pp. 236–238.
 Minister of Defense Dragan Šutanovać reportedly stated that the army could not give up cluster munitions because it did not have the capacity to destroy and replace existing stockpiles. “Kasetna municija nenadoknadiva” (“Cluster munitions indispensable”), B92, 27 August 2009.
 Serbia participated in the convention’sMeetings of States Parties in 2011, 2012, 2016, and 2017 as well as the First Review Conference in 2015 and intersessional meetings in 2013–2015.
 “Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA Resolution 72/54, 4 December 2017. Serbia voted in favor of a previous UNGA resolution promoting the convention in 2016 and abstained from voting for the first UNGA resolution on the convention in 2015.
 “Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic,” UNGA Resolution 69/189, 18 December 2014. Serbia voted in favor of similar resolutions on 15 May and 18 December 2013. Serbia was absent from votes on similar resolutions in 2015–2017.
 “Веровали или не Србија једина у региону „одобрава“ касетне бомбе!” (“Believe it or not Serbia only in the region to ‘approve’ cluster bombs!”), Facebookrepoter, 29 January 2015; and “Naši građani i dalje stradaju od kasetnih bombi, a Srbija još nije potpisala važnu konvenciju” (“Our citizens continue to suffer from cluster bombs, but Serbia has not yet signed an important convention”), Blic, 5 May 2017. See also, “Ein falscher Griff und man ist tot”(“A wrong move and you’re dead”), 20 Minuten (Switzerland), 5 December 2014.
 Letter No. 235/1 from Dr. Slobodan Vukcević, Permanent Mission of Serbia to the UN in Geneva, 9 February 2009.
 Letter from the Public Relations Department, Ministry of Defense, 6 July 2011.
 See HRW and Landmine Action, Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, May 2009), p. 238.
 On its website, Engine Development and Production Serbia (EDEPRO Serbia) advertised improvements to the range of Orkan surface-to-surface rockets. Yugoimport-SDPR also advertised artillery rockets on its website that could fire cluster munitions.An upgraded version of the OGANJ, called the LRSVM (Self-Propelled Multiple Modular Rocket Launcher, Lanser Raketa Samohodni Višecevni Modularni), capable of delivering both cluster and unitary munitions, was advertised on the Military-Technical Institute’s website. Email from Jelena Vicentić, AAAS, 26 June 2012.
 Robert Hewson, ed., Jane’s Air-Launched Weapons, Issue 44 (Surrey, UK: Jane’s Information Group Limited, 2004), p. 845.
 For information on Yugoslav production of these weapons, see Robert Hewson, ed., Jane’s Air-Launched Weapons, Issue 44 (Surrey, UK: Jane’s Information Group Limited, 2004), p. 291; Terry J. Gandler and Charles Q. Cutshaw, eds., Jane’s Ammunition Handbook 2001–2002 (Surrey, UK: Jane’s Information Group Limited, 2001), p. 641; Leland S. Ness and Anthony G. Williams, eds., Jane’s Ammunition Handbook 2007–2008 (Surrey, UK: Jane’s Information Group Limited, 2007), pp. 598–599 and 720; and US Defense Intelligence Agency, “Improved Conventional Munitions and Selected Controlled-Fragmentation Munitions (Current and Projected) DST-1160S-020-90,” undated.
 According to the ministry, publicly available reports on the transfer of controlled goods for 2005–2008 provide sufficient evidence that there were no imports or exports of cluster munitions. While the reports for 2009 and 2010 had yet to be published, the ministry stated that it could confirm that there were no records in its database of licenses issued in 2009 or 2010 for the import or export of cluster munitions. Email from Jasmina Roskić, Director of Division for Agreements on Bilateral Promotion and Protection of Investments, Concessions, and Foreign Trade in Controlled Goods, Ministry of Economy and Regional Development, 16 February 2011. See also, “Annual Report on the Realization of Foreign Trade Transfers of Controlled Goods for 2005 and 2006,” Ministry of Economy and Regional Development, Belgrade, 2007; “Annual Report on the Transfers of Controlled Goods in 2007,” Ministry of Economy and Regional Development, Belgrade, 2009; and “Annual Report on the Transfers of Controlled Goods in 2008,” Ministry of Economy and Regional Development, Belgrade, 2010.
 Letter from Bratislav Gašić, Minister of Defense, to AAAS, 15 April 2015; and Letter No. 335-7, “Response by the Ministry of Defense in connection to the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” from Miroslav Janovic, Ministry of Defense, to the CMC and AAAS, 19 August 2013. Translations by AAAS.
 Letter from Bratislav Gašić, Minister of Defense, to AAAS, 15 April 2015. Translation by AAAS.
 HRW, “Civilian Deaths in the NATO Air Campaign,” Vol. 12, No. 1(D), February 2000; Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA), “Yellow Killers: The Impact of Cluster Munitions in Serbia and Montenegro,” 2007; and NPA, “Report on the Impact of Unexploded Cluster Munitions in Serbia,” January 2009.