Last Updated: 12 August 2014

Cluster Munition Ban Policy


The Republic of Nicaragua signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 3 December 2008 and ratified on 2 November 2009. It was among the first 30 ratifications that triggered the convention’s entry into force on 1 August 2010.

In May 2011, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs official said that Nicaragua has legal and administrative measures in place to ensure implementation of the convention, both “in and out of Nicaragua,” including the Arms, Ammunition and Explosives Act (Law 510) and in the penal code.[1] Under national implementation measures, Nicaragua has reported the 2009 decree approving ratification of the convention.[2]

Nicaragua submitted its initial Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 transparency report on 28 April 2011 and an annual updated report on 30 April 2012.[3] As of 14 May 2014, Nicaragua had not yet provided its updated annual Article 7 reports due by 30 April 2013 and 2014.

Nicaragua played an active and positive role in the Oslo Process that created the Convention on Cluster Munitions.[4] It has continued to support the convention.

Nicaragua participated in the convention’s First Meeting of States Parties in Vientiane, Lao PDR in November 2010, but has not attended subsequent meetings, such as the Fourth Meeting of States Parties held in Lusaka, Zambia in September 2013. Nicaragua attended intersessional meetings of the convention in Geneva in April 2012 and April 2014.

Nicaragua voted in favor of a UN General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution 68/182 on 18 December 2013, which expressed “outrage” at the Syrian government’s “continued widespread and systematic gross violations of human rights…including those involving the use of…cluster munitions.”[5]

Interpretive issues

In a May 2011 response to the Monitor, Nicaragua stated its views on important issues related to interpretation and implementation of the convention. In relation to military cooperation by States Parties, Nicaragua “considers that assistance in prohibited acts performed in joint military operations is not permitted to the States Parties.” On the prohibition on transit, Nicaragua said that the convention states that States Parties may not “assist, encourage or induce anyone to engage in any activity prohibited to a State Party,” including transfer.[6]

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

Use, production, transfer, and stockpiling

Nicaragua has declared that it “does not use, develop, produce, acquire, stockpile, retain or transfer cluster munitions.”[7] Nicaragua does not retain any cluster munitions for training purposes.


[1] Response to the Monitor from Alvaro Miguel Padilla Lacayo, Legal Advisor, Department of Democratic Security, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 31 May 2011; Ley Especial Para el Control y Regulación de Armas de Fuego, Municiones, Explosivos y Otros Materiales Relacionados (Special Law for the Control and Regulation of Firearms, Munitions, Explosives and Other Related Materials), Asamblea Nacional, Law 510, 18 November 2004. Nicaragua has enacted a specific national law to implement the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty: Law for the Prohibition of Production, Purchase, Sale, Import, Export, Transit, Use and Possession of Antipersonnel Landmines, Law No. 321, published in the Official Gazette on 12 January 2000.

[2] The National Assembly of Nicaragua ratified the convention by Decree No. 5764 on 20 August 2009. Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form A, 28 April 2011.

[3] The initial report covers the period from 1 August 2010 to 28 April 2011, while the report dated 30 April 2012 is for the period from 1 August 2011 to 29 April 2012.

[4] For details on Nicaragua’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. 132–133.

[5]Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic,” UNGA Resolution A/RES/68/182, 18 December 2013.

[6] Response to the Monitor from Alvaro Miguel Padilla Lacayo, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 31 May 2011.

[7] Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form A, 28 April 2011. No stockpiled cluster munitions were reported, including for training. Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Forms B and C, 28 April 2011.