Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 18 December 2019


The Republic of Palau acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty on 18 November 2007, becoming a State Party on 1 May 2008.

Draft implementing legislation—the Anti-Personnel Mine Prohibition Act of 2008 (SB No. 7-270)—was introduced into the Senate on 20 August 2008 by Senator Caleb Otto.[1] After passing its first reading, the bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Governmental Affairs, where it is apparently still under consideration. Palau has also cited articles in its Constitution regarding possession of ammunition as existing relevant legislation.[2]

A United States (US) Department of State cable made public by Wikileaks in August 2011 provides US views on Palau’s interpretation of the Mine Ban Treaty.[3] According to the September 2009 cable from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Palau ratified the Mine Ban Treaty “after a long series of consultations with the United States” and after the government of Palau had reportedly “determined that the Ottawa Convention did not conflict with the Compact of Free Association because the GOP [government of Palau] would not be in control of any area in which the United States might use landmines in the defense of Palau under the terms of the Compact.” Also, according to the US, Palau “stated that it would not enact its implementing legislation extraterritorially and therefore it would not apply to Palauan citizens serving in the U.S. armed forces.”

In its Article 7 report covering the calendar year 2010, Palau said that it supports universalization of the Mine Ban Treaty in the Pacific region and participated in a Pacific Island Forum unexploded ordnance scoping mission to assess and recommend actions on unexploded war remnants.[4]

Palau last attended a meeting of the treaty in 2013 when it attended the Thirteenth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in December 2013. Palau has occasionally submitted updated Article 7 transparency reports, most recently in 2018.[5]

On 5 December 2018, Palau abstained from UN General Assembly resolution 73/61 promoting universalization and implementation of the convention.[6]

Palau is not party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons. It is party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Import, transfer, stockpiling, and destruction

In its initial Article 7 report, Palau stated that it does not possess antipersonnel mine stockpiles, has never produced the weapon, and has no mined areas.[7] Palau has said on several occasions that it does not produce or stockpile antipersonnel mines.[8]

In its Article 7 report for 2010, Palau for the first time listed areas where Japanese antipersonnel and antivehicle mines dating from World War II have been cleared.[9] It stated that “No known or suspected AP Landmines [antipersonnel mines] emplacements exist, although as mentioned above the AP Landmines are sometimes encountered in the cave systems and are remains of Japanese stockpiles from World War 2.”[10] Palau has provided updated information on clearance of Japanese mines in each subsequent updated report.

[1] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for the period 1 May 2008 to 15 September 2008), Form A.

[2] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form A, 2017.

[3] “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,

[4] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for the period January 2010 to December 2010), Form J.

[5] Palau submitted an initial report in 2008 and updated reports in 2009, 2011, 2013, 2017, and 2018.

[6] “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.

[7] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for the period 1 May 2008 to 15 September 2008), Forms B, C, and E.

[8] See for example, statement of Palau, Eighth Meeting of States Parties, Mine Ban Treaty, Dead Sea, 18 November 2007; and statement of Palau, Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention, Mine Ban Treaty, Geneva, 23 April 2007.

[9] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for the period January 2010 to December 2010), Form A.

[10] Ibid., Form I.