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. Argentina destroyed its cluster munition stocks before the convention was adopted in 2018 and has said it does not intend to produce them in the future.
The Republic of Argentina has not acceded to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.
Argentina participated throughout 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, government officials have repeatedly stated that while Argentina supports the goal of prohibiting cluster munitions, it cannot join the Convention on Cluster Munitions due to its reservations over certain provisions. In November 2020, Argentina 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. Most recently, it attended the first part of the convention’s Second Review Conference held virtually in November 2020, where it reiterated 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 2020. Argentina said it abstained from the draft 2020 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 2020. 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 Second Review Conference (held virtually), 25 November 2020; Statement of Argentina, UNGA First Committee on Disarmament and International Security, 6 November 2020. Argentina previously voiced this position at the Ninth Meeting of States Parties in September 2019, 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 Ninth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 2 September 2019; 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 (HRW) 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 75/62, 7 December 2020. Argentina abstained from voting on similar resolutions in December 2015, 2016, and 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 75/193, 16 December 2020. Argentina voted in favor of similar resolutions from 2013–2015 and 2017–2019.
 See, “Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic,” Human Rights Council Resolution 43/28, 22 June 2020.
 Statement of Argentina, Convention on Cluster Munitions Second Review Conference (held virtually) 25 November 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.