Cluster Munition Ban Policy
Non-signatory Vanuatu adopted the Convention on Cluster Munitions in 2008, but never signed it. Vanuatu last participated in a meeting of the convention in 2019. It voted in favor of a key United Nations (UN) resolution promoting the convention in December 2021.
Vanuatu has stated that it does not use, produce, stockpile, or transfer cluster munitions.
The Republic of Vanuatu has not yet acceded to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.
In April 2020, an official from the Department of Foreign Affairs told the Monitor that a Cabinet paper recommending Vanuatu’s accession to the convention would be shared with the Council of Ministers of the newly elected government. If approved, the accession proposal would then be presented to parliament for approval. Previously, Vanuatu’s Council of Ministers considered a proposal in 2011 to accede to the convention, but the accession was never completed.
During the Oslo Process that created the convention, Vanuatu participated in the Wellington Conference on Cluster Munitions in February 2008 and endorsed the Wellington Declaration, which supported the conclusion of an instrument prohibiting cluster munitions. Vanuatu joined in the consensus adoption of the Convention on Cluster Munitions in Dublin in May 2008, but did not attend the Signing Conference in Oslo in December 2008.
Vanuatu participated as an observer at the convention’s Ninth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in September 2019. This marked its first and, to date, only attendance at a meeting of the convention.
Vanuatu has attended regional meetings on cluster munitions, including a regional conference held in Aukland, New Zealand in February 2018, which issued a declaration acknowledging “the clear moral and humanitarian rationale for joining” the Convention on Cluster Munitions.
In December 2021, Vanuatu voted in favor of a key United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolution urging states outside the Convention on Cluster Munitions to “join as soon as possible.” Vanuatu has voted in favor of the annual UNGA resolution promoting the convention since 2016.
Vanuatu has also voted in favor of UNGA resolutions condemning use of cluster munitions in Syria.
Vanuatu is a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty. It is not party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW).
Use, production, transfer, and stockpiling
Vanuatu stated in 2011 that it “does not use, produce, stockpile, or transfer cluster munitions.”
 Email from Majorie Wells, Desk Officer, Treaties and Conventions Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and External Trade, 27 April 2020.
 In 2011, the director-general of Vanuatu’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs told the Monitor that the Council of Ministers was reviewing a policy paper on the convention. Letter from Jean Sese, Director-General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to Mary Wareham, Senior Advisor, Human Rights Watch (HRW), 6 April 2011. Another representative said that relevant authorities were holding stakeholder consultations on the convention. Interview with Roline Tekon, Director, Treaties and Conventions Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in New York, 14 July 2011.
 “Auckland Declaration on Conventional Weapons Treaties,” Pacific Conference on Conventional Weapons Treaties, Auckland, 12–14 February 2018. Afterwards, Vanuatu’s Department of Foreign Affairs and its International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Committee began to prepare for the country’s accession to the convention. Consultations were due to start in September 2019, after which a Cabinet paper would be provided to the Council of Ministers for its approval. Email from Majorie Wells, Desk Officer, Treaties and Conventions Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and External Trade, 24 July 2019.
 “Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA Resolution 76/47, 6 December 2021.
 “Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic,” UNGA Resolution 75/193, 16 December 2020. Vanuatu voted in favor of similar UNGA resolutions on Syria from 2013–2019. Vanuatu was absent from voting in 2021.
 Letter from Jean Sese, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to Mary Wareham, HRW, 6 April 2011.