Finland

Cluster Munition Ban Policy

Last updated: 13 September 2021

Summary

Non-signatory Finland acknowledges the humanitarian concerns raised by cluster munitions, but it has not taken any steps to accede to the convention. Finland has participated as an observer in every meeting of the convention. It abstained from voting on a key United Nations (UN) resolution promoting the convention in December 2020.

Finland has not used or produced cluster munitions. It has imported and possesses cluster munitions but has not provided information on the quantities and types stockpiled.

Policy

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

Finland often acknowledges the humanitarian rationale for the convention, but it has not taken any steps to accede to it.[1] A Cabinet Committee on Foreign and Security Policy has conducted annual reviews of Finland’s position on joining the convention since 2009, but it has never recommended a policy change.[2] In 2017, Finland said it “continues to regularly evaluate progress in military technologies and developments,” but “no such changes in conditions have taken place which would as yet enable accession.”[3]

Finnish government officials have cited Ministry of Defense concerns about the costs of replacing stockpiled cluster munitions with other weapons as an obstacle to its accession.[4] Officials have also cited costs of implementing the convention’s provisions as well as security concerns as reasons for the lack of accession.[5]

Finland participated throughout the Oslo Process that created the Convention on Cluster Munitions, but consistently expressed reservations about the process and about the convention text and was not supportive of a broad categorical ban on cluster munitions.[6] Finland joined the consensus adoption of the convention in May 2008, but later announced it would not sign it in Oslo in December 2008.[7] At the time, Minister of Defense Jyri Häkämies argued that “cluster munitions play an important role in the credibility [and] autonomy…of Finnish defense.” Finland’s military claimed its stockpiled cluster munitions could not be replaced with alternative weapons within five to 10 years and cited security concerns over its border with Russia.[8]

Since then, Finland has participated as an observer in every meeting of the convention, including the first part of the Second Review Conference held virtually in November 2020.[9]

Finland abstained from voting on a key UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution urging states outside the Convention on Cluster Munitions to “join as soon as possible” in December 2020.[10] It has abstained from the vote on the annual UNGA resolution promoting the convention since it was first introduced in 2015.

In 2015–2018, Finland endorsed a joint UNGA statement on cluster munitions made by Poland on behalf of itself and other European Union (EU) member states that are not party to the convention—Estonia, Greece, and Romania—that reiterates the need to meet their own “legitimate security concerns and military and defence needs.”[11]

At the UNGA First Committee on Disarmament and International Security in October 2018, Finland delivered a statement on behalf of the Nordic countries that expressed concern at the use of cluster munitions.[12] Finland has voted in favor of UNGA resolutions expressing outrage at the use of cluster munitions in Syria, most recently in December 2020.[13]

Finland is a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty. Finland is a State Party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW).

Use, production, transfer, and stockpiling

According to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, “Finland does not produce cluster munitions nor has [it] used them.”[14]

In early 2005, Patria, a Finnish company, made arrangements to co-produce a 120mm cluster munition mortar bomb called MAT-120, then manufactured by the Spanish company Instalaza SA. The deal was canceled in 2009 by Patria and the Finnish Defense Forces after Spain signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions. During the development of the program, Patria imported to Finland 305 “live” MAT-120 from Spain in 2005–2007 and also acquired 230 inert MAT-120 bombs. As of July 2011, a total of 136 “live” MAT-120 remained in the custody of the Finnish Defense Forces; none of the MAT-120 imported to Finland were exported.[15]

Finland possesses one type of cluster munition: the DM-662 155mm artillery projectile, which contains 49 dual-purpose improved conventional munition (DPICM) submunitions with self-destruct fuzes.[16] The Monitor has requested but never received information on the size and composition of the stockpile.[17]

In 2006, the Ministry of Defense of the Netherlands announced the transfer of 18 M270 multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) launchers to Finland.[18] It was reported that 400 M26 rockets (each containing 644 M77 DPICM submunitions) were to be included in the sale for qualification testing and conversion into training rockets.[19]

According to standard international reference publications, Finland also possesses BM-21 Grad and RM-70 122mm surface-to-surface rocket launchers, but it is not known if the version includes cluster munition payloads.[20]



[1] Finland has provided similar responses to the Monitor in previous years. See, Letter No. HEL7M1332-18 from Sannamaaria Vanamo, Director, Unit for Arms Control, Disarmament and Non-Proliferation, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, 22 May 2017; letter from Timo Soini, Minister for Foreign Affairs, to Mary Wareham, Advocacy Director, Arms Division, Human Rights Watch (HRW), 16 May 2016; Letter No. HEL7M0241-16 from Sannamaaria Vanamo, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, 21 April 2015; Letter No. HEL7M0241-11 from Markku Virri, Director, Unit for Arms Control, Disarmament, and Non-Proliferation, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, 27 April 2014; Letter No. HEL7M0241-23 to CMC from Markku Virri, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, 30 August 2013; letter from Erkki Tuomioja, Minister for Foreign Affairs, 27 April 2012; Letter No. HEL7913-3 from Markku Virri, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, 10 March 2011; email from Pentti Olin, Adviser, Ministry of Defense, 27 April 2010; and letter from Mari Männistö, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, 26 February 2009.

[2] A 2009 government report on “Finnish Security and Defence Policy” found that the convention “significantly impacts Finland’s defence and its resource requirements” and announced that the matter of Finland’s accession would be reassessed annually by the Cabinet Committee on Foreign and Security Policy. “Finnish Security and Defence Policy 2009, Government Report,” Prime Minister’s Office Publications 13/2009, 5 February 2009, p. 64. Finland also stated in 2011 that it was monitoring implementation of the convention and undertaking a study of “the Defence Force’s capabilities and the international development work on cluster munitions, procurement options and costs.” Letter No. HEL7913-3 from Markku Virri, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, 10 March 2011. In April 2015, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs stated, “Finland continues to regularly evaluate progress in military technologies and the Cabinet Committee on Foreign and Security Policy monitors the situation on an annual basis.” Letter No. HEL7M0241-16 from Sannamaaria Vanamo, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, to Mary Wareham, HRW, 21 April 2015.

[3] Letter No. HEL7M1332-18 from Sannamaaria Vanamo, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, 22 May 2017. Previously, in April 2016, Finland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Timo Soini, informed the Monitor that, “we acknowledge the Convention’s role from the humanitarian perspective and its goals for universalization,” but also explained that “no such changes in conditions have taken place which would enable accession.” Letter from Timo Soini, Minister for Foreign Affairs, to Mary Wareham, HRW, 16 May 2016.

[4] Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) meeting with Saila Söderman, Advisor, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Convention on Cluster Munitions Third Meeting of States Parties, Oslo, 14 September 2012.

[5] CMC meeting with Jukka Pajarinen, First Secretary, Unit for Arms Control, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 7 April 2014. See also, statement of Poland (speaking on behalf of Finland), UN General Assembly (UNGA) First Committee, 70th Session, 24th Meeting, New York, 4 November 2015.

[6] For details on Finland’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. 202–204.

[7] “Disarmament: Finland Refuses to Sign Cluster Bomb Ban,” Europolitics, 4 November 2008. In a February 2009 letter to HRW, Finland stated the decision was made by the President and the Cabinet Committee on Foreign and Security Policy. Letter from Mari Männistö, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, 26 February 2009.

[8] “Disarmament: Finland Refuses to Sign Cluster Bomb Ban,” Europolitics, 4 November 2008; “Finland Opts Out of Cluster Munitions Ban Treaty,” BBC Monitoring European, 3 November 2008; and “Why is Finland reluctant to ban cluster bombs?,” Mainichi Daily News, 7 December 2008.

[9] It also attended the convention’s First Review Conference in September 2015 and intersessional meetings in 2011 and 2014–2015.

[10]Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA Resolution 75/62, 7 December 2020.

[11] Statement of Poland (on behalf of Estonia, Finland, Greece, and Romania), UNGA First Committee on Disarmament and International Security, New York, 8 November 2018; statement of Poland (on behalf of Estonia, Finland, Greece, and Romania), UNGA First Committee on Disarmament and International Security, New York, 31 October 2017; statement of Poland (on behalf of Estonia, Finland, Greece, and Romania), UNGA First Committee on Disarmament and International Security, New York, 31 October 2016; and statement of Poland (on behalf of Estonia, Finland, Greece, and Romania), UNGA First Committee on Disarmament and International Security, New York, 4 November 2015. Poland did not provide a statement on behalf of the same group of states at UNGA in 2019 and 2020.

[12] Statement of Finland on behalf of the Nordic countries, UNGA First Committee on Disarmament and International Security, New York, 25 October 2018. Finland also made similar remarks in 2015 and 2017. See, statement of Finland on behalf of the Nordic countries, UNGA First Committee on Disarmament and International Security, New York, 8 October 2015; and statement of Finland on behalf of the Nordic countries, UNGA First Committee on Disarmament and International Security, New York, 18 October 2017.

[13]Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic,” UNGA Resolution 75/193, 16 December 2020. Finland voted in favor of similar resolutions in 2013–2019.

[14] Letter from Mari Männistö, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, 26 February 2009.

[15] The company also notes, “Patria does not develop, produce or sell cluster ammunition products.” Patria Corporation Press Release, “Patria’s mortar systems have not been used to fire cluster ammunition in Libya,” 7 July 2011.

[16] Email from Tiina Raijas, Ministry of Defense, 8 June 2005.

[17] Email from Pentti Olin, Ministry of Defense, 27 April 2010.

[18] Ministry of Defense of the Netherlands Press Release, “Finland Receives Two MLRS Batteries,” 13 January 2006. Translated by defense-aerospace.com.

[19] Joris Janssen, “Dutch Plan to Update Cluster Weapons,” Jane’s Defence Weekly, 19 October 2005.

[20] International Institute for Strategic Studies, The Military Balance 2016 (London: Routledge, 2016); and Colin King, ed., Jane’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal 2008, CD-edition, 3 December 2007 (Surrey, UK: Jane’s Information Group Limited, 2008).


Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 07 October 2019

Policy

The Republic of Finland deposited its instrument of accession to the Mine Ban Treaty on 9 January 2012, becoming a State Party on 1 July 2012.[1]

Finland has amended its penal code to implement the convention’s provisions into domestic law, including penal sanctions for violations of a minimum of four months imprisonment to a maximum of six years.[2]

Finland submitted an initial Article 7 transparency report in 2013 for the second half of 2012 and provided annual updated reports in 2014–2018 for the previous calendar years. It has not submitted a report in 2019 covering calendar year 2018.

Finland has regularly attended the Mine Ban Treaty’s Review Conferences, Meetings of States Parties, and intersessional meetings despite not joining until 2012. It participated in the Mine Ban Treaty’s Third Review Conference in Maputo, Mozambique in June 2014 and more recently, the Seventeenth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in November 2018. At both meetings, Finland emphasized the need to maintain contributions and support for mine victims and clearance activities.[3] Finland also attended the intersessional meetings in May 2019 but did not provide a statement.

Finland is not party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions. It is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW), including Amended Protocol II and Protocol V.

Use, production, transfer, and stockpiling

Finland has stated on numerous occasions that it has never used antipersonnel mines, does not have any mined areas, has not produced antipersonnel mines since 1981, and has never exported antipersonnel mines.[4] Finland has not acquired any antipersonnel mines since the early 1970s.

In 2010, information from the Ministry for Defence was released, revealing for the first time the size and composition of Finland’s stockpile of antipersonnel mines.[5] This total was reaffirmed in mid-2012 when Finland disclosed that it stockpiled 1,029,763 antipersonnel mines banned by the treaty, comprising 801,618 Sakaramiina 65-98 blast mines as well as 228,145 Putkimiina 43-86, and Putkimiina 68-95 stake mines.[6]

On 18 August 2015, the Finish Defense Forces declared that Finland had completed the destruction of its stockpiles ahead of its 1 July 2016 deadline.[7] It destroyed a total of 1,013,571 antipersonnel mines.[8]

Finland began destroying the stockpile by open detonation in August 2012 at a location in Finnish Lapland.[9] From August until 10 December 2013, destruction continued at the Ähtäri army depot in central Finland and at Kittilä, an area in the north of the country used for years for the destruction of old ammunition and explosives. Finland reported that blast mines were to be destroyed by removing the fuze and metallic parts for recycling, with parts to be used during fire and explosion training. The stake mines were to be destroyed by open detonation.[10] In 2011, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs estimated the cost of the stockpile destruction at approximately €220,000 (US$291,742).[11]

Retention

In its Article 7 report submitted in 2018, Finland reported that it retained 16,192 mines.[12] Previously in 2013–2015, Finland declared retaining 16,500 antipersonnel mines for training and research purposes.[13] In 2011, Finland stated that the retained mines are necessary for the development of and training in destruction techniques and will be retained for these purposes for the next 20 years.[14]



[1] This came six years later than its initially-stated goal. The decision to step back from the goal to join the treaty in 2006 was included in the Security and Defence Policy Review 2004, which was approved by parliament on 21 December 2004. The goal of joining the treaty by 2006 was first stated in December 1997, reiterated in December 1999 and December 2000, and confirmed by a government report on foreign and security policy approved by parliament in December 2001.

[2]Law amending Chapter 11 (War crimes and crimes against humanity) of the Penal Code 39/1889,” 22 December 2011. It has also reported the following additional measures to implement the convention: Standard Operating Instructions from the Finnish Defence Command published on 3 April 2012; an Army Command decision on decommissioning of antipersonnel mines published on 24 February 2012; and a decision of the Finnish Defence Command on the approval of a plan of destruction of its antipersonnel mines published on 25 October 2010. Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for the period 1 July 2012 to 31 December 2012), Form A; and Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2013), Form A.

[3] Statement of Finland, Mine Ban Treaty Seventeenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 29 November 2018.

[4] Parliament of Finland, “Government Bill to Parliament on the approval of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Production, Stockpiling, and Transfer of Antipersonnel Mines and their Destruction,” HE15/2011, 12 August 2011; statements of Finland, Mine Ban Treaty Fourth Review Conference, Maputo, 23 and 27 June 2014; statement of Finland, Mine Ban Treaty Thirteenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 2 December 2013; statement of Finland, Mine Ban Treaty Intersessional Meetings, Standing Committee on Stockpile Destruction, Geneva, 27 May 2013; statement of Finland, Mine Ban Treaty Twelfth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 3 December 2012; statement of Finland, Mine Ban Treaty Eleventh Meeting of States Parties, Phnom Penh, 28 November 2011; and statement of Finland, Intersessional Standing Committee Meetings, Geneva, 21 May 2012.

[5] Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Draft Government Bill to Parliament on the approval of the Ottawa Convention on Antipersonnel Mines,” 14 December 2010; and Parliament of Finland, “Government Bill to Parliament on the approval of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Production, Stockpiling, and Transfer of Antipersonnel Mines and their Destruction,” HE15/2011, 12 August 2011.

[6] Parliament of Finland, “Government Bill to Parliament on the approval of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Production, Stockpiling, and Transfer of Antipersonnel Mines and their Destruction,” HE15/2011, 12 August 2011; and letter from Markku Virri, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, 7 September 2012.

[7] Juho Korpela, “The last anti-personnel mines destroyed,” Finnish Defense Force, 18 August 2015. See also, the Finnish Defence Forces website.

[9]Finland Destroying Landmine Stocks,” yle (News service), 21 August 2012; and letter from Markku Virri, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, 7 September 2012.

[10] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for the period 1 July 2012 to 31 December 2012), Form F; and Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2013), Form G.

[11] Parliament of Finland, “Government Bill to Parliament on the approval of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Production, Stockpiling, and Transfer of Antipersonnel Mines and their Destruction,” HE15/2011, 12 August 2011; and letter from Markku Virri, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, 7 September 2012. Average exchange rate for 2010: €1=US$1.3261. US Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Annual),” 6 January 2011.

[13] It reported retaining 9,000 Sakaramiina 65-98, 3,000 Putkimiina 43-95, and 4,500 Putkimiina 68-98 antipersonnel mines. Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2013), Form D; and Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for the period 1 July 2012 to 31 December 2012), Form D.

[14] Parliament of Finland, “Government Bill to Parliament on the approval of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Production, Stockpiling, and Transfer of Antipersonnel Mines and their Destruction,” HE15/2011, 12 August 2011.


Mine Action

Last updated: 11 September 2012

Contamination and Impact

Mines

In 1998, the Defense Staff of Finland stated in a press release that there were no peacetime minefields in the country.[1] In 2011, the Ministry of Defense informed the Monitor that there were no minefields along Finland’s eastern border, but acknowledged that both antipersonnel and antivehicle mines remained in the country from World War II.[2]

Cluster munition remnants and other explosive remnants of war

There are no reports of contamination from cluster munition remnants. According to the Ministry of Defense, “as far as they know,” no cluster munitions were used on Finnish soil.[3] However, other explosive remnants of war (ERW) remain from World War II as a result of action by German, Soviet, and Finnish military forces.[4] Most of the contamination is found on the former eastern battlefields and especially in the north of the country. Known battlefields and other dangerous areas are recorded in a database maintained by the defense forces. When former military areas are handed over for civilian use they are first cleared by the defense forces, if needed.[5]

Mine Action Program

There is no civilian mine action program in Finland. All clearance is conducted by the military, with occasional help from the police. No private companies are used for clearance.[6]

Land Release

In its latest annual transparency report in accordance with Article 10 of Protocol V on explosive remnants of war of the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW), Finland reported that, between April 2011 and April 2012, Finland destroyed more than 17,000 items of explosive ordnance in 290 interventions.[7]

Compliance with Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty

Under Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty, Finland is required to destroy all antipersonnel mines in mined areas under its jurisdiction or control as soon as possible, but not later than 1 July 2022. Finland’s initial Article 7 transparency report, which is due by 28 December 2012, will help to clarify whether Finland has any clearance obligations under the treaty.

 



[1] Statement of Brig. Gen. Kari Rimpi, Defense Staff, Press release, 2 December 1998.

[2] Email from Pentti Olin, Senior Advisor, Ministry of Defense, Helsinki, 14 February 2011.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Email from Pentti Olin, Ministry of Defense, Helsinki, 14 February 2011.

[7] CCW Protocol V Article 10 Report (for the period 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012), Form A.


Support for Mine Action

Last updated: 17 October 2020

In 2019, the Republic of Finland contributed €3 million (US$3.4 million)[1] in mine action funding to five countries and global activities. The largest contribution in 2019 went to Iraq, which received the equivalent of more than $1 million.

Contributions by recipient: 2019[2]

Recipient

Sector

Amount (€)

Amount (US$)

Iraq

Clearance and risk education

950,000

1,063,430

Syria

Clearance, risk education and victim assistance

720,000

805,968

Afghanistan

Clearance

700,000

783,580

Ukraine

Clearance, risk education and victim assistance

290,000

324,626

Somalia

Clearance and risk education

200,000

223,880

Global

Various

150,000

167,910

Total

 

3,010,000

3,369,394

 

From 2015 to 2019, Finland’s contribution for mine action totaled some €13 million (some $15.4 million). This total is 58% less than the $36.9 million recorded during the previous five-year period from 2010 to 2014.

Whereas Finland budgeted funding for mine action in 2016, it was reported that payments could not be executed due to changes in the administration, and the prolongation of the tender-processes. Therefore, no mine action support was reported in 2016, and as a result, the 2017 total included some of the funding initially budgeted for 2016.

Summary of contributions: 2015–2019[3]

Year

Amount (€)

Amount (US$)

% change from previous year (US$)

2019

3,010,000

3,369,394

+4

2018

2,740,000

3,237,858

-2

2017

2,912,000

3,290,851

N/A

2016

0

0

N/A

2015

5,000,000

5,548,000

-30

Total

13,662,000

15,446,103

N/A

Note: N/A = not applicable.


In February 2020, Finland announced that it would provide €15 million ($16.4 million) from 2021 to 2025 to support mine action activities, representing an increase of €3 million ($3.3 million) from the previous five year-period, from 2015–2020.[4] Following an external evaluation of Finland’s programme, the recommendation was for Finland to continue focusing on projects in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Syria, and Ukraine.[5]

In March 2016, at the International Pledging Conference for the implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty, Finland pledged €12 million ($13.4 million) to support humanitarian mine action for 2016–2020, which represented a drop of more than 50% compared to 2011–2015.[6] This decrease in Finland’s mine action budget was the result of budgetary cuts in its development cooperation appropriations.[7] During 2016–2020, Finland contributed to mine action projects in Afghanistan, Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, and Somalia, while funding to Angola and Cambodia was phased out.[8]

In July 2016, at the Pledging Conference in Support of Iraq in Washington, Finland announced €10 million ($11.1 million) in new funding over the period 2016–2020 to support humanitarian and stabilization in areas liberated from Islamic State, half of which (€5 million/$5.5 million) was allocated to mine clearance operations in Iraq and Syria.[9]


[1] Average exchange rate for 2019: €1=US$1.1194. US Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Annual),” 2 January 2020.

[2] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Anni Mäkeläinen, Desk Officer, Unit for Arms Control, Finland Ministry for Foreign Affairs, 13 July 2020.

[3] See previous Monitor reports.

[4] Statement of Finland, Fifth International Pledging Conference for the Implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty, Geneva, 25 February 2020; and email from Anni Mäkeläinen, Unit for Arms Control, Finland Ministry for Foreign Affairs, 13 July 2020. Exchange rate for February 2020: €1=US$1.0911. US Federal Reserve, “Foreign Exchange Rates (monthly),” 2 March 2020.

[5] Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, “Finland’s Humanitarian Mine Action Concept 2021-2025,” undated.

[6] Statement of Finland, International Pledging Conference for the Implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty, Geneva, 2 March 2016. Exchange rate for March 2016: €1=US$1.1134. US Federal Reserve, “Foreign Exchange Rates (monthly),” 1 April 2016.

[7] Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, “Finland’s Humanitarian Mine Action Concept for 2016–2020,” June 2016.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, “Finland grants additional support to Iraq,”20 July 2016. Average exchange rate for July 2016: €1=US$1.1055. US Federal Reserve, “Foreign Exchange Rates (monthly),” 1 September 2016.