Mongolia

Cluster Munition Ban Policy

Last updated: 05 September 2023

Summary: Non-signatory Mongolia has shown interest in the Convention on Cluster Munitions, but has not taken any steps to join it. Mongolia last participated in a meeting of the convention in 2019. It voted in favor of a key United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolution promoting the convention in December 2022.

Mongolia is not known to have used, produced, or exported cluster munitions. In 2014, a government representative said that Mongolia does not possess any stocks of cluster munitions.

Policy

Mongolia has not acceded to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Mongolian has expressed interest in the convention, but has not taken any steps to accede to it. Mongolia has called cluster munitions “one of the most inhumane weapons of today,” and said that “the only guarantee against the risk of the use and proliferation of these weapons is their total elimination.”[1]

Mongolia did not participate in the Oslo Process that created the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Mongolia first participated in a meeting related to the convention in November 2009, when it attended a regional workshop on cluster munitions held in Bali, Indonesia.

Mongolia has participated as an observer at several of the convention’s meetings, most recently the Ninth Meeting of States Parties held in Geneva in September 2019.[2] It was invited to, but did not attend, the convention’s Tenth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in August–September 2022.

In December 2022, Mongolia voted in favor of a key UNGA resolution urging states outside the Convention on Cluster Munitions to “join as soon as possible.”[3] Mongolia has voted in favor of the annual UNGA resolution promoting the convention since it was first introduced in 2015.

Mongolia is not party to the Mine Ban Treaty. It is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW).

Use, production, transfer, and stockpiling

Mongolia is not known to have used, produced, or exported cluster munitions.

In September 2014, a representative of the Mongolian Armed Forces told the Monitor that Mongolia possesses no stockpiles of cluster munitions.[4]

Jane’s Information Group reported in 2004 that the country’s air force had KMGU dispensers that deliver submunitions.[5] Mongolia possesses Grad 122mm surface-to-surface rocket launchers, but it is not known whether these include rockets with submunition payloads.[6]



[1] Statement of Mongolia, Convention on Cluster Munitions Fourth Meeting of States Parties, Lusaka, 10 September 2013. Also in September 2013, Mongolia’s then-President Elbegdorj Tsakhia praised “the indispensable role of coalitions of states and of NGOs [non-governmental organizations], when the disarmament machinery fails, as exemplified by the successful conclusion of the landmines convention in 1997 and of the cluster munitions convention in 2008.” Statement of President Elbegdorj Tsakhia of Mongolia, High-Level Meeting of the UNGA on Nuclear Disarmament, New York, 26 September 2013.

[2] Mongolia participated as an observer at the convention’s Meetings of States Parties in 2010 and 2013–2014. It has also attended regional workshops on the convention, such as one hosted by the Philippines in Manila on 18–19 June 2019. Mongolia did not attend the First Review Conference in Dubrovnik in September 2015, or the convention’s intersessional meetings in Geneva in 2011–2015.

[3]Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA Resolution 77/79, 7 December 2022.

[4] Monitor interview with Col. Badarch Khadbaatar, Chief of Military Weaponry, General Staff of the Armed Forces of Mongolia, in San Jose, 2 September 2014. The Monitor has listed Mongolia as a stockpiler since the publication of the first Cluster Munition Monitor report in 2010, and will continue to do so until Mongolia provides a written statement confirming that it does not stockpile cluster munitions.

[5] Robert Hewson, ed., Jane’s Air-Launched Weapons, Issue 44 (Surrey: Jane’s Information Group, 2004), p. 842.

[6] International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), The Military Balance 2011 (London: Routledge, 2011), p. 259.


Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 14 November 2023

Policy

Mongolia has not acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty. Mongolia did not fulfill its objective announced in 2004, of joining the treaty by 2008.[1]

In June 2011, Mongolia informed States Parties that it “continues to pursue a step-by-step (or phased) policy towards accession to the Convention due to a range of security and economic concerns.”[2] However, Mongolia did not mention the interagency action plan to accede to the Mine Ban Treaty that it had first announced at the Second Review Conference in 2009.[3]

In December 2010, Mongolia informed States Parties that it would join the treaty “in the near future.”[4] Earlier, in October 2010, during a United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) debate, Mongolia had stated that “Just a few days ago the Prime Minister re-affirmed Mongolia’s commitment to accede to the Convention.”[5]

In December 2021, Mongolia’s Ministry of Defence told the Monitor that it would proceed step-by-step to join the Mine Ban Treaty. Yet it did not provide a timeline for joining the treaty, and the steps that Mongolia noted as having already taken occurred in 2006–2007.[6]

Mongolia has repeatedly stated that it would have limited resources to implement the treaty, especially with respect to stockpile destruction, and has encouraged “cooperation, assistance and support” from other countries and international organizations.[7] In the past, representatives have expressed concern about whether Mongolia would receive international assistance for stockpile destruction and for clearance of areas contaminated with unexploded ordnance (UXO), especially Soviet-era firing ranges.[8]

Mongolia has infrequently attended Mine Ban Treaty meetings as an observer, last participating at the Eleventh Meeting of States Parties in November–December 2011. Mongolia was invited to, but did not attend, the convention’s Fourth Review Conference held in Oslo in November 2019.

On 7 December 2022, Mongolia voted in favor of the key annual UNGA Resolution calling for universalization and full implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty.[9] Mongolia has also voted in favor of the UNGA resolution supporting the treaty in previous years.

Mongolia is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW), but is not party to CCW Amended Protocol II on landmines or Protocol V on explosive remnants of war (ERW). Mongolia is not party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Use, stockpiling, production, and transfer

In December 2021, the Ministry of Defence told the Monitor that “Mongolia does not produce, sell or transfer mines. It […] does not utilize mines to defend its borders during peace and war. Mongolia is one of those countries that does not have minefields or lands contaminated by landmines.” Mongolia stressed that it does not violate the prohibitions of the convention, with the exception of storage.[10]

Mongolia submitted a voluntary Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 transparency report in August 2007.[11] The report revealed a stockpile of 206,417 antipersonnel mines, imported from the Soviet Union.[12] In July 2009, technical experts from the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) investigated the condition of Mongolia’s landmine stocks.

At the Second Review Conference in December 2009, Mongolia reported that it had destroyed 100 antipersonnel mines during the previous year and that it would destroy another 100 in the following year, in order to identify an environmentally safe and cost-effective method of destruction.[13]

In December 2010, Mongolia stated that it possessed a stockpile of 206,317 antipersonnel mines (100 fewer than reported in August 2007) and that it would destroy another 380 mines in 2011, in order to demonstrate “our step-by-step approach to join the Convention.”[14] However, in June 2011, Mongolia reported that it had 206,307 antipersonnel mines following the destruction of  110 antipersonnel mines to “define an appropriate mine destruction technique friendly to the environment.”[15] A representative of the Ministry of Defence could not provide any information on the method of destruction used, but confirmed that Mongolia would not necessarily need to retain any live landmines for training purposes, since it uses inert mines in its training programs.[16]

In the past, Mongolia has often stated that it has never used antipersonnel mines on its territory.[17] In December 2010, Mongolia reaffirmed that it would not “transfer, acquire or place landmines.”[18]



[1] See, Landmine Monitor Report 2005: Toward a Mine-Free World (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, October 2005), p. 819; and Landmine Monitor Report 2006: Toward a Mine-Free World (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, July 2006), pp. 1,011–1,012, for details of Mongolia’s 2004–2008 Program of Action aimed at accession.

[2] Statement of Mongolia, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention, Geneva, 20 June 2011.

[3] At the Second Review Conference, Mongolia stated that it had “drafted an interagency action plan,” but at the Tenth Meeting of States Parties in 2010, Mongolia stated that it was “drafting a collaborative interagency action plan to implement its step-by-step accession” to the treaty. Statement of Mongolia, Mine Ban Treaty Tenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 2 December 2010; and statement by Col. Lkhagva Gantumur, General Staff, Mongolian Armed Forces, Mine Ban Treaty Second Review Conference, Cartagena, 1 December 2009.

[4] Statement of Mongolia, Mine Ban Treaty Tenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 2 December 2010.

[5] Statement of Mongolia, UNGA First Committee on Disarmament and International Security, 65th Session, New York, 8 October 2010.

[6] Letter to the Monitor from Mongolia’s Ministry of Defence, titled “Policy and Position on Joining Ottawa Convention on Anti-Personnel Mines and its Relevant Information,” forwarded by email from Oyu Vasha, Minister Counselor, Embassy of Mongolia to Canada, 14 December 2021.

[7] At the Tenth Meeting of States Parties, Mongolia stated that “cooperation, assistance and support through bilateral channels and international organizations are appreciated for accelerating the process of our accession.” Statement of Mongolia, Mine Ban Treaty Tenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 2 December 2010.

[8] See, Landmine Monitor Report 2009: Toward a Mine Free World (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, October 2009), p. 1,018.

[10] Letter to the Monitor from Mongolia’s Ministry of Defence, titled “Policy and Position on Joining Ottawa Convention on Anti-Personnel Mines and its Relevant Information,” forwarded by email from Oyu Vasha, Minister Counselor, Embassy of Mongolia to Canada, 14 December 2021.

[11] The Article 7 report is undated, with the reporting period listed as “2007 to 2008.” Mongolia has stated that it submitted the report in August 2007, and it is listed by the United Nations (UN) as received in 2007. Statement by Col. Lkhagva Gantumur, Mongolian Armed Forces, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention, Geneva, 25 May 2009. All forms are marked “not applicable,” except for Form B on types and quantities of stockpiled antipersonnel mines and Form H on technical characteristics of stockpiled mines. In June 2011, Mongolia stated that it has updated the Article 7 report annually, but only one version has been sent to the UN. Statement of Mongolia, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention, Geneva, 20 June 2011.

[12] Mongolia Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for the period 2007–2008), voluntary, Form B. See, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Database. The report lists 40,331 POMZ-2; 83,028 PMN-2; 996 PMN; 48,891 PMD-6; 29,997 OZM-72; 2,000 MON-50; 601 MON-100; and 573 MON-200 antipersonnel mines.

[13] Statement by Col. Lkhagva Gantumur, Mongolian Armed Forces, Mine Ban Treaty Second Review Conference, Cartagena, 1 December 2009.

[14] Statement of Mongolia, Mine Ban Treaty Tenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 2 December 2010.

[15] Statement of Mongolia, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention, Geneva, 20 June 2011.

[16] ICBL meeting with Col. Narankhuu Turbat, Deputy Chief of Strategic Management and Planning Directorate, Ministry of Defence, in Geneva, 21 June 2011.

[17] See, for example, Landmine Monitor Report 2009: Toward a Mine Free World (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, October 2009), p. 1,020.

[18] Statement of Mongolia, Mine Ban Treaty Tenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 2 December 2010; and statement by Col. Lkhagva Gantumur, Mongolian Armed Forces, Mine Ban Treaty Second Review Conference, Cartagena, 1 December 2009.


Mine Action

Last updated: 04 August 2011

Contamination and Impact

Mines

Mongolia is not believed to be affected by antipersonnel mines. In its only voluntary Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report to date, Form C on the location of mined areas was marked as “Not Applicable.”[1]

Explosive remnants of war

Mongolia is said to have an extensive problem with explosive remnants of war, including both unexploded ordnance and abandoned explosive ordnance.[2] In 2008, for instance, abandoned antivehicle mines were reportedly discovered on several occasions.[3]

Mine Action Program

There is no mine action program in Mongolia and the current extent of any clearance is not known.

 



[1] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for the period 2007–2008), Form C.

[2] See, for example, Statement of Mongolia, Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention, Geneva, 25 May 2009.

[3] See, for example, Kh. Ganaa, “Mongolia Contaminated with Live Mines,” Today’s Mongolia (Ulaanbaatar), 10 November 2008, www.olloo.mn.