Cluster Munition Ban Policy
Summary: Non-signatory Vanuatu adopted the convention in 2008 and in July 2019 said that it is undertaking a consultative process to prepare a Cabinet paper for Vanuatu’s accession to the convention. Vanuatu voted in favor of a key United Nations (UN) resolution on the convention in December 2018. Vanuatu has stated that it does not use, produce, stockpile, or transfer cluster munitions.
The Republic of Vanuatu has not yet acceded to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.
Vanuatu said in July 2019 that it is beginning a consultative process to prepare a Cabinet paper on the question of Vanuatu’s accession to the convention. The process began after Vanuatu attended a regional conference on conventional weapons treaties in New Zealand in February 2018 and adopted a declaration acknowledging “the clear moral and humanitarian rationale for joining” the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Afterwards, Vanuatu’s Department of Foreign Affairs and its IHL Committee began to prepare the country’s accession to the convention. Consultations are due to start in September 2019 and then a cabinet paper on the convention will be provided to the Council of Ministers for its approval.
Previously, in 2011, the Council of Ministers considered a proposal to accede to the convention, but the process never moved forward. Since then, however, officials have expressed interest in the convention. For example, a government representative told the Monitor in June 2018 that, “As a country without military forces it is in Vanuatu's interest to support all disarmament conventions.”
During the Oslo Process that created the convention, Vanuatu participated in the Wellington Conference on Cluster Munitions in February 2008 and endorsed the Wellington Declaration supporting the conclusion of an instrument prohibiting cluster munitions. It joined in the consensus adoption of the Convention on Cluster Munitions in Dublin in May 2008 but did not attend the Signing Conference in Oslo in December 2008.
Vanuatu has never participated in a meeting of the Convention on Cluster Munitions.
However, in December 2018, Vanuatu 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.” Vanuatu has voted in favor of the annual UNGA resolution promoting the convention since 2016.
Vanuatu has also voted in favor of UNGA resolutions condemning the use of cluster munitions in Syria, most recently in December 2018.
Vanuatu is a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty. It is not party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.
Use, production, transfer, and stockpiling
Vanuatu stated in 2011 that it “does not use, produce, stockpile or transfer cluster munitions.”
 Email from Majorie Wells, Desk Officer, Treaties and Conventions Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and External Trade, 24 July 2019.
 “Auckland Declaration on Conventional Weapons Treaties,” Pacific Conference on Conventional Weapons Treaties, Auckland, New Zealand, 12–14 February 2018.
 Email from Majorie Wells, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and External Trade, 24 July 2019.
 In 2011, the director-general of Vanuatu’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs told the Monitor that the Council was reviewing a policy paper on the convention. Letter from Jean Sese, Director-General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to Mary Wareham, Senior Advisor, Human Rights Watch (HRW), 6 April 2011. Another representative said that relevant authorities were holding stakeholder consultations on the convention. Interview with Roline Tekon, Director, Treaties and Conventions Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, New York, 14 July 2011.
 Cluster Munition Monitor meeting with Noah Patrick Kouback, Minister Counsellor, Charge d’Affaires a.i, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Vanuatu, 12 June 2018.
 “Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA Resolution 73/54, 5 December 2018.
 “Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic,” UNGA Resolution 73/182, 17 December 2018. Vanuatu voted in favor of similar resolutions in 2013–2017.
 Letter from Jean Sese, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to Mary Wareham, HRW, 6 April 2011.
Mine Ban Policy
The Republic of Vanuatu signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 4 December 1997 and ratified it on 16 September 2005, becoming a State Party on 1 March 2006. It has not enacted new legislation specifically to implement the Mine Ban Treaty.
Vanuatu has not attended any recent meetings of the treaty. It did not attend the Third Review Conference in Maputo in June 2014. Vanuatu submitted its second Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report on 30 April 2008 but has not submitted subsequent annual reports.
Vanuatu is not party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons, nor is it party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.
Use, production, transfer, and stockpile
Vanuatu has never used, produced, exported, or imported antipersonnel mines, including for training purposes. Vanuatu is affected by unexploded ordnance from World War II.