Cluster Munition Ban Policy
Ten-Year Review: Non-signatory Singapore has acknowledged the convention’s humanitarian rationale, but has not taken any steps to join it as it regards a ban on cluster munitions as counter-productive. Singapore has participated in meetings of the convention, most recently in September 2019. It voted in favor of a key United Nations (UN) resolution promoting the convention in December 2019.
In 2015, Singapore Technologies Engineering announced that it no longer produces cluster munitions. The company was the only manufacturer of cluster munitions in the country, but the government of Singapore must still pledge not to produce cluster munitions in the future. Singapore has not exported cluster munitions since a 2008 moratorium. It possesses cluster munitions, but has not shared information on the types or quantities stockpiled. Singapore says it sees military utility in cluster munitions, but it is not known to have used them.
The Republic of Singapore has not acceded to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.
Singapore has acknowledged the convention’s humanitarian rationale, but has not taken any steps to join it and has repeatedly said that “a blanket ban on all types” of cluster munitions may be “counterproductive.” In November 2019, Singapore reiterated its support for “initiatives against the indiscriminate use of cluster munitions,” but said banning cluster munitions would be “counterproductive.” Singapore has long sought to balance “humanitarian concerns…against the legitimate right of States to use such munitions judiciously for self-defence.” It has also objected to the way the convention was negotiated outside UN auspices.
Singapore did not participate in any of the preparatory meetings of the Oslo Process to create the Convention on Cluster Munitions, but attended the Dublin negotiations in May 2008 as an observer. It did not participate in the convention’s Oslo Signing Conference in December 2008.
Singapore has participated as an observer in the convention’s meetings, most recently the Ninth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in September 2019. It did not make any statements at the convention meetings.
In December 2019, Singapore voted in favor of a UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution on the Convention on Cluster Munitions, which urges states outside the convention to “join as soon as possible.” Singapore has voted in favor of the annual UNGA resolution promoting the convention since it was first introduced in 2015.
Singapore is not party to the Mine Ban Treaty. It is also not party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.
Use, production, and transfer
Singapore is not known to have used cluster munitions, but it has produced cluster munitions and may have imported them.
In 2015, Singapore Technologies Engineering announced that it no longer produces cluster munitions, stating: “As a responsible military technology manufacturer we do not design, produce and sell anti-personnel mines and cluster munitions and any related key components.”
Singapore Technologies Engineering manufactured 155mm dual-purpose improved conventional munition (DPICM) artillery projectiles, each containing 64 submunitions equipped with self-destruct features. It also produced a 120mm mortar projectile that contains 25 DPICM submunitions.
In September 2018, a Singapore government representative confirmed to the Monitor that the company no longer produces cluster munitions. The government of Singapore not yet committed to never produce cluster munitions in the future.
Singapore stockpiles cluster munitions, but has not shared information on the types or quantities in its possession. In addition to cluster munitions produced by Singapore Technologies Engineering, the stockpile may also contain 350 CBU-71 air-delivered cluster bombs received from the United States (US) between 1970 and 1995.
In 2016, a government representative told the Monitor that Singapore did not intend to acquire more cluster munitions to replenish existing stocks as older cluster munitions expire. In September 2018, a representative of Singapore told the Monitor that no stocks were destroyed during the previous year.
 Explanation of vote on draft Resolution A/C.1/L.46, “Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UN General Assembly (UNGA) First Committee on Disarmament and International Security, New York, 5 November 2019. See also, Explanation of Vote by Singapore on Resolution L.41,UNGA First Committee on Disarmament and International Security, New York, 31 October 2017, pp. 19–20/29.
 Explanation of vote on draft Resolution A/C.1/L.46, “Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA First Committee on Disarmament and International Security, New York, 5 November 2019. Singapore has previously made similar statements to CMC representatives. Letter from Grace Zhu, First Secretary, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Singapore to the UN in Geneva, to Mary Wareham, Advocacy Director, Arms Division, Human Rights Watch (HRW), 25 July 2017.
 Letter from Seah Seow Chen, then Second Secretary, Permanent Mission of Singapore to the UN in Geneva, 4 May 2010. The Permanent Mission of Singapore to the UN in Geneva informed the Monitor in April 2013 and March 2012 that there has been no change to the position outlined in the May 2010 letter. Letter from Cheryl Lee, First Secretary, Permanent Mission of Singapore to the UN in Geneva, 10 April 2013; and letter from Seah Seow Chen, First Secretary, Permanent Mission of Singapore to the UN in Geneva, 13 March 2012.
 Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Singapore’s Explanation of Position on Resolution L16 on the ‘Convention on Cluster Munitions’ at the First Committee,” 28 October 2009.
 For details on Singapore’s cluster munition policy and practice through early 2009, see HRW and Landmine Action, Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, May 2009), pp. 238–239.
 Singapore also participated as an observer in the convention’s Meetings of States Parties in 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018, as well as the First Review Conference in 2015 and intersessional meetings in 2011. It did not make any statements at these meetings.
 “Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA Resolution 74/62, 12 December 2019.
 In 2010, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs official informed the Monitor that the indefinite export moratorium was undertaken “to ensure that these munitions will not be transferred to other parties who might use them indiscriminately and irresponsibly.” Letter from Seah Seow Chen, Permanent Mission of Singapore to the UN in Geneva, 4 May 2010. In 2015, a representative of Singapore confirmed to the CMC that Singapore’s indefinite moratorium on the export of cluster munitions had not changed and still remained in effect. CMC campaign meeting with Maj. Yock Liang Vernon Goh, Singapore Armed Forces, in Dubrovnik, 7 September 2015. Notes by the CMC.
 Singapore Technologies Engineering told the Monitor in 2010 that it “does not produce cluster munitions for export, nor are we a sub-contractor to anyone who does.” Email from Sharolyn Choy, Senior Vice-President, Corporate Communications, Singapore Technologies Engineering, 3 May 2010.
 See the Singapore Technologies Engineering website. See also, Stop Explosive Investments, “Singapore Technologies Engineering stops production of cluster munitions,” 18 November 2015; and Local Authority Pension Fund Forum, “ST Engineering Quits Cluster Munitions,” 18 November 2015. In a letter to PAX, which leads the explosive investments disinvestment campaign for the CMC, company President Tan Pheng Hock explained that the decision came about in part because “we often get asked by the investment community [about] our stand on cluster munitions.” Letter to PAX from Tan Pheng Hock, President and Chief Executive Officer, Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd, 11 November 2015.
 Leland S. Ness and Anthony G. Williams, eds., Jane’s Ammunition Handbook 2007–2008 (Surrey, UK: Jane’s Information Group Limited, 2007), pp. 657–658. The submunitions have an advertised failure rate of less than 3%.
 Singapore Technologies Engineering, “Product: 155m Cargo Round,” undated.
 Monitor interview with Major Teo Sheng Yong Kenny, Singapore Defense Forces, in Geneva, 4 September 2018.
 US Defense Security Assistance Agency, Department of Defense, “Cluster Bomb Exports under FMS, FY1970–FY1995,” 15 November 1995. Obtained by HRW in a Freedom of Information Act request.
 ICBL-CMC meeting with Lt. Col. Ong Chiou Perng, Ministry of Defense, Singapore, in Geneva, 6 September 2016.
 Monitor interview with Major Teo Sheng Yong Kenny, Singapore Defense Forces, in Geneva, 4 September 2018.
Mine Ban Policy
The Republic of Singapore has not acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty.
In November 2019, Singapore stated at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) that, “Singapore supports all initiatives against the indiscriminate use of anti-personnel landmines. At the same time, as a small State, Singapore firmly believes that the legitimate security concerns and the right to self-defence of any State cannot be disregarded. A blanket ban on all types of…anti-personnel landmines may therefore by counter-productive.” Singapore reiterated that it “supports international efforts to resolve the humanitarian concerns about anti-personnel landmines. We will continue to work with members of the international community towards a durable and truly global solution.”
In 2010, the ICBL asked political parties in Singapore to share their views on the Mine Ban Treaty. The Singapore Democratic Party said that it supports a complete ban on the manufacture and use of mines and expressed its concern over Singapore’s role in mine production. It urged the Singapore government to join the treaty. The Singapore Workers’ Party said that while it shares the humanitarian concerns surrounding the use of mines, and had asked the Minister of Defense about joining the treaty, it would not be issuing any public statement due to other priorities. In 2009, the Workers’ Party requested a written reply in parliament regarding the government’s stand on the Mine Ban Treaty.
On 12 December 2019, Singapore voted in favor of annual UNGA Resolution 74/61, which calls for the full implementation and universalization of the Mine Ban Treaty, as it has done in previous years.
Singapore has regularly attended Mine Ban Treaty meetings, most recently the Seventeenth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in November 2018. However, Singapore did not send observers to the convention’s Fourth Review Conference in Oslo, Norway, in November 2019.
Singapore is not party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW), nor is it party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.
Use, stockpiling, production, and transfer
A Singaporean official previously stated that the army only uses antipersonnel mines for training, but that it must retain the option to use mines for self-defense. The Ministry of Defense has not replied to requests for further information about Singapore’s training program.
In March 2009, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs official restated that Singapore will not disclose any information regarding its stockpile of antipersonnel mines for defense and security reasons. The official stated that Singapore maintains stringent controls on its stockpile management system and that all mines are destroyed after their expiration date.
Singapore has long acknowledged that it produces antipersonnel mines, but officials have declined to reveal if production lines are currently running. Singapore Technologies Engineering (STE), through its subsidiary Singapore Technologies Kinetics, is the government-linked company that has produced antipersonnel mines. In May 2010, when asked if it has halted production, STE told the Monitor that, “ST Engineering does not produce landmines and cluster munitions for export, nor are we a sub-contractor to anyone who does.” This was reaffirmed in November 2015, when the company’s chief executive officer declared STE “is now no longer in the business of designing, producing and selling of anti-personnel mines and cluster munitions or any related key components.”
Singapore declared an indefinite moratorium on the export of all antipersonnel mines in February 1998. In May 2011, an official confirmed that the moratorium remains in place.
 Singapore, Explanation of Vote on Resolution L.45, 74th Session, UN General Assembly (UNGA) First Committee, New York, 6 November 2019, UNGA, Official Records, A/C.1/74/PV25, p. 3. This echoes many previous statements by Singaporean officials.
 Email from Gandhi Ambalam, Chair, Singapore Democratic Party, 25 May 2010.
 In May 2009, Sylvia Lim Swee Lian, Chair of the Singapore Workers’ Party, asked the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense whether Singapore is working toward acceding to the Mine Ban Treaty. Minister for Defense Teo Chee Hean replied with identical language to that used in other policy statements in recent years. Email from Sylvia Lim Swee Lian, Singapore Workers’ Party, 28 May 2010.
 Fax from Sylvia Lim Swee Lian, Singapore Workers’ Party, 3 May 2010.
 Email from Sylvia Lim Swee Lian, Singapore Workers’ Party, 28 May 2010. The statement was replied to by Teo Chee Hean, Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security and Minister for Home Affairs, whose reply echoed Singapore’s Explanation of Vote at the UNGA. He said: “Like several other countries, we believe that the humanitarian concerns pertaining to anti-personnel mines should be balanced against the legitimate security concerns of states. While we maintain the right to use anti-personnel mines for self-defence, we also support any initiatives against the indiscriminate use of these mines, especially when they are used against innocent civilians.”
 “Implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction,” UNGA Resolution 74/61, 12 December 2019. On 8 December 2010, when Singapore voted in favor of UNGA Resolution 65/48, it asserted, “Singapore firmly states that the legitimate security concerns and the right to self-defence of any state cannot be disregarded. A blanket ban on all types of anti-personnel landmines might therefore be counter-productive. Statement of Singapore, “Singapore’s Explanation of Vote on Resolution L.39,” 65th Session, UNGA First Committee, New York, 17 October 2010. These remarks are identical to the explanation of vote offered in the previous four years.
 An official told the Monitor in March 2009 that Singapore continues to attend Mine Ban Treaty-oriented meetings in order to keep abreast of international developments regarding mines and factor that into its policy considerations. Email from Sharon Seah, Assistant Director, International Organizations Directorate, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 31 March 2009.
 Interview with Lt.-Col. Koh Chuan Leong, Head, General Staff Branch, Singapore Army, in Geneva, 20 September 2006.
 Telephone interview with and email from Sharon Seah, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 30 March 2009.
 STE has produced two types of antipersonnel mines (VS-50 and VS-69) from designs by Italian companies. When asked about continuing use of Italian mine designs, the ambassador of Italy to Singapore noted that the Italian law banning antipersonnel mines is duly enforced only over Italian subjects and territory. Emails from Andrea de Felip, First Secretary and Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Italy in Singapore, 7 and 20 April 2010. It is not known if Italy has requested Singapore to halt use of the designs.
 Email from Sharolyn Choy, Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, STE, 3 May 2010.
 PAX, “Singapore Technologies Engineering stops production of cluster munitions,” 19 November 2015.