Cluster Munition Ban Policy
Five-Year Review: State Party Denmark was among the first 30 ratifications that triggered the convention’s entry into force on 1 August 2010. It considers existing legislation as sufficient to enforce the convention’s provisions. Denmark has participated in most of the convention’s Meetings of States Parties and intersessional meetings, but not since 2013. It has expressed support for the convention’s universalization and has condemned the use of cluster munitions. Denmark has also elaborated its views on a number of important issues for the interpretation and implementation of the convention.
Denmark states it has not produced cluster munitions, and it is not known to have used or exported them. In March 2014, Denmark completed the destruction of a stockpile of 42,181 cluster munitions and 2.45 million submunitions. As of the end of 2014, Denmark was retaining 3,634 submunitions for training and research purposes.
The Kingdom of Denmark signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 3 December 2008 and ratified on 12 February 2010. It was among the first 30 ratifications to trigger entry into force of the convention on 1 August 2010.
Denmark has listed a 2009 parliamentary motion approving ratification under national implementation measures in its Article 7 reports and has indicated that specific implementation legislation is unnecessary as penal sanctions for violations of the convention are imposed by the Military Penal Code. The Defence Command has issued instructions on implementation of the convention.
Denmark submitted its initial Article 7 transparency report for the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 27 January 2011 and has provided annual updates ever since, most recently on 7 April 2015.
Denmark participated in the Oslo Process that created the Convention on Cluster Munitions and its position shifted significantly to the point that it was able to adopt the convention at the conclusion of the negotiations in Dublin in May 2008. Denmark’s swift ratification of the convention and the early completion of stockpile destruction in March 2014 demonstrate its strong commitment to the convention.
Denmark has engaged in the work of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, most recently in 2013. It has participated in every Meeting of States Parties of the convention except the Fifth Meeting of States Parties in San José, Costa Rica in September 2014. Denmark has attended all of the convention’s intersessional meetings held in Geneva since 2011, except the most recent meetings in June 2015.
Denmark has condemned the use of cluster munitions in Syria several times since 2012. In September 2013, it stated that, “Denmark condemns all use of cluster munitions and calls on all states not parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions to join the convention…without delay. There are no other solutions to the humanitarian consequences of cluster munitions than a total and universal ban.” Denmark has voted in favor of UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolutions condemning the use of cluster munitions in Syria, including Resolution 69/189 on 18 December 2014, which expressed “outrage” at the continued use.
Denmark’s ratification instrument provided the following statement on the prohibition on assistance with prohibited acts during joint military operations: “Article 21 contains a significant provision for States Parties to be allowed to cooperate with states not party to the Convention (interoperability). Regardless of the broad wording of the ban in Article 1, States Parties may continue to participate in military cooperation and operations with States not party to the Convention. However, this access is not unlimited, as a State Party is never allowed to develop or acquire cluster munitions or explicitly request support in the form of cluster munitions in a situation where the State Party has an exclusive control over the choice of the ammunition.”
Denmark has reported that its Defence Command has issued instructions that stipulate “limitations on the possibilities to co-operate with nations who have not signed the convention.” In July 2013, Denmark’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed the Monitor, that “according to Article 21 (3), States Parties and their military personnel or nationals are eligible to participate in military cooperation and military operations with States not party to the convention. This does not, however, alter the obligation of States Parties themselves to not stockpile or transfer cluster munitions, as specified by Article 21(4b).”
Denmark has not elaborated it views on transit and foreign stockpiling or whether it agrees these activities are prohibited by the Convention on Cluster Munitions.
In May 2013, the government expressed support for a prohibition on investment in cluster munition production and requested that the Danish Council on Social Responsibility recommend how a legal prohibition on investment in weapons such as cluster munitions could be undertaken. The announcement reversed Denmark’s previous policy opposing a ban on investment in companies involved in the production of cluster munitions. On 13 March 2014, the Council delivered its report on responsible investment and arms conventions, but did not recommend a mandatory prohibition on investment in cluster munition producers. The Council’s NGO members strongly opposed the lack of support for disinvestment from cluster munition production. There have been no further actions on disinvestment since then.
Denmark is a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty. It is also party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.
Use, production, and transfer
Denmark has declared that it has not produced cluster munitions. Denmark is not known to have used or exported cluster munitions.
Denmark once possessed a stockpile of 42,181 cluster munitions of three types and 2,452,699 submunitions, as listed in the table below.
Cluster munitions formerly stockpiled by Denmark
Type of munition
Quantity of munitions
Quantity of submunitions
DM642 155mm artillery projectiles, each containing 63 DM-1383 DPICM* submunitions
DM662 155mm artillery projectiles, each containing 49 DM-1385 DPICM submunitions
Mk-20 Rockeye cluster bombs, each containing 247 Mk118 submunitions
* DPICM = dual-purpose improved conventional munition
Under Article 3 of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Denmark was required to declare and destroy all stockpiled cluster munitions under its jurisdiction and control as soon as possible, but no later than 1 August 2018.
Denmark announced that the completion of the stockpile destruction on 20 March 2014, more than four years in advance of the treaty-mandated deadline. It announced the completion at the intersessional meetings in April 2014.
According to Denmark’s April 2014 Article 7 report, the DM642 and DM662 155mm artillery projectiles were destroyed by the Danish company DENEX at its facility in Frederikshavn through a process of disassembly and incineration that was completed on 13 December 2013. The Mk-20 Rockeye cluster bombs were transferred to Spain where they were destroyed by Spanish company EXPAL at its facility, in a process that was completed on 24 January 2014. The Article 7 report annexes copies of certificates of destruction from DENEX and EXPAL and included detailed flow charts showing how the destruction process was undertaken as well as the safety and environmental standards observed.
Denmark has estimated the total cost of destruction at approximately €2.3 million, which equates to less than €1 per submunition. This is significantly lower than the initial destruction estimate provided in 2009 of up to DKK250 million (US$46.7 million).
Denmark reported in April 2015 that it is retaining 3,634 submunitions for training and research purposes: 1,800 DM1383 and 1,834 DM1385 DPICM submunitions (the submunitions were removed from 155mm artillery projectiles). The amount is significantly lower than the estimated number of cluster munitions that Denmark previously stated would be retained. Denmark has stated that the retained submunitions have been separated from their shells and stored in carbon tubes and, as such, are not operational.
According to the April 2015 report, no submunitions were consumed in the course of training in 2014.
 Denmark submitted a formal declaration with its ratification instrument stating that the convention did not apply to Denmark’s territories of Greenland and the Faroe Islands, but that it may, by unilateral declaration of the government, apply at a later date. This was done to respect the limited self-governance agreements with the territories with the aim of removing the exemptions as soon as the local decision-making processes were completed. On 12 February 2010, the convention was extended to cover Greenland. Danish territorial control does not include the United States (US) Thule Air Base in Greenland. Meeting with Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Defence officials, Copenhagen, 25 March 2010.
 The Arms Act prohibits, without permission from the Minister of Justice, the possession, acquisition, and transfer of grenades, bombs, mines, or similar devices. The Military Penal Code will allow punishment for the willful use of cluster munitions in armed conflicts. Use of cluster munitions outside of armed conflicts will be punishable under the military criminal law on breach of duty pursuant to the Military Penal Code. Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form A, 27 January 2011. See also, Folketinget (Danish Parliament), “B60 Proposal for a parliamentary resolution on Denmark’s adoption of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, signed on 4 December 2008 in Oslo,” 19 November 2009.
 Annual time periods are covered by the Article 7 reports provided on 27 January 2011 (for calendar year 2010), 30 April 2012 (for calendar year 2011), 3 May 2013 (for calendar year 2012), 4 April 2014 (for calendar year 2013), and 7 April 2015 (for calendar year 2014).
 For more details on Denmark’s cluster munition policy and practice through early 2009, see Human Rights Watch and Landmine Action, Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, May 2009), pp. 68–71.
 Denmark has used its experience in destroying its cluster munitions stockpile ahead of deadline and below budget to urge more nations to accede to the Convention on Cluster Munitions. In September 2013, Denmark stated “we have a message to countries hesitating to join…due to financial concerns” and explained that the costs of destroying the stockpile of cluster munitions “turned out to be only 1 EUR per bomblet, which is far less than anticipated.” Statement of Denmark, Convention on Cluster Munitions Fourth Meeting of States Parties, Lusaka, 10 September 2013; and presentation by Maj. Kim Willum Guldbech, Defence Command Denmark, Convention on Cluster Munitions Fourth Meeting of States Parties, Lusaka, 11 September 2013.
 A statement by Denmark’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Villy Søvndal, described reports of use as “extremely worrying” and urged the Syrian government to “immediately and fully refrain from using such inhumane and indiscriminate weapons.” According to the statement, Søvndal also raised Denmark’s concerns at Syrian cluster munition use at a meeting of the European Union’s Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg on 15 October 2012. Ministry of Foreign Affairs Press Release, “Denmark condemns the use of cluster munitions in Syria,” 18 October 2012.
 See also, statement of Denmark, Convention on Cluster Munitions Fourth Meeting of States Parties, Lusaka, 10 September 2013.
 “Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic,” UNGA Resolution A/RES/69/189, 18 December 2014. Denmark voted in favor of similar resolutions on 15 May and 18 December 2013.
 Folketinget (Danish Parliament), “B60 Proposal for a parliamentary resolution on Denmark’s adoption of the Convention on cluster munitions, signed on 4 December 2008 in Oslo,” 19 November 2009.
 Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Reports, Form A, 5 May 2013, 30 April 2012, and 27 January 2011.
 Danish original: “Ifølge konventionens artikel 21, stk. 3, er de kontraherende stater og disses militærpersonel eller statsborgere berettigede til at deltage i militært samarbejde og militære operationer med stater, som ikke deltager i denne konvention. Dog gælder det, at der ikke heraf følger nogen adgang for konventionsstater til selv at oplagre eller overføre klyngeammunition, jf. artikel 21, stk. 4, litra b).” Email from Adam Ravnkilde, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 4 July 2013.
 Ministry of Business and Growth press release, “Annette Vilhelmsen: Det bør være forbudt at investere i klyngevåben og landminer” (“Annette Vilhelmsen: It should be prohibited to invest in cluster bombs and landmines”), 27 May 2013.
 Parliamentary debate concerning question S 620, 13 January 2010. On 11 January 2010, the Ministry of Economic and Business Affairs stated that mandatory regulation of investment could limit voluntary engagement by investors and a ban on investment in cluster munitions producers could affect the ability of Danish companies to follow UN Principles for Responsible Investment and active ownership. Ministry of Economic and Business Affairs, “Clarifying questions from the Defence Committee regarding proposals for parliamentary resolution prohibiting investment, production and trade with cluster weapons (B 173),” 11 January 2010. In September 2010, the Ministry of Economics and Business Affairs published a “Guide on Responsible Investment” that described mandatory disinvestment as an “emergency solution.” “Vejledning om ansvarlige investeringer ” (“Guide on Responsible Investments”), September 2010, forward by Brian Mikkelsen, Minister of Economics and Business Affairs, pp. 3–4.
 Rådet For Samfundsansvar, (Council on Social Responsibility), “Ansvarlige Investeringer Og Konventionsomfattede Våben” (“Responsible Investment and Arms Conventions,”), March 2014.
 Elias C. Lundström, “Nej til forbud mod klyngebomber” (“No to ban on cluster munitions”), Jyllands-Posten, 13 March 2014.
 Email from Rune Saugmann, Chair, Denmark Against Landmines, 20 July 2015. For detailed information on Danish financial institutions and their policies on investment in companies which produce cluster munitions, see PAX, “Worldwide investment in Cluster Munitions: a shared responsibility, November 2014 update,” Utrecht, November 2014.
 Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form E, 27 January 2011.
 This total includes five additional DM642 155mm projectiles discovered in 2013. Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Reports, Form B, 4 April 2014, 3 May 2013, 30 April 2012, and 27 January 2011.
 Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Reports, Form B, 30 April 2012, and 27 January 2011. In its May 2013 Article 7 report, Denmark reported that an additional 531 DM642 projectiles had been discovered and that previously reported total of 27,000 DM642 projectiles had been revised to total 27,531. Denmark also reported that the previously reported total of 15,000 DM662 projectiles had been amended to 14,625, which represented “the entire stock, despite the previously reported holding of 15.000 shells.”
 Minister of Foreign Affairs Martin Lidegaard said the achievement “sends a strong signal to the world” that “cluster bombs are vile, inhumane weapons, which all countries should get rid of as soon as possible.” He said, “Our work does not end here. All states outside the Convention on Cluster Munition[s] must join the convention in order to ensure a total and global ban.” Lidegaard thanked the CMC and pledged that Denmark will continue to work in “close partnership…in our joint efforts towards a world free from cluster bombs.” Minister of Defence Nicolai Wammen also expressed the government’s commitment to the convention and remarked that “it is a positive and clear signal to the world that Denmark has taken a lead so quickly – over four years early – and completed the destruction of our cluster munitions.” See, Udenrigsministeriet (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) Press Release, “Danmark går forrest og skrotter klyngebomberne” (“Denmark leads global disarmament, destroys cluster munitions”), 20 March 2014.
 Statement of Denmark, Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 8 April 2014. See also Christian Wenande, “Denmark dismantles last cluster bombs,” The Copenhagen Post, 20 March 2014.
 Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form B, 4 April 2014.
 Statement of Denmark, Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 8 April 2014.
 Folketinget (Danish Parliament), “B60 Proposal for a parliamentary resolution on Denmark’s adoption of the Convention on cluster munitions, signed on 4 December 2008 in Oslo,” 19 November 2009. Average exchange rate for 2009: DKK5.3574=US$1. US Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Annual),” 6 January 2011.
 Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form C, 7 April 2015. The same amount of retained submunitions was reported in 2013 and 2014.
 In November 2010, Denmark stated its intent to retain 170 cluster munitions for training explosive ordnance disposal personnel. In April 2012, Denmark stated that while the process of identifying the precise number of cluster munitions necessary was still ongoing, “current indications are that the final number is expected to be significantly lower than initially announced.” See statement of Denmark, Convention on Cluster Munitions First Meeting of States Parties, Vientiane, 9 November 2010. Notes by the CMC; and statement of Denmark, Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 18 April 2012.
 Statement of Denmark, Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 8 April 2014; and presentation by Maj. Kim Willum Guldbech, Danish Defence Command, Convention on Cluster Munitions Third Meeting of States Parties, Oslo, 13 September 2012.
 Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form C, 7 April 2015.