Gabon

Cluster Munition Ban Policy

Last updated: 13 September 2021

Summary

Non-signatory Gabon has not acceded to the convention, despite pledging to on several occasions. It voted in favor of a key annual United Nations (UN) resolution promoting the convention in December 2020. Gabon last attended a meeting of the convention in 2015.

Gabon states that it has never used, stockpiled, or transferred cluster munitions. It is not known to have produced them.

Policy

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

Gabon has not taken any steps to accede to the convention despite making several positive statements since 2011 expressing its desire to join.[1] At the convention’s First Review Conference in 2015, Gabon told States Parties that it shared the convention’s humanitarian goals and hoped to join it.[2] However, in April 2017, Gabon’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva said it was not “appropriate” for Gabon to accede in the immediate future “for internal reasons.”[3]

Gabon did not participate in the Oslo Process that led to the creation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions.[4]

Gabon participated as an observer in the convention’s meetings until 2015.[5] It was invited to, but did not attend the first part of the convention’s Second Review Conference held virtually in November 2020.

Gabon voted in favor of a key UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution urging states outside the Convention on Cluster Munitions to “join as soon as possible” in December 2020.[6] It has voted in favor of the annual UNGA resolution promoting the convention since it was first introduced in 2015.[7]

Gabon has also voted in favor of UNGA resolutions expressing outrage at the use of cluster munitions in Syria.[8] It has also voted in favor of Human Rights Council resolutions condemning the use of cluster munitions in Syria.[9]

Gabon is a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty. It is also party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW).

Use, production, transfer, and stockpiling

Gabon told States Parties in 2012 and 2013 that it has never used, stockpiled, or transferred cluster munitions.[10] Gabon is not known to have ever produced cluster munitions.



[1] Statement of Gabon, Convention on Cluster Munitions Fourth Meeting of States Parties, Lusaka, 11 September 2013. Gabon was represented by Lt. Col. Emile Blanchard Sadi, Focal Point of the Ministry of Defense on Weapons of Mass Destruction and Disarmament. In September 2012, the same representative said that Gabon’s President Ali Bongo Ondimba and its institutions are convinced of the merits and humanitarian objectives of the convention and acknowledged the need for Gabon to join “soon.” Statement by Lt. Col. Sadi, Convention on Cluster Munitions Third Meeting of States Parties, Oslo, 11 September 2011.

[2] Statement of Gabon, First Review Conference for the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Dubrovnik, Croatia, 7–11 September 2015. Unofficial translation.

[3] “Les autorités gabonaises avaient déjà été saisies à ce sujet et qu'elles n'avaient pas jugé opportun pour le Gabon, du moins dans l'immédiat, d'adhérer à cette Convention, pour des raisons internes.” Unofficial translation from the original in French. Letter No. 536MPGG/Ed.K.M./2017 from Ambassador Marianne Odette Bibalou Bounda, Permanent Representative of Gabon to the UN in Geneva, 20 April 2017. Received by mail on 14 June 2017.

[4] In October 2010, Gabon attended a special event on the Convention on Cluster Munitions, held during the UN General Assembly’s (UNGA) First Committee on Disarmament and International Security. Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC), “Special Event on the Convention on Cluster Munitions, 19 October 2010,” 22 October 2010.

[5] Gabon has also attended regional meetings on the convention, most recently in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in August 2016. See, Convention on Cluster Munitions Ratification Seminar, Kampala, 29–30 May 2017; and “The Addis Ababa Commitment on Universalization and Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” Africa Regional Workshop on the Universalization of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, 5 August 2016.

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

[7] Gabon was absent from the vote on Resolution 71/45 on 5 December 2016.

[8]Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic,” UNGA Resolution 71/203, 19 December 2016. Gabon voted in favor of similar resolutions in 2013–2015 but not in 2017–2018 or 2020.

[9] See, “The grave and deteriorating human rights and humanitarian situation in the Syrian Arab Republic,” Human Rights Council Resolution 29/L.4, 2 July 2015.

[10] Statement by Lt. Col. Sadi, Convention on Cluster Munitions Third Meeting of States Parties, Oslo, 11 September 2012; and statement by Lt. Col. Sadi, Convention on Cluster Munitions Fourth Meeting of States Parties, Lusaka, 11 September 2013.