Cluster Munition Ban Policy

Last updated: 11 September 2020

Ten-Year Review: Non-signatory Venezuela adopted the convention in 2008, but has not taken any steps to accede to it. Venezuela has participated in one meeting of the convention, in 2011. It abstained from the vote on a key United Nations (UN) resolution on the convention in December 2019, after voting in favor of the annual UN resolution promoting the convention in 2015–2018.

Venezuela is not known to have used, produced, or exported cluster munitions, but it has imported them and destroyed an unspecified quantity in August 2011.


The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has not acceded to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Venezuela has never commented on its lack of accession to the convention. In 2011, Venezuela said, “a binding tool leading us to a prohibition of the use, stockpiling, [and] transfer…would be the ideal” to address the humanitarian concerns raised by cluster munitions.[1]

Venezuela participated in several meetings of the Oslo Process that created the Convention on Cluster Munitions. It joined in the consensus adoption of the convention text in Dublin on 30 May 2008, but expressed opposition to the convention’s Article 21 provisions on “interoperability” (relations with states not party), which it said “[undermines] the spirit and purpose” of the convention.[2] Venezuela did not attend the convention’s Oslo Signing Conference in December 2008.

Venezuela participated as an observer at the convention’s Second Meeting of States Parties in Beirut, Lebanon in September 2011. This was its first and, to date, only attendance at a meeting of the convention. Venezuela was invited, but did not attend, the Ninth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in September 2019.

In December 2019, Venezuela abstained from the vote on a key UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution urging states outside the Convention on Cluster Munitions to “join as soon as possible.”[3] Previously, Venezuela voted in favor of the annual UNGA resolution promoting the convention since it was first introduced in 2015.

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

Use, production, transfer, and stockpiling

Venezuela is not known to have used, produced, or exported cluster munitions.

In 2011, the Ministry of the Popular Power for the Defense of Venezuela announced that cluster munitions belonging to the air force had been destroyed as part an operation to destroy surplus ammunition and ordnance.[4] An unspecified number of cluster munitions were destroyed, including Israeli-made AS TAL-1 cluster bombs.

It is not clear if Venezuela still stockpiles cluster munitions. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) has reported that Israel exported the LAR-160 surface-to-surface rocket system to Venezuela, but it is not known if ammunition containing submunitions was included in the deal.[5]

[1] Statement of Venezuela, Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) Fourth Review Conference, Geneva, 24 November 2011. Notes by Action on Armed Violence.

[2] For more information on Venezuela’s policy and practice regarding cluster munitions through early 2010, see ICBL, Cluster Munition Monitor 2010 (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, October 2010), pp. 267–268.

[3]Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UN General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution 74/62, 12 December 2019.

[4]El Ministerio de la Defensa de Venezuela destruye bombas de racimo” (‘‘The Ministry of Defense of Venezuela destroys cluster bombs’’), Infodefensa, 26 August 2011.

[5] SIPRI, “Arms Transfers Database.” Recipient report for Israel for the period 1950–2011, generated on 6 June 2012.