Tajikistan

Cluster Munition Ban Policy

Last updated: 05 September 2023

Summary: Non-signatory Tajikistan has expressed interest in the Convention on Cluster Munitions, but has not taken any steps to join it. Tajikistan last participated in a meeting of the convention in 2014. Tajikistan abstained from the vote on a key United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolution promoting the convention in December 2022.

Tajikistan claims to be in de facto compliance with the convention and says that it has never used, produced, transferred, or stockpiled cluster munitions. Tajikistan is contaminated by the remnants of cluster munitions used in the 1990s during its civil war.

Policy

The Republic of Tajikistan has not acceded to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Tajikistan has not taken any steps to accede to the convention, aside from holding stakeholder consultations in 2010–2012.[1] Tajikistan last expressed interest in the convention in 2014, when it told States Parties that it was considering joining it.[2]

Tajikistan participated in the Oslo Process that created the Convention on Cluster Munitions and endorsed the Oslo Declaration in February 2007, which committed to conclude an international instrument banning cluster munitions that cause unacceptable harm to civilians. In February 2008, Tajikistan endorsed the Wellington Declaration, committing to negotiate a new international treaty to prohibit cluster munitions. Yet Tajikistan did not participate in the Dublin negotiations in May 2008, and was absent from the convention’s Oslo Signing Conference in December 2008.[3]

In December 2022, Tajikistan abstained from the vote on a key UNGA resolution that urged states outside the Convention on Cluster Munitions to “join as soon as possible.”[4] Tajikistan has not explained why it has abstained from voting on the annual UNGA resolution promoting the convention since it was first introduced in 2015.

Tajikistan participated as an observer at every Meeting of States Parties of the convention until 2014, but has been absent since then. Tajikistan was invited to, but did not attend, the convention’s Tenth Meeting of States Parties held in Geneva in August–September 2022.

Tajikistan is a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty. It is also party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW).

Production, transfer, use, and stockpiling

Tajikistan has stated several times that it has not used, produced, transferred, or stockpiled cluster munitions.[5] The Ministry of Defense reiterated in 2011 that Tajik forces had never used cluster munitions, and said that an inventory of weapons depots and storage facilities conducted after the convention’s adoption found that Tajikistan had no stockpiled cluster munitions.[6]

Cluster munitions were used in Tajikistan in the 1990s following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, though the forces responsible for that use have never been conclusively identified.[7] A representative of Tajikistan’s Ministry of Interior said that Uzbek forces used cluster munitions in Rasht Valley and Ramit Valley in the 1990s, adding that Tajik forces had no capacity to use cluster munitions.[8]



[1] Statement of Tajikistan, International Conference on the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Santiago, 8 June 2010; statement of Tajikistan, Convention on Cluster Munitions Second Meeting of States Parties, Beirut, 14 September 2011; and statement of Tajikistan, Convention on Cluster Munitions Third Meeting of States Parties, Oslo, 11 September 2012. In May 2011, a CMC delegation visited Tajikistan and met with government officials from the Office of the President, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection, and the Ministry of Interior. ICBL-CMC, “Report on Advocacy Mission to Tajikistan,” 23–27 May 2011.

[2] Statement of Tajikistan by Muhabbat Ibrohimzoda, Director, Tajikistan National Mine Action Center (TNMAC), Convention on Cluster Munitions Fifth Meeting of States Parties, San Jose, 3 September 2014. The representative said that Tajikistan was considering submitting a voluntary Article 7 transparency report for the convention, but none had been received by the United Nations (UN) as of July 2019.

[3] For details on Tajikistan’s cluster munition policy and practice through early 2009, see Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Landmine Action, Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, May 2009), pp. 244–245.

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

[5] Statement of Tajikistan, Convention on Cluster Munitions Fifth Meeting of States Parties, San Jose, 3 September 2014; statement of Tajikistan, Convention on Cluster Munitions Third Meeting of States Parties, Oslo, 11 September 2012; statement of Tajikistan, Convention on Cluster Munitions intersessional meetings, Geneva, 18 April 2012; statement of Tajikistan, Convention on Cluster Munitions Second Meeting of States Parties, Beirut, 13 September 2011; statement of Tajikistan, International Conference on the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Santiago, 8 June 2010. Notes by Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) and HRW; and Letter No. 10-3 (5027) from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Tajikistan, to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of New Zealand, 22 April 2008.

[6] CMC meeting with Maj.-Gen. Abdukakhor Sattorov, Ministry of Defense, Dushanbe, 25 May 2011.

[7] Unexploded ShOAB-0.5 and AO-2.5RT submunitions have been found in the town of Gharm in the Rasht Valley. TNMAC, “Cluster munitions in Gharm,” undated, but reporting on an April 2007 assessment.

[8] CMC meeting with Col. Mahmad Shoev Khurshed Izatullovich, Commander of Special Militia AMON (SWAT) Antiterrorist Unit, Ministry of Interior, Dushanbe, 26 May 2011.