Benin

Cluster Munition Ban Policy

Last updated: 19 June 2019

Summary: State Party Benin ratified the convention in July 2017 and the convention took effect for the country on 1 January 2018. Benin has participated in meetings of the convention, most recently in September 2017. It voted in favor of a key United Nations (UN) resolution on the convention in December 2018. Benin states that it never used, produced, transferred, or stockpiled cluster munitions.

Policy

The Republic of Benin signed the convention on 3 December 2008, ratified on 10 July 2017, and the convention entered into force for Benin on 1 January 2018.

The status of Benin’s national implementation measures is not yet known. [1]

As of 20 June 2019, Benin has not provided its initial Article 7 transparency report for the convention, which was due by 30 June 2018. [2]

Benin participated in the Oslo Process that created the Convention on Cluster Munitions and was a strong advocate for a comprehensive ban. [3]

Benin has attended several Meetings of States Parties, most recently in September 2017. [4] It also participated in the convention’s First Review Conference in 2015, intersessional meetings in 2011–2014, and several regional workshops on the convention.

Benin voted in favor of a UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution supporting implementation and universalization of the Convention on Cluster Munitions in December 2018. [5] It has voted in favor of the annual UNGA resolution promoting the convention since it was first introduced in 2015.

Benin has voted in favor of UNGA resolutions expressing outrage at the use of cluster munitions in Syria, most recently in December 2018. [6]

Benin has not expressed its views on certain important issues relating to its interpretation and implementation of the convention, such as the prohibition on transit, the prohibition on assistance during joint military operations with states not party that may use cluster munitions, the prohibition on foreign stockpiling of cluster munitions, the prohibition on investment in production of cluster munitions, and the need for retention of cluster munitions for training and development purposes.

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

Use, production, transfer, and stockpiling

Benin has stated several times that it has never used, produced, or stockpiled cluster munitions, is not a transit country, and has no intention to acquire cluster munitions. [7] Benin must submit a transparency report for the convention to formally confirm its cluster munition-free status.



 [1] In 2012, an official said that once Benin ratifies, the provisions of the Convention on Cluster Munitions may be enforced by amending existing implementation legislation for the Mine Ban Treaty. Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) meeting with Evelyne Agonhessou, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Geneva, 19 April 2012.

 [2] It may be unaware that in August 2018 the UN changed the email address for states to submit transparency reports to ccm@un.org.

 [3] For details on Benin’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), pp. 42–43.

 [4] Benin has attended every Meeting of States Parties of the convention, except in 2011, 2016, and 2018.

 [5]Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA Resolution 73/54, 5 December 2018.

 [6]Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic,” UNGA Resolution 73/182, 17 December 2018. Benin voted in favor of similar resolutions in 2013–2016, but abstained from the vote in December 2017.

 [7] Statement of Benin, Lomé Regional Seminar on the Universalization of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Lomé, Togo, 22 May 2013. Notes by Action on Armed Violence (AOAV); and statement of Benin, Convention on Cluster Munitions Third Meeting of States Parties, Oslo, 12 September 2012.