Cluster Munition Ban Policy

Last updated: 03 July 2018

Summary: State Party Palau ratified the convention on 19 April 2016. It has participated in several meetings of the convention, but not since 2015. Palau voted in favor of a key United Nations (UN) resolution promoting the convention in December 2017. Palau reports that it has never produced or used cluster munitions and has no stockpile, including for research or training purposes.


The Republic of Palau signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 3 December 2008, ratified on 19 April 2016, and the convention entered into force for the country on 1 October 2016.

Palau has reported existing legislation under legal, administrative, and other measures to implement the convention, including its constitution, which, it reports, “prohibits use, production, and transshipment of cluster munitions.”[1] Palau also lists a June 2013 executive order formally establishing an advisory committee to manage the country’s clearance of unexploded ordnance (UXO).[2]

Palau submitted its annual Article 7 transparency report in May 2018.[3] It provided an initial Article 7 transparency measures report the day after it ratified the convention, as well as a voluntary transparency report prior to ratification, in 2011.[4]

Palau joined the Oslo Process in February 2008 and played an active role in the Dublin negotiations.[5]

Palau participated in the convention’s Meeting of States Parties in 2010–2013 as well as First Review Conference in 2015.[6] It has hosted and attended several regional meetings to discuss a Pacific Islands Forum strategy to clear unexploded ordnance.[7] In February 2018, Palau attended the Pacific Conference on Conventional Weapons Treaties and adopted the conference’s “Auckland Declaration,” acknowledging “the clear moral and humanitarian rationale for joining” the Convention on Cluster Munitions.[8]

In December 2017, Palau voted in favor of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution promoting implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions.[9] It voted in favor of the previous UNGA resolutions promoting the convention in 2015 and 2016.

Palau has voted in favor of UNGA resolutions expressing outrage at the use of cluster munitions in Syria, most recently in December 2017.[10]

Palau has not elaborated its views on certain important issues related to interpretation and implementation of the convention, such as the prohibitions on transit, assistance during joint military operations with states not party that may use cluster munitions, foreign stockpiling of cluster munitions, and investment in production of cluster munitions, and on the retention of cluster munitions for training and development purposes.

Palau is a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty. It is not party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.

Use, production, transfer, and stockpiling

Palau has reported that it has not produced cluster munitions and does possess a stockpile, including for training and research purposes. It has not used or transferred cluster munitions.

[2] Executive Order 335 of 2013. The group includes clearance NGO Cleared Ground Demining. Statement of Palau, Convention on Cluster Munitions Second Meeting of States Parties, Beirut, 14 September 2011.

[3] Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, 22 May 2018. The report covers the two-year period of January 2016 to December 2017.

[4] Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, 20 April 2016. The report covers calendar year 2015.

[5] For more details on Palau’s policy and practice regarding cluster munitions through early 2009, see Human Rights Watch and Landmine Action, Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, May 2009), pp. 140–141.

[6] At the Review Conference, Palaucommitted to promote the conventionat the “highest level” and “lobby the entire Pacific leadership” to join it. Statement on Universalization, by Amb. Caleb Otto, Convention on Cluster Munitions First Review Conference, Dubrovnik,Croatia,9 September 2015.

[7] The Pacific Regional Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) Workshop was jointly hosted by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and ICBL-CMC member SafeGround (formerly the Australian Network to Ban Landmines and Cluster Munitions) with the support of AusAID.Draft Outcomes Statement, Pacific Regional ERW Workshop, 27–28 June 2013. Provided to the Monitor by Loral Thompson, National Coordinator, SafeGround, 30 March 2014.

[8] Auckland Declaration on Conventional Weapons Treaties,” Pacific Conference on Conventional Weapons Treaties, Auckland, New Zealand, 12–14 February 2018.

[9] “Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA Resolution 72/54, 4 December 2017.

[10] “Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic,” UNGA Resolution 72/191, 19 December 2017. Palau voted in favor of similar resolutions in 2013, 2014, and 2016.