Last Updated: 23 August 2014

Cluster Munition Ban Policy

Commitment to the Convention on Cluster Munitions

Convention on Cluster Munitions status

State Party

National implementation legislation

Existing legislation is viewed as adequate

Stockpile destruction

Completed destruction on 25 October 2013

Participation in Convention on Cluster Munitions meetings

Attended Fourth Meeting of States Parties in Lusaka, Zambia in September 2013, intersessional meetings in Geneva in April 2014, and a regional workshop in Croatia in April 2014

Key developments

Provided updated transparency report in April 2014, declaring the completion of stockpile destruction

The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYR Macedonia) signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 3 December 2008 and ratified on 8 October 2009. It was among the first 30 ratifications to trigger the convention’s entry into force on 1 August 2010.

FYR Macedonia has cited its ratification legislation under national implementation measures in its transparency reports.[1] It has stated in accordance with the Constitution, the Convention on Cluster Munitions became “an integral part of our domestic legislation” after ratification.[2]

FYR Macedonia submitted its initial Article 7 transparency report for the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 9 September 2011 and has provided updated reports ever since, most recently on 4 April 2014.[3]

FYR Macedonia participated in the Oslo Process that produced the Convention on Cluster Munitions.[4] It has continued to actively engage in the work of the convention since 2008. FYR Macedonia has participated in every Meeting of States Parties of the convention, including the Fourth Meeting of States Parties in Lusaka, Zambia in September 2013. It has attended every intersessional meeting of the convention in Geneva, including in April 2014. FYR Macedonia also participated in a regional workshop on implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions and Mine Ban Treaty held in Croatia in April 2014.[5]

FYR Macedonia 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.”[6]

FYR Macedonia is a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty. It is also a party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.

Interpretative issues

During the negotiations of the convention, FYR Macedonia was supportive of the inclusion of provisions on “interoperability” (joint military operations with states not party that may use cluster munitions), but said this was not an excuse for countries to continue to use, produce, and transfer cluster munitions.[7] In 2011, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed the Monitor that the provisions on interoperability were of particular importance to FYR Macedonia as a direct participant in international military operations. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, FYR Macedonia will warn international military forces that it does not accept the use of cluster munitions in operations that it participates in.[8]

In 2011, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that in the event of the deployment of foreign military forces on the territory of FYR Macedonia, the government will inform them that it will not be possible to stockpile cluster munitions in FYR Macedonia.[9] In 2010, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs official told the Monitor that FYR Macedonia prohibits the transit of cluster munitions across its national territory.[10]

FYR Macedonia has yet to provide its views on the prohibition on investment in cluster munition production, another important issue for the interpretation and implementation of the convention.

Use, production, and transfer

FYR Macedonia has declared that it has not produced cluster munitions.[11] FYR Macedonia has stated it has not used cluster munitions.[12]

Stockpile destruction

After initially stating that it did not stockpile cluster munitions, FYR Macedonia announced in September 2011 that a stockpile of cluster munitions had been discovered at a military storage site.[13] It reported a stockpile of 1,000 M93 120mm bombs and 40,376 submunitions of two kinds (23,000 KB-2 submunitions and 17,376 AO-2.5RT submunitions contained in BKF cartridges).[14]  

Article 3 of the Convention on Cluster Munitions required that FYR Macedonia destroy all stockpiled cluster munitions under its jurisdiction and control as soon as possible, but not later than 1 August 2018.

FYR Macedonia destroyed the last of its stockpile of cluster munitions at a munitions disposal site in Krivolak on 25 October 2013, years in advance of the deadline.[15] A total of 988 M93 120mm bombs and 1,438 AO 2.5 PT shipping containers containing 39,980 submunitions (22,724 KB-2 and 17,256 AO-2.5 RT submunitions) were disassembled and destroyed.[16]

The stockpile was destroyed by the Ministry of Defence in cooperation with Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) over a nine-month project beginning in February 2013 with financial support provided by the Ministry of Defence and the governments of Germany and Norway.[17] The destruction process involved delaboration (disassembly) at the Erebrino military site and physical destruction through open burning and detonation at the Krivolak training area. FYR Macedonia reported that the destruction was performed in a way “not endangering the environment and to minimize the risk of contamination.”[18] In a presentation to the Fourth Meeting of States Parties in September 2013, FYR Macedonia described the “self-help” process using an ammunition-destruction style of stockpile destruction,  known as “SHADOW,” and offered to share its experience with other countries.[19] FYR Macedonia is not retaining any cluster munitions for training or research purposes as permitted by Article 3 of the Convention on Cluster Munitions.[20]


[1] On 29 August 2009, FYR Macedonia adopted the Law on the Ratification of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, which was published in its Official Gazette on 31 August 2009 (No. 108/2009). Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Reports, Form A, 8 May 2012, 9 September 2011, and 2 May 2013.

[2] Statement of FYR Macedonia, Convention on Cluster Munitions First Meeting of States Parties, Vientiane, 10 November 2010.

[3] FYR Macedonia submitted its initial Article 7 report on 9 September 2011 (for the period from 10 August 2010 to 9 September 2011) and updated reports on 8 May 2012 (9 September 2011 to 7 May 2012), 2 May 2013 (8 May 2012 to 30 April 2013), and 4 April 2014 (for calendar year 2013).

[4] For details on FYR Macedonia’s cluster munition policy and practice through early 2009, see Human Rights Watch and Landmine Action, Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, May 2009), p. 113.

[5] This workshop was organized by the Regional Arms Control Verification and Implementation Assistance Centre (RACVIAC) Centre for Security Cooperation in Southeast Europe and the government of Germany, the government of Croatia Office for Demining, and the Croatian Mine Action Centre (CROMAC) in Zadar, Croatia.

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

[7] FYR Macedonia described Article 21 as an effort to help countries that have shown the political will to join the convention to continue to have practical cooperation with states not party to the convention. Discussion during the Committee of the Whole on Interoperability, Dublin Diplomatic Conference on Cluster Munitions, 26 May 2008. Notes by Landmine Action.

[8] Interview with Edward Mitevski, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Skopje, 23 March 2011.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Telephone interview with Majkl Sibinovski, Director, Arms Control Unit, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 15 February 2010.

[11] It declared “N/A” for not applicable in the Article 7 report section for information on the status and progress of programs for conversion or decommissioning of production facilities. Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form E, 9 September 2011.

[12] Statement of FYR Macedonia, Convention on Cluster Munitions First Meeting of States Parties, Vientiane, 10 November 2010; and statement by Antonijo Miloshoski, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Convention on Cluster Munitions Signing Conference, Oslo, 3 December 2008. Notes by Landmine Action.

[13] Statement of FYR Macedonia, Convention on Cluster Munitions Second Meeting of States Parties, Beirut, 14 September 2011. In November 2010, FYR Macedonia informed States Parties that it did not stockpile cluster munitions and stated that it was making “final inspections.” Statement of FYR Macedonia, Convention on Cluster Munitions First Meeting of States Parties, Vientiane, 10 November 2010.

[14] Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form B, 8 May 2012. FYR Macedonia’s initial Article 7 report listed approximately 70,000 AO-2.5RT submunitions contained in 1,448 “shipping containers,” which are actually BKF cartridges (also called “blocks”). The Macedonian Arms Control Center has since provided clarification that an approximate number of submunitions was provided based on the weight of the cluster bomb container (70,000 kilograms) because Macedonian officials had never completed delaboration (disassembly) of the additional cluster munitions. After May 2012, during the research and development phase of its stockpile destruction with the assistance of NPA, delaboration was carried out and it was determined that each “shipping container” of BFK cartridges contains 12 submunitions; so the number of submunitions was accordingly revised from 70,000 to 17,376. Email from Arms Control Center (Centar za kontola na vooruzuvanje), 4 June 2012.

[15] NPA Press Release, “Macedonia Cluster Munitions Free,” 25 October 2013.

[16] The Monitor does not include the 1,438 BKF cartridges (“shipping containers”) in the total number of stockpiled cluster munitions as they are not considered cluster munitions if the cartridges are not in a KMGU dispenser. Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Forms B and C, 2 May 2013. The Article 7 report does not explain what happened to the additional reported 12 M93 120mm bombs, and the 276 KB-2 and 120 AO-2.5 RT submunitions.

[17] In April 2013, FYR Macedonia stated that the Ministry of Defense signed a Memorandum of Understanding with NPA on 19 February 2013 to implement a joint project to destroy the stockpile of cluster munitions. It stated that the destruction process would be completed by 31 October 2013. The agreement followed three phases carried out by NPA and the Ministry of Defense during 2012: a verification and feasibility assessment in January, a research and development period in April, and a proving and preparation phase in November. During the research and development phase, 12 M93 120mm mortar projectiles and 396 submunitions (276 KB-2 submunitions and 120 AO-2.5RT submunitions) were destroyed. The fourth phase of the project, implementation, was finished on 31 October 2013. Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form B, 4 April 2014.

[18] Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form B, 4 April 2014.

[19] Presentation by Dusko Uzunovski, Minister Counsellor, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Macedonia to Geneva, Convention on Cluster Munitions Fourth Meeting of States Parties, Lusaka, 11 September 2013.

[20] Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form C, 9 September 2011. FYR Macedonia has left Form C blank in subsequent Article 7 reports, indicating no change since the initial declaration.