Ten-Year Review: State Party Austria was amongst the first 30 ratifications to trigger the entry into force of the convention on 1 August 2010. It adopted national legislation banning cluster munitions in 2007. Austria has attended every meeting of the convention and it promotes universalization. Austria has consistently condemned new use of cluster munitions in Syria and other conflicts. Austria has also elaborated its views on several important issues for the interpretation and implementation of the convention.
In its initial transparency report for the convention provided in 2011 Austria confirmed it has never used, produced, or exported cluster munitions and no longer possesses them, including for research or training purposes. Austria completed the destruction of a stockpile of 12,672 cluster munitions and 798,336 submunitions in November 2010.
The Republic of Austria signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 3 December 2008 and ratified on 2 April 2009. Austria was among the first 30 ratifications to trigger the convention’s entry into force on 1 August 2010.
Austria became the second country after Belgium to pass national legislation on cluster munitions in December 2007, when it enacted the Federal Act on the Prohibition of Cluster Munitions, which entered into force on 8 January 2008. The law prohibits “the development, production, acquisition, sale, procurement, import, export, transit, use and possession of cluster munitions” in Austria and requires the destruction of stockpiled cluster munitions within three years.
Austria submitted its initial Article 7 report for the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 26 January 2011. It has provided annual updates since then, most recently in February 2020.
As a member of the small core group of nations that steered the Oslo Process to its successful conclusion, Austria played a crucial leadership role in securing the Convention on Cluster Munitions, including by hosting a key meeting of the Oslo Process in Vienna in December 2007. During the formal negotiations of the convention in Dublin in May 2008, Austria played a vital role in securing acceptance of the convention’s groundbreaking provisions on victim assistance.
Austria has participated in every Meeting of States Parties of the convention, most recently the Ninth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in September 2019. It attended the convention’s First Review Conference in Dubrovnik, Croatia in September 2015 and intersessional meetings in Geneva in 2011–2015. Austria says that it promotes the convention’s universalization using “every appropriate occasion at bilateral and multilateral levels.”
Austria is one of the strongest defenders of the emerging international norm against any use of cluster munitions, which the convention seeks to establish. Since 2010, it has condemned or expressed concern at new use of cluster munitions in Cambodia, Libya, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Ukraine, and Yemen.
Austria was the first country to express concern at Syria’s cluster munition use in 2012. It has voted in favor of UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolutions condemning the use of cluster munitions in Syria, most recently in December 2019. Austria has voted for multiple Human Rights Council resolutions that condemned the use of cluster munitions in Syria, most recently in June 2020.
In December 2019, Austria voted in favor of UNGA Resolution 74/62 promoting universalization and implementation of the convention. It has voted for the annual resolution on cluster munitions since it was first introduced in 2015.
Austria is a strong proponent of the humanitarian disarmament model of partnership between governments, international organizations, and civil society, describing this as “crucial for the convention to maximize its potential.”
Austria has elaborated its views on several important issues relating to the interpretation and implementation of the convention.
Austria’s implementation law for the convention specifically prohibits transit of cluster munitions. In Austria’s view, the “transit of cluster munitions across or foreign stockpiling of cluster munitions on the national territory of States Parties is prohibited by the Convention. In this regard Article 1 paragraph b is of particular interest as it states a clear prohibition of transferring as well as stockpiling cluster munitions. Should a State Party to the Convention allow a foreign state to stockpile cluster munitions on its territory, this action would be in violation with the provision entailed in Article 1 paragraph c that prohibits assistance ‘to engage in any activity prohibited to a State Party.’”
On Article 21 (relations with states not party) or “interoperability,” Austria has stated that the article “leaves room for some interpretation, especially as to paragraph 4.” In 2012, Austria underlined that “all State Parties are obliged to undertake best efforts to discourage States from using cluster munitions” and said that “exceptions in national legislation with respect to interoperability clauses risk to run counter to the object and purpose of the Convention.”
Austria’s Federal Act on the Prohibition of Cluster Munitions does not explicitly prohibit investment in the production of cluster munitions.
Austria is party to the Mine Ban Treaty. It is also party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.
Use, production, and transfer
Austria acquired DM632 artillery projectiles containing M85 submunitions from Israel’s state-owned Israel Military Industries (IMI) in 1998 and 1999 for €10.44 million (US$14.3 million).
Austria declared a stockpile of 12,669 155mm DM632 artillery projectiles and 798,147 M85 submunitions, which its national law required it be destroyed within three years, by the end of 2010.
Austria completed the destruction of 12,672 155mm DM632 artillery projectiles and 798,336 M85 submunitions in November 2010. The bulk of the cluster munitions were destroyed in 2010 by a company in Lachiano, Italy through a process of dismantling, recycling, and incineration of the explosive materials.
Prior to entry into force, the Austrian Armed Forces destroyed three 155mm DM632 artillery projectiles containing 189 submunitions in February 2010 during testing.
Austria has not retained any cluster munitions for research or training purposes.
 The National Council and the Federal Council enacted the law on 6 and 20 December 2007, respectively, and it entered into force on 8 January 2008. On 12 March 2009, the Austrian National Council approved a motion amending the law to bring its definition of cluster munitions in line with the definition contained in the convention. A second motion authorized ratification of the convention. On 26 March, the Federal Council assented to both motions.
 “Federal Act on the Prohibition of Cluster Munitions” (“Bundesgesetz über das Verbot von Streumunition”), GP XXIII RV 232 AB 350 S. 42. BR: AB 7873 S.751, Bundesgesetzblatt für die Republik Österreich, Bundeskanzleramt Rechtsinformationssystem (Federal Law Gazette for the Republic of Austria, Federal Chancellery Legal Information System), 7 January 2008.
 For details on Austria’s policy and practice regarding cluster munitions through early 2009, see Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Landmine Action, Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, May 2009), pp. 35–38. During the First Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions at a reception hosted by the Austrian government in honor of civil society, CMC-Austria launched a publication report on the history of the parliamentary and legislative process in Austria towards the ban on cluster munitions. See, CMC-Austria, “Banning Cluster Munitions: The Austrian Process: An NGO Perspective,” 11 November 2010.
 Statement of Austria, Convention on Cluster Munitions Fourth Meeting of States Parties, Lusaka, 10 September 2013.
 Statement of Austria, Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 23 June 2015. Notes by Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA); Statement of Austria, UNGA First Committee on Disarmament and International Security, New York, 22 October 2014; Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs press release, “Foreign Minister Spindelegger condemns use of cluster munitions in Sudan,” Vienna, 5 June 2012; and Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs press release, “Foreign Minister Spindelegger condemns deployment of cluster munitions,” 18 April 2011.
 Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs press release, “Spindelegger: ‘Requesting urgent clarification on the use of cluster munitions in Syria’” (“Spindelegger: ‘Fordere dringende Aufklärung über die Verwendung von Streumunition in Syrien’”), 13 July 2012; and statement of Austria, Convention on Cluster Munitions Second Meeting of States Parties, Beirut, 13 September 2011.
 “Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic,” UNGA Resolution 74/169, 18 December 2019.
 See, “Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic,” Human Rights Council Resolution 43/28, 22 June 2020.
 “Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA Resolution 74/62, 12 December 2019.
 Statement by Robert Gerschner, Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs, Convention on Cluster Munitions Fourth Meeting of States Parties, Lusaka, 10 September 2013.
 “Federal Law on the Prohibition on Cluster Munitions” (“Bundesgesetz über das Verbot von Streumunition”), sec. 2. An unofficial English translation of Austria’s law specifically uses the word “transit.”
 Letter from Amb. Nikolaus Marschik, Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs, 9 March 2009, italics in the original.
 Letter from Amb. Marschik, Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs, 9 March 2009.
 Letter from Amb. Marschik, Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs, 9 March 2009.
 Austria reported “not applicable” in forms D (Technical characteristics of cluster munitions produced/owned or possessed) and E (Status and progress of programmes for conversion or decommissioning of production facilities) Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Forms D and E, 26 January 2011. Austria has left forms D and E blank in subsequent reports.
 The Austrian term for the cluster munitions is “Hohlladungssprengkörpergranaten 92.” See email from Wolfgang Banyai, Department for Arms Control and Disarmament, Ministry for European and International Affairs, 22 July 2011; reply by Minister of Defence Norbert Darabos to the Parliamentary Questions (723/J) submitted by Member of Parliament Caspar Einem and colleagues and addressed to the Minister of Defence concerning the procurement of cluster munitions (Cluster Bombs and Howitzergrenades) by the Austrian Armed Forces, 26 June 2007. Average exchange rate for 2007: €1=US$1.3711. US Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Annual),” 6 January 2011.
 “Federal Law on the Prohibition on Cluster Munitions” (“Bundesgesetz über das Verbot von Streumunition”), sec. 4. In June 2009, Austria stated that a tendering process had been launched with destruction to be completed in 2010. Statement of Austria, Berlin Conference on the Destruction of Cluster Munitions, 25 June 2009. Notes by Action on Armed Violence (AOAV).
 Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Reports, Form B, April 2014; April 2013; 24 April 2012; 26 January 2011; Letter GZ.BMeiA-AT.2.07.41/0055-II.8b/2010 from Amb. Marschik, to Judith Majlath, CMC-Austria, 29 July 2010; Letter No. BMeiA-AT.2.07.41/0021-II.8b/2011 from Amb. Kmentt, Ministry for European and International Affairs to Mary Wareham, HRW, 21 April 2011; and email from Wolfgang Banyai, Ministry for European and International Affairs, 22 July 2011.
 Email from Wolfgang Banyai, Ministry for European and International Affairs, 22 July 2011.
 In its Article 7 reports, Austria has stated “not applicable” on Form C on cluster munitions retained for training and research purposes. See also Letter No. BMeiA-AT.2.07.41/0021-II.8b/2011 from Amb. Kmentt, Ministry for European and International Affairs to Mary Wareham, HRW, 21 April 2011.