Cluster Munition Ban Policy
Five-Year Review: State Party Portugal ratified the convention on 9 March 2011. Portugal has declared existing legislation as sufficient to enforce its implementation of the convention. It has participated in all of the convention’s meetings and served as co-coordinator on universalization until 2013. Portugal has condemned the use of cluster munitions in South Sudan, Ukraine, and Syria.
In its initial transparency measures report for the convention provided in 2012, Portugal confirmed it has never used, produced, or exported cluster munitions and does not retain any for training or research. Portugal destroyed a stockpile of 11 cluster bombs containing 1,617 submunitions in April 2011.
The Portuguese Republic signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 3 December 2008, ratified on 9 March 2011, and the convention entered into force for the country on 1 September 2011.
The government views Portugal’s constitution as binding its adherence to the Convention on Cluster Munitions and deems the ban convention’s provisions to be “self-executing.” It has also reported Law 37/2011, adopted 22 June 2011, under national implementation measures. The law primarily sets up a licensing regime for the transfer of defense-related items, however, and does not explicitly refer to cluster munitions.
Portugal submitted its initial Article 7 transparency report for the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 4 April 2012 and has provided annual updated reports since, most recently on 24 April 2015.
Portugal participated in the Oslo Process that created the Convention on Cluster Munitions and made substantial contributions throughout, including at the negotiations in Dublin in May 2008.
Portugal engages proactively in the work of the Convention on Cluster Munitions. It has participated in every Meeting of States Parties of the convention, including the Fifth Meeting of States Parties in San José, Costa Rica in September 2014. Portugal has attended all of the convention’s intersessional meetings in Geneva, most recently in June 2015. Portugal participated in a mine action symposium in Biograd, Croatia on 27–29 April 2015, which included discussion on cluster munitions.
Portugal served as co-coordinator on universalization in 2011–2013, at first with Japan and then with Ghana. At the Fifth Meeting of States Parties, Portugal appealed for universalization efforts aimed at major users and producers of cluster munitions that remain outside the convention to “persuade them of the unlawful humanitarian consequences of the use of such weapons.” It called on states outside the convention to take interim measures, such as a moratorium on the use, production, and transfer of cluster munitions.
Portugal has condemned new use of cluster munitions several times. At the Fifth Meeting of States Parties, Portugal condemned recent use of cluster munitions in Ukraine, South Sudan, and Syria, which it described as “hideous” and “appalling.” Portugal stated it was also “equally appalled” at reported use of cluster munitions by Islamic State (IS) forces in Syria and called on non-state actors not to use cluster munitions. A month later at the UN General Assembly (UNGA) First Committee on Disarmament and International Security in October 2014, Portugal again condemned IS use of cluster munitions “in their campaign of terror,” which it stated has “brought this category of munitions to a higher level of awareness and alarm.”
Portugal has condemned the use of cluster munitions by the Syrian government several times since November 2012. It voted in favor of four Human Rights Council resolutions in 2014 and 2015 that condemned the use, most recently on 2 July 2015. Portugal has also voted in favor of recent 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.
Portugal has elaborated its views on several important issues relating to the interpretation and implementation of the convention regarding the prohibition on assistance with prohibited acts, particularly during joint military operations with states not party (interoperability). Portugal has stated that it will not use cluster munitions, “regardless of what country might be commanding military forces.” While it supported the inclusion of a provision on interoperability during the negotiations of the convention, Portugal argued that it should not weaken the convention in any way and stated that future States Parties would have a duty to convince others not to use cluster munitions.
Portugal has also stated, “It is the Portuguese view that the Convention does not unequivocally exclude the possibility of foreign stockpiling of cluster munitions on, or the transit of this type of armament across the national territory of a State Party. In the latter case, the transit could be authorized once it does not represent a transfer under the definition established in Article 2 of the Convention; in other words, only in the circumstance when the cluster munitions in transit are to remain under the control of the same non State Party that requested the passage.”
Portugal has yet to provide its view on the prohibition on investment in cluster munition production.
Portugal is party to the Mine Ban Treaty. It is also party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.
Use, production, transfer, and stockpiling
Portugal has stated it has never produced or transferred cluster munitions, and has never used cluster munitions “except for the purpose of training our Armed Forces.”
Portugal’s stockpile of 11 BL-755 cluster bombs containing 1,617 Mk-1 submunitions was destroyed by the Portuguese company Desmilitarização è Defesa, SA in January and April 2011. The destruction was completed on 29 April 2011, prior to the convention’s entry into force for Portugal.
Portugal has not retained any cluster munitions for training and research purposes.
 In June 2011, a government representative informed the Monitor that “according to the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic, the [Convention on Cluster Munitions] binds Portugal and some of its provisions are deemed ‘self-executing.’” Email from Mário Miranda Duarte, Deputy Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Portugal to the UN and Other International Organizations, 12 June 2012.
 According to Portugal, Law 37/2011 “foresees criminal and monetary sanctions, which better enforce Article 1 of the [Convention on Cluster Munitions]” and allows for “a more efficient supervision and control of activities regarding the transfer and circulation of defense-related products.” Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form A, 4 April 2012.
 The purpose of Law 37/2011 is to transpose into national law the Directive 2009/43/EC of the European Parliament and Council and 2010/80/UE of the European Commission, thereby simplifying the procedures for transmitting and circulating defense-related products. Law No. 37/2011, “Simplifica os procedimentos aplicáveis à transmissão e à circulação de produtos relacionados com a defesa, transpõe as Directivas n.os 2009/43/CE, do Parlamento Europeu e do Conselho, de 6 de Maio, e 2010/80/UE, da Comissão, de 22 de Novembro, e revoga o Decreto-Lei n.o 436/91, de 8 de Novembro” (“Simplifies the procedures for transfer and movement of defense-related products, implementing Directive paragraphs 2009/43/EC of the European Parliament and Council 6 May, and 2010/80/EU, the Commission of November 22, and repealing Decree-Law no. 436/91 of 8 November”).
 The updated reports indicate no change. The initial report covered calendar year 2011, while the updated report provided in April 2013 was for calendar year 2012, the April 2014 updated report covered calendar year 2013, and the April 2015 updated report covered calendar year 2014. Portugal also provided a voluntary Article 7 report for the convention on 31 March 2011, for calendar year 2010.
 For details on Portugal’s cluster munition policy and practice up to early 2009, see Human Rights Watch and Landmine Action, Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, May 2009), pp. 146–147.
 Statement of Portugal, Convention on Cluster Munitions Fifth Meeting of States Parties, San José, 2 September 2014.
 Statement of Portugal, UNGA First Committee on Disarmament and International Security, New York, 14 October 2014.
 Statement of Portugal, UNGA First Committee on Disarmament and International Security, New York, 1 November 2012. See also, statement of Portugal, Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 18 April 2013; statement of Portugal, UNGA First Committee on Disarmament and International Security, New York, 15 October 2013; and statement of Portugal, Convention on Cluster Munitions Fourth Meeting of States Parties, Lusaka, 10 September 2013.
 See, “The grave and deteriorating human rights and humanitarian situation in the Syrian Arab Republic,” Human Rights Council Resolution A/HRC/29/L.4, 2 July 2015; “The continuing grave deterioration in the human rights and humanitarian situation in the Syrian Arab Republic,” UN Human Rights Council Resolution A/HRC/RES/28/20, 27 March 2015; “The continuing grave deterioration in the human rights and humanitarian situation in the Syrian Arab Republic,” UN Human Rights Council Resolution A/HRC/RES/26/23, 27 June 2014; and “The continuing grave deterioration of the human rights and humanitarian situation in the Syrian Arab Republic,” UN Human Rights Council Resolution A/HRC/RES/25/23, 28 March 2014.
 “Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic,” UNGA Resolution A/RES/69/189, 18 December 2014. Portugal voted in favor of similar resolutions on 15 May and 18 December 2013.
 Email from Luis Filipe Cunha, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 5 July 2010.
 Statement of Portugal, Committee of the Whole on Article 1, Dublin Diplomatic Conference on Cluster Munitions, 19 May 2008; and statement of Portugal, Informal Discussions on Interoperability, Dublin Diplomatic Conference on Cluster Munitions, 20 May 2008. Notes by Landmine Action. Portugal stated that legal clarity on interoperability would be necessary and called for a provision that would not promote the use of cluster munitions but would settle the problem of combined obligations between States Parties and states not party during joint military operations.
 Letter No. 42 from Paula Silva Cepeda, Charge d’Affaires, Embassy of Portugal, Washington, DC, 29 July 2010.
 Statement of Portugal, Dublin Diplomatic Conference on Cluster Munitions, Committee of the Whole on Article 3, 19 May 2008; and statement of Portugal, Dublin Diplomatic Conference on Cluster Munitions, Informal Discussions on Interoperability, 20 May 2008. Notes by Landmine Action.
 Letter from Amb. José Filipe Moraes Cabral, 3 March 2009.
 Each BL-755 contained 147 Mk-1 submunitions. Four BL-755 containing 588 submunitions were destroyed by 28 January 2011 and the remaining seven BL-755 (containing a total of 1,029 submunitions) were destroyed by 29 April 2011. Convention on Cluster Munition voluntary Article 7 Report, Forms B and D, 31 March 2011.
 Statement of Portugal, Convention on Cluster Munitions First Meeting of States Parties, Vientiane, 10 November 2010. Notes by the CMC; and statement of Portugal, Convention on Cluster Munitions Second Meeting of States Parties, Beirut, 13 September 2011.