Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 18 December 2019


The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) has not yet acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty. The FSM has stated that it has never produced or stockpiled antipersonnel mines.[1]

The FSM attended the Mine Ban Treaty’s Eleventh Meeting of States Parties in November–December 2011 in Phnom Penh as an observer, but did not make any statements. It has not attended any Mine Ban Treaty meetings since.

FSM voted in favor of UN General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution 73/61 on universalization of the Mine Ban Treaty in December 2018, for the thirteenth consecutive year.[2]

In November 2011, a draft resolution recommending accession to the Mine Ban Treaty was presented to the 17th Congress of the FSM, but failed to pass.[3] A previous draft resolution approving accession was submitted and failed in 2009.[4]

Representatives of the mission of the Marshall Islands based in Fiji met with Special Envoy on Universalization Prince Mired in August 2011, during which they were invited “to participate in the work of this Convention even while their accession deliberations continue.”[5]

In October 2009, an FSM representative said the Mine Ban Treaty is not a legislative priority as the country is not impacted by, nor has it ever used, mines.[6]

A United States (US) Department of State cable made public by Wikileaks in August 2011 provides US views on FSM’s accession to the Mine Ban Treaty.[7] According to the September 2009 cable from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, US officials met representatives from the Marshall Islands, the FSM, and Palau on 2 December 1997, one day before the Mine Ban Treaty Signing Conference was held, “at the latter three’s request to discuss their potential signature/ratification of the Ottawa Convention banning anti-personnel landmines.” During the meeting, the US said that “adherence to the Convention is up to each state based on its assessment of its own national interest,” but emphasized that “the U.S. would not adhere to the Ottawa Convention and that adherence by the other three states could conflict with defense provisions of the respective bilateral Compacts of Free Association.” In an interview with the Monitor in October 2010, a government representative stated that one of the primary reasons why the FSM has not joined the Mine Ban Treaty is that defense arrangements with the US require the FSM to consult with the US on all military matters.[8]

Two days after the 1997 meeting, on 4 December 1997, the Marshall Islands signed the Mine Ban Treaty, while Palau acceded a decade later on 18 November 2007. The cable notes that the US “raised these same concerns” with Palau “in advance” of its accession to the Mine Ban Treaty and said Palau “determined that the Ottawa Convention did not conflict with the Compact of Free Association.”

The FSM is not party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons, nor is it party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

[1] Letter from M.J. Mace, Assistant Attorney General, FSM, 11 December 1998.

[2] “Implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction,” UNGA Resolution 73/61, 5 December 2018.

[3] Council Resolution No. 17-70, 17th Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia, 9 November 2011, submitted by Representative Florencio S. Harper; and Landmine Monitor meeting with FSM delegation, in Phnom Penh, 30 November 2011.

[5] Statement by Prince Mired Raad Al Hussein of Jordan, Special Envoy on Universalization, Mine Ban Treaty Eleventh Meeting of States Parties, Phnom Penh, 1 December 2011.

[6] ICBL meeting with Martin Zvachula, Second Secretary, Permanent Mission of the FSM to the UN in New York, 19 October 2009. See, ICBL, “Report on CMC/ICBL Lobby Meetings: UNGA First Committee on Disarmament and International Security, New York, 12–23 October 2009,” undated.

[7]Concerns on Marshall Islands Ratification of the Ottawa Convention,” US Department of State cable 09STATE91952 dated 3 September 2009, released by Wikileaks on 26 August 2011.

[8] Interview with Martin Zvachula, Permanent Mission of the FSM to the UN in New York, 19 October 2010.