Last Updated: 12 August 2014

Cluster Munition Ban Policy


The Republic of Cyprus signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 23 September 2009.

As of 1 July 2014, the ratification process was effectively stalled, having not progressed since legislation was introduced to parliament in 2011.[1] In April 2014, a Cypriot representative informed the CMC that ratification process has been put on hold for the next three years because of the country’s financial situation and International Monetary Fund (IMF) restrictions that inhibit Cyprus from spending funds to meet its anticipated stockpile destruction obligations.[2] Cyprus has not disclosed information on the size or status of the current stockpile of cluster munitions or requested technical or financial assistance for its destruction.

Since September 2011, various government officials have spoken with the CMC about the ratification delay, but the government has not made a public statement on the matter.[3] Cyprus participated in one international conference of the Oslo Process to develop the convention text (Vienna in December 2007), but attended the formal negotiations of the convention in Dublin in May 2008 and the Convention on Cluster Munitions Signing Conference in Oslo in December 2008 only as an observer. Cyprus signed the convention at the UN in New York in September 2009, becoming the 100th signatory to the convention.

Cyprus has engaged in the Convention on Cluster Munitions since 2011, despite not ratifying. It participated as an observer in the convention’s Meeting of States Parties in 2011 and 2012, but did not attend the Fourth Meeting of States Parties in Lusaka, Zambia in September 2013. Cyprus participated in intersessional meetings in Geneva in 2012 and 2013, but did not attend those held in April 2014. Cyprus has not made any statements at the convention’s meetings since September 2011.

Cyprus has voted in favor of recent UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolutions condemning the Syrian government’s use of cluster munitions, including Resolution 68/182 on 18 December 2013, which expressed “outrage” at Syria’s “continued widespread and systematic gross violations of human rights…including those involving the use of…cluster munitions.”[4]

Cyprus has not yet provided its views on several important issues pertaining to the implementation and interpretation of the convention, including the prohibition on transit, the prohibition on assistance during joint military operations with states not party that might use cluster munitions, or the prohibition on investment in the production of cluster munitions, and the need for retention of cluster munitions and submunitions for training and development purposes.

In 2011, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs official reiterated the importance of universalizing the convention, noting in particular that Turkey has not joined. In 2010, another Ministry of Foreign Affairs official asserted that Turkish Armed Forces “have stocked considerable quantities of cluster bombs in the occupied territory of the Republic [of Cyprus].”[5]

Cyprus is a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty. Cyprus is a party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.

Use, production, transfer, and stockpiling

Cyprus has stated that it has never used, produced, or transferred cluster munitions.[6]

The precise status and composition of the current stockpile of cluster munitions is not known. Cyprus possesses 122mm BM-21 Grad multiple launch rockets, but it is not known if these weapons have cluster munition warheads.[7] Additionally, Cyprus acquired other systems capable of delivering submunitions, including Zuzana 155mm howitzers imported via Greece from Slovakia in 2007 and M63 Plamen and M77 Oganj multiple-barrel rocket launchers from Yugoslavia in the 1980s.[8]


[1] In September 2011, Cyprus informed States Parties that the ratification legislation was expected to be approved during 2012. Statement of Cyprus, Convention on Cluster Munitions Second Meeting of States Parties, Beirut, 16 September 2011. In May 2011, a government official said that the draft ratification legislation and the text of the convention translated into Greek had been sent to the House of Representatives for approval. Email from Maria Michael, Deputy Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Cyprus to the UN in Geneva, 27 May 2011. After its adoption in parliament, the ratification legislation must be signed by the president. Letter from Rea Yiordamlis, Ag. Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 9 May 2011; response to Monitor questionnaire by Panayiotis Papadopoulos, Counsellor, Political Affairs Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 22 June 2010.

[2] CMC meeting with Georgeos S. Yiangou, Counsellor, Deputy Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Cyprus to the UN in Geneva, Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 10 April 2014.

[3] In April 2013, a government official informed the Monitor that ratification of the convention had “unfortunately…been put on hold” due to “other considerations” and expressed the government’s intent to ratify the convention in the future. Letter from Basil Polemitis, Security Policy Director, Ministry of Foreign Affairs to Mary Wareham, Advocacy Director, Human Rights Watch (HRW), 24 April 2013. In September 2012, officials said that draft ratification legislation introduced in 2011 was still awaiting parliamentary approval, leaving the ratification process “stalled” but “not suspended.” CMC meeting with George Stavrinou, Attaché, Security Policy Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Convention on Cluster Munitions Third Meeting of States Parties, Oslo, 13 September 2012.

[4]Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic,” UNGA Resolution A/RES/68/182, 18 December 2013. Cyprus voted in favor of a similar resolution on 15 May 2013.

[5] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Panayiotis Papadopoulos, Counsellor, Political Affairs Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 22 June 2010.

[6] Letter from Dr. Kozakou-Marcoullis to Mary Wareham, HRW, 19 April 2012; and email from George Stavrinou, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 17 August 2012.

[7] International Institute for Strategic Studies, The Military Balance 2005–2006 (London: Routledge, 2005), p. 117; and Colin King, ed., Jane’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal 2007–2008, CD-edition, 15 January 2008, (Surrey, UK: Jane’s Information Group Limited, 2008).

[8] Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, “Arms Transfers Database”. Recipient report for Cyprus for the period 1950–2011, generated on 6 June 2012.