Timor Leste

Cluster Munition Ban Policy

Last updated: 08 July 2019

Summary: Non-signatory Timor-Leste adopted the convention in 2008 but has not taken any steps to join it. Timor-Leste voted in favor of a key United Nations (UN) resolution promoting the convention in December 2018. It last participated in a meeting of the convention in 2011. Timor-Leste is not known to have used, produced, transferred, or stockpiled cluster munitions.


The Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste has not acceded to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Government officials have indicated that resource constraints and other priorities prevent Timor-Leste from initiating the internal process necessary to join the convention. [1]

Timor-Leste participated in the Oslo Process that created the convention and joined in the consensus adoption of the convention text in Dublin on 30 May 2008, but did not sign the convention at the Signing Conference in Oslo in December 2008. It attended a regional conference on cluster munitions in Bali, Indonesia in November 2009.

Timor-Leste has participated as an observer in the convention’s meetings, but not since 2011. [2]

In December 2018, Timor-Leste voted in favor of a UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution that urges states outside the Convention on Cluster Munitions to “join as soon as possible.” [3] It has voted in favor of the annual UNGA resolution promoting the convention since it was first introduced in 2015.

Timor-Leste also voted in favor of UNGA resolutions condemning the use of cluster munitions in Syria, most recently in December 2018. [4]

Timor-Leste is a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty. It is not party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.

Use, production, transfer, and stockpiling

Timor-Leste is not known to have used, produced, transferred, or stockpiled cluster munitions.

 [1] In October 2018, a representative said that Timor-Leste has recently joined many treaties, especially the human rights conventions, and is now in a position that it cannot fulfill its reporting requirements to those conventions. Statement by Francisco Vital Ornai, Director, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, New York, 15 October 2018. Previously, in 2012, a representative from Timor-Leste’s Permanent Mission to the UN in New York said there was support for joining the convention but limited human resources, other treaty commitments, and the consolidation of state-building efforts have prevented it from initiating the accession process. Email from Kavita Desai, Advisor, Permanent Mission of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste to the UN in New York, 27 April 2012. In 2010 and 2011, other government officials cited these same reasons for Timor-Leste’s lack of accession to the convention. Emails from Tiago A. Sarmento, Legal Advisor, Ministry of Defense and Security, 10 April 2011; and from Charles Scheiner, Researcher, La’o Hamutuk (Timor-Leste Institute for Development Monitoring and Analysis), 20 April 2010.

 [2] Timor-Leste participated as an observer in the convention’s Meetings of States Parties in 2010 and 2011, but has not attended any meetings since then.

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

 [4]Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic,” UNGA Resolution 73/182, 17 December 2018. Timor-Leste voted in favor of similar resolutions in 2013–2017.