Cluster Munition Ban Policy
Ten-Year Review: Non-signatory Argentina adopted the convention in 2008, but has not taken any steps to accede to it. Argentina has attended every meeting of the convention as an observer, but it has abstained from voting every key United Nations (UN) resolution promoting the convention. Argentina imported and stockpiled cluster munitions in the past, but says it never used or exported them. Its cluster munition stocks were destroyed prior to the 2008 ban convention and Argentina says it does no intend to produce more in the future.
The Republic of Argentina has not acceded to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.
Argentina actively participated in the Oslo Process and joined in the consensus adoption of the Convention on Cluster Munitions at the conclusion of the negotiations in Dublin on 30 May 2008. However, it was absent from the Oslo Signing Conference in December 2008.
Since 2008, Argentine officials have repeatedly stated the government’s position that Argentina supports the goal of prohibiting cluster munitions, but will not join the Convention on Cluster Munitions as it has reservations over certain provisions. In September 2019, Argentina again told States Parties that the convention was not “sufficiently ambitious” and said the articles on definitions and interoperability to be “contrary to the objective of the total prohibition and the principle of non-discrimination.”
Argentina regards the convention’s prohibitions as “discriminatory in nature” as they are not “comprehensive” and “specifically define one excluded category developed by some countries.” Argentina also alleges the convention permits or allows States Parties to participate in joint military operations with countries that use cluster munitions.
At the beginning of the Oslo Process, Argentina supported technical solutions to the cluster munition problem, noting that it was developing a new generation of cluster munitions with low failure rates. It supported a definition that would have exempted cluster munitions containing submunitions equipped with self-destruct mechanisms. During the process, Argentina’s position evolved into support for a broad definition prohibiting all cluster munitions and a total ban without exceptions. Argentina strongly objected to Article 21 of the convention and has long described this interoperability provision as a potential loophole allowing for cluster munition use.
Argentina has participated as an observer in every meeting of the convention, including the First Review Conference in Dubrovnik, Croatia in 2015, intersessional meetings held in 2011–2014 and regional workshops. At the Ninth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in September 2019, Argentina said that its position on staying outside the convention has not changed and said it participates in the treaty meetings to be “consistent with national policy on the matter.”
Since 2015, Argentina has abstained from voting on every UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution supporting implementation and universalization of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, most recently in December 2019. Argentina said it abstained from the draft 2019 resolution because of its long-standing objections to the convention’s definition and interoperability provision.
Argentina has expressed concern over the use of cluster munitions. At the Security Council in October 2014, Argentina said it was, “naturally deeply perturbed” by “reports of the use of cluster bombs in densely populated areas” in Ukraine. Argentina has voted in favor of UNGA resolutions condemning the use of cluster munitions in Syria, most recently in December 2019. It has also voted in favor of Human Rights Council resolutions condemning the use of cluster munitions in Syria, most recently in June 2020.
Argentina is a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty. It is also party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW).
Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) member, Association for Public Policy (Asociación para Politicas Publicas, APP) has campaigned for Argentina to join the Convention on Cluster Munitions.
Use, production, transfer, and stockpiling
Argentina is not known to have ever used or exported cluster munitions. It does not currently produce or stockpile cluster munitions, but in the past both imported and stockpiled them, and had the beginnings of a production program.
Argentina has repeatedly stated that, “the Republic of Argentina doesn’t have cluster munitions, and it hasn’t utilized or transferred them.” The government has said it has no intention to produce cluster munitions in the future.
In the past, the Armed Forces Center for Technical and Scientific Research (Centro de Investigaciones Técnicas y Científicas de las Fuerzas Armadas, CITEFA) developed and initiated production of the CME 155mm artillery projectile, which contained 63 dual-purpose improved conventional munition (DPICM) submunitions equipped with a backup pyrotechnic self-destruct mechanism. According to military officials, this effort did not reach full-scale production and was dismantled, and the projectiles were never fielded by the armed forces of Argentina.
In May 2007, Argentina stated that it had already destroyed its stocks of cluster munitions. In 2006, its military representatives told Human Rights Watch (HRW) that the stocks of French BLG-66 Belouga and United States Rockeye air-dropped bombs were destroyed by 2005.
 For details on Argentina’s policy and practice regarding cluster munitions through early 2009, see Human Rights Watch and Landmine Action, Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, May 2009), pp. 185–188.
 Statement of Argentina, Convention on Cluster Munitions Ninth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 2 September 2019. Argentina previously voiced this position at the Eighth Meeting of States Parties in September 2018 and the Seventh Meeting of States Parties in September 2017. Statement of Argentina, Convention on Cluster Munitions Eighth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 3 September 2018; and Statement of Argentina, Convention on Cluster Munitions Seventh Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 4 September 2017.
 Statement of Argentina, Oslo Conference on Cluster Munitions, 22–23 February 2007. Notes by the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC)/Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF).
 Ibid.; and CMC, “CMC Report on the Lima Conference and Next Steps,” May 2007.
 In September 2011, Wikileaks released a United States (US) Department of State cable showing that US officials met with Argentina’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs during the Dublin negotiations of the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 15 May 2008. According to the cable, “The Argentine Foreign Ministry theoretically supports a total ban on cluster munitions but, in fact, expects and is counting on a decision of partial prohibition.” “Argentina on the Oslo Process,” US Department of State cable dated 19 May 2008, released by Wikileaks on 1 September 2011.
 CMC Latinoamerica Regional Briefing, Beirut, 15 September 2011. Notes by the CMC; and letter from the CMC to Jorge Enrique Tariana, Minister of Foreign Affairs, 31 May 2010. See also, Human Rights Watch and Landmine Action, Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, May 2009), pp. 186–187.
 At a regional workshop on cluster munitions in Santiago, Chile in December 2013, a representative from Argentina said there has been no change in the government’s position on joining since it adopted the convention in 2008. Statement of Argentina, Regional Workshop on Cluster Munitions, Santiago, 12 December 2014. Notes by the CMC.
 “Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA Resolution 74/62, 12 December 2019. Argentina abstained from voting on similar resolutions in December of 2015 and 2016.
 Argentina, Explanation of vote on draft Resolution A/C.1/L.46, “Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” 74th Session, UNGA First Committee on Disarmament and International Security, New York, 5 November 2019.
 “Provisional report of the 7287th meeting of the UN Security Council,” S/PV.7287, 24 October 2014, p. 21.
 “Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic,” UNGA Resolution 74/169, 18 December 2019. Argentina voted in favor of similar resolutions from 2013–2015 and 2017–2018.
 See, “Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic,” Human Rights Council Resolution 43/28, 22 June 2020.
 Statement of Argentina, Seventh Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Geneva, 4 September 2017; and letter from Amb. Jorge Argüello, Permanent Mission of Argentina to the UN in New York, 13 March 2009.
 Interview with Alfredo Forti, Ministry of Defense, Buenos Aires, 31 March 2010.
 CITEFA, “Report Referring to Employment of Submunitions” (“Informe Referido a Empleo de Submuniciones”), undated, provided to Pax Christi Netherlands by the Permanent Mission of Argentina to the UN in Geneva, 14 June 2005; and Argentina, “Replies to Document CCW/GGE/X/WG.1/WP.2, Entitled ‘International Humanitarian Law and ERW,’” CCW/GGE/XI/WG.1/WP.10, 2 August 2005, p. 3. CITEFA is now CITEDEF (Instituto de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas para la Defensa).
 Interview with Navy Capitan (ret.) Carlos Nielsen, Advisor to the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Armed Forces, Buenos Aires, 31 March 2011; and remarks made to HRW by members of the Argentine delegation to the Latin American Regional Conference on Cluster Munitions, San José, 5 September 2007.
 Statement of Argentina, Lima Conference on Cluster Munitions, 24 May 2007. Notes by the CMC/WILPF.
The Republic of Argentina reports that it is mine-affected by virtue of its claim to sovereignty over the Falkland Islands/Islas Malvinas. The islands were mined, mostly by Argentinian forces, during the 1982-armed conflict with the United Kingdom (UK). Argentina has reported that no other territory under its jurisdiction or control is mine-affected.
On ratifying the Mine Ban Treaty, Argentina submitted a declaration reaffirming “its rights of sovereignty over the Malvinas, South Georgia and South Sandwich and the surrounding maritime areas which form an integral part of the territory.” It reiterated this declaration at subsequent Mine Ban Treaty meetings.
Argentina submitted a request for a 10-year extension to its Mine Ban Treaty Article 5 deadline on 27 April 2009. In March 2019, Argentina submitted a second extension request for an additional three years, until 1 March 2023. This was a shorter timeframe than the 2018 UK Article 5 extension deadline of 1 March 2024.
At the Eighteenth Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in November 2020, the UK announced that as of 14 November 2020, it had fulfilled its obligations under Article 5 of the treaty in the Falkland Islands/Islas Malvinas. In total, 122 minefields were cleared, releasing 23km² of land.
Argentina responded to the announcement made by the UK by reiterating its rights of sovereignty over the Falkland Islands/Islas Malvinas, stating that the “illegal occupation” by the UK had “effectively prevented [it] from accessing the antipersonnel mines places in the Malvinas Islands in order to comply with the commitments assumed [by] this Convention.” Argentina also noted its regret that the UK “had persisted in carrying out unilateral demining activities” despite having agreed through an Exchange of Notes on 11 October 2001 and 2 August 2006 to conduct a feasibility study on the removal of antipersonnel mines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) in the Falkland Islands/Islas Malvinas.
 Argentina Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form A, 8 April 2010.
 Statement of Argentina, Mine Ban Treaty Sixteenth Meeting of States Parties, Vienna, 20 December 2017.
 Argentina Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report, Form A, 31 August 2000.
 See, Statements of Argentina, Mine Ban Treaty Sixteenth Meeting of States Parties, Vienna, 20 December 2017; and Committee on Article 5 Implementation, Geneva, 7 June 2018.
 Statement of the UK, Mine Ban Treaty Eighteenth Meeting of States Parties (virtual), 16–20 November 2020.
 Statement of Argentina, Mine Ban Treaty Eighteenth Meeting of States parties (virtual), 16–20 November 2020.
Mine Ban Policy
Argentina signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 4 December 1997 and ratified it on 14 September 1999, becoming a State Party on 1 March 2000. Argentina has not enacted domestic legislation to implement the Mine Ban Treaty. In the past, Argentina has indicated that it was studying ways to incorporate penalties on the use, stockpiling, production, or transferring of antipersonnel mines into Argentine law. Law No. 4745/01 prohibits the use of antipersonnel mines by the armed forces.
Argentina regularly attends meetings of the treaty, including the Third Review Conference in Maputo in June 2014, and more recently, the Seventeenth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in November 2018, where it made statements on victim assistance, Article 5 mine clearance requirements, enhancement of cooperation and assistance, and universalization of the convention. Argentina consistently submits annual updated Article 7 transparency reports. On 5 December 2018, Argentina voted in favor of UN General Assembly resolution 73/61 promoting universalization and implementation of the convention, as it has done in previous years.
Argentina is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons and its Amended Protocol II on landmines and Protocol V on explosive remnants of war. Argentina is not party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.
Production, transfer, stockpiling, and retention
Argentina is a former producer and exporter of antipersonnel mines. Production took place at the General Directorate of Military Industries (Dirección General de Fabricaciones Militares) of the Ministry of Defense. Argentina has stated that it produced only one type of antipersonnel mine, the FMK-1 plastic blast mine, at the “Fray Luis Beltrán” factory between 1976 and 1990, manufacturing 18,970 FMK-1 mines during this period. Equipment formerly used for production is now being used to make reinforced fuzes, detonators for grenades, estopines (initiators), and other items. According to the United States (US) Department of Defense, Argentina had manufactured two other types of antipersonnel mines: the MAPG pressure or tripwire-initiated mine and the MAPPG bounding mine. The government never officially declared production of these mines which date from the 1940s/1950s, but an official said the mines could have been imported and re-catalogued to make their identification easier.
Based on Article 7 reports and mines found in the Malvinas/Falkland Islands, Argentina imported antipersonnel mines from Libya (MAP and TRA), Israel (Number 4), Italy (SB-33), and Spain (P4B). Argentina exported nearly 3,000 FMK-1 antipersonnel mines to Honduras. An export moratorium was instituted in March 1995, which has since been superseded by the Mine Ban Treaty. Argentina sold weapons to Croatia, including 5,750 antipersonnel and antivehicle mines, several months before the moratorium was instituted.
Argentina formerly possessed a stockpile, but on 4 December 2003, Argentina completed the destruction of its 90,919 antipersonnel mines. Argentina originally indicated it would retain 13,025 mines for training but decided to convert most of these mines to inert “exercise mines.” At the end of 2018, Argentina reported that it had destroyed the remaining mines retained for training and research.
Argentina last used landmines during the Malvinas/Falkland Islands war in 1982, and it has stated that the islands are the only mine-affected part of Argentina (see also United Kingdom country profile). According to Argentina’s May 2001 Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report, 20,000 EXPAL P4B and FMK-1 antipersonnel mines were laid during the 1982 conflict. In July 2002, it added SB-33 antipersonnel mines to the list of mines it used on the islands.
During the confrontation with Chile in 1978, the Chilean army laid mines along the border; it is unknown whether the Argentine army laid mines as well.
 Interview with Santiago Villalba, Secretary, Direction of International Safety, Nuclear and Space Affairs Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Buenos Aires, 19 December 2000, and successive Article 7 Reports, Form A.
 Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form A, 23 July 2002.
 “Implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction,” UNGA Resolution 73/61, 5 December 2018.
 Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form E, 12 May 2003. The April 2004 Article 7 report does not include Form E.
 Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form E, 12 May 2003.
 United States Department of Defense, “Mine Facts,” undated.
 Email from Mariela Adriana Fogante, DIGAN, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 1 October 2004.
 Lawrence Whelan, “Latin arms shipped to Croatia,” Jane’s Intelligence Review, 1 August 1996, p. 14. The government said that the final destinations of the weapons were supposed to be Panama and Venezuela, and it had been deceived by an intermediary company which had coordinated the operation. But federal justice authorities ordered the arrest of former executives of the company, which is publicly-owned, and the former Defense and Foreign Affairs Ministers were charged.
 Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form G, 13 April 2004.
 Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form C, 30 April 2019.
 Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form C, 23 July 2002. The previous year, Argentina reported that it had laid 20,000 P4B and FMK-1 antipersonnel mines during the conflict. Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form C, 30 August 2000.
 Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form C, 23 July 2002.
 Interview with Osvaldo Gazzola, Advisor, Office of Congressmen Alfredo Bravo and Jorge Rivas, 14 February 2000.