Cluster Munition Ban Policy
The Republic of Serbia has not yet acceded to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, even though it played an important role in the Oslo Process that produced the convention.
In September 2011, Serbian officials informed the CMC that Serbia’s accession to the Convention on Cluster Munitions was being considered and said that Serbia would join “sooner than expected.” In April 2012, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs official stated that no new developments were expected with respect to Serbia’s accession until at least the second half of 2012 due to elections held on 6 May 2012. Previously, in February 2011, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that accession to the convention was being considered.
In August 2009, local media reported that the General Staff of the Serbian Army had made a recommendation to the National Security Council that Serbia not sign the Convention on Cluster Munitions, thus stopping all further actions directed towards joining the convention. According to the media reports, Minister of Defense Dragan Šutanovac stated that the Army could not give up cluster munitions because it did not have the capacity to destroy and replace existing stockpiles. Serbia played a leadership role throughout the Oslo Process, most notably by hosting a conference for states affected by cluster munitions in Belgrade in October 2007. It actively participated in the formal negotiations in Dublin in May 2008 and joined in the consensus adoption of the convention text at the conclusion. However, Serbia attended the Convention on Cluster Munitions Signing Conference in Oslo in December 2008 only as an observer, and did not at the time provide an explanation for not signing.
Serbia has engaged in some meetings of the Convention on Cluster Munitions since 2008. It participated in the convention’s Second Meeting of States Parties in Beirut, Lebanon in September 2011 as an observer, and while it did not make any statements at the meeting, the Serbia delegation met with the CMC to discuss its views on joining the convention. Serbia did not attend intersessional meetings of the convention held in Geneva in June 2011 and April 2012.
Serbia attended a regional workshop on the implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions in Rakitje, Croatia in May 2012.
Civil society from Serbia, including cluster munition survivors, participated in the convention’s Second Meeting of States Parties and intersessional meetings and continue to advocate for Serbia to accede to the Convention on Cluster Munitions without delay.
Serbia is a party to the Mine Ban Treaty.
Serbia is a party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW). Serbia attended the CCW’s Fourth Review Conference in Geneva in November 2011, but did not actively engage in the negotiations on the chair’s draft text of a CCW protocol on cluster munitions. The Review Conference ended without reaching agreement on the draft protocol and with no official proposals to continue negotiations in 2012, thus marking the end of the CCW’s work on cluster munitions.
Use, production, transfer, and stockpiling
Cluster munitions were used by the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) as well as ethnic militias and secessionist forces during the conflicts resulting from the breakup of Yugoslavia starting in 1991. During the 1998–1999 conflict in Kosovo, aircraft from the Netherlands, United Kingdom (UK), and the United States (US) dropped cluster bombs in Serbia and Kosovo during the NATO air campaign. During the Kosovo conflict, forces of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia also launched several cluster rocket attacks into border regions controlled by Albania.
In October 2007, Minister of Foreign Affairs Vuk Jeremić stated that Serbia was considering enacting a unilateral moratorium on the use of cluster munitions. In February 2011, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated the proposed moratorium was no longer being discussed as it falls under general discussions on joining the convention.
On 6 July 2011, the Ministry of Defense stated that the “Republic of Serbia is not a producer of cluster munitions.” In 2009, Serbia stated that it does not have the capacity to produce cluster munitions and has not produced cluster munitions since the dissolution of the SFRY. According to standard reference works, Serbia was thought to have inherited some of those production capabilities.
As of June 2012, a number of Serbian companies were advertising surface-to-surface rocket launchers, rockets, and artillery that could be used with either unitary warheads or submunitions.
The Center for Weapons Testing of Serbia’s Ministry of Defense published an article describing a “very demanding testing” of Orkan rockets on 22 March 2011 at its Nikinci firing range, but it is not known if submunitions were used as Orkan rockets are capable of firing both cluster and unitary munitions.
In February 2011, the Ministry of Economy and Regional Development informed the Monitor that it has no records in its database of any foreign trade involving cluster munitions in the period from 2005 to 2010.
The precise size and composition of Serbia’s stockpile of cluster munitions is not known, but it is thought to be a large stockpile including air-delivered cluster bombs, ground-launched rockets, and artillery projectiles. Jane’s Information Group lists Serbia as possessing BL-755 cluster bombs. Assuming Serbia’s stockpile contains cluster munitions that were produced by Yugoslavia, it may also possess 120mm M93 mortar projectiles (containing 23 KB-2 submunitions), 152mm 3-O-23 artillery projectiles (containing 63 KB-2 submunitions) and 262mm M87 Orkan surface-to-surface rockets (containing 288 KB-1 submunitions). KB submunitions are the dual-purpose improved conventional munition (DPICM) type. It may also possess RAB-120 and KPT-150 cluster bombs.
 CMC meeting with Zoran Vujić, Head of Department of Security Policy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Convention on Cluster Munitions, Second Meeting of States Parties, Beirut, 13 September 2011.
 CMC meeting with Vesna Filipovic-Nikolic, Counsellor, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Serbia to the UN in Geneva, Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 19 April 2012.
 Email from Zoran Vujić, Assistant to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sector for Security Policy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 14 February 2011.
“Kasetna municija nenadoknadiva” (Cluster munitions indispensable), B92, 27 August 2009, http://www.b92.net/info/vesti/index.php?yyyy=2009&mm=08&dd=27&nav_category=11&nav_id=378365.
 For more details on Serbia’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), pp. 236–238.
 For example, to mark the first anniversary of the entry into force of the convention in August 2011, Assistance Advocacy Access–Serbia (AAA-S) in cooperation with a number of local organizations of war victims conducted a “Join the Team” campaigning action. AAA-S and Mine Aid-Croatia organized a sitting volleyball match in cooperation with sports clubs “Smeč” (Serbia) and “Sisak” (Croatia) in Belgrade on 30 July 2011. Other sporting events followed in August 2011, ending with a fishing tournament on 3 September 2011 in Kragujevac. Email from Jelena Vicentic, Executive Director, AAA-S, 19 June 2012.
 Human Rights Watch, “Civilian Deaths in the NATO Air Campaign,” Vol. 12, No. 1(D), February 2000; NPA, “Yellow Killers: The Impact of Cluster Munitions in Serbia and Montenegro,” 2007; and NPA, “Report on the Impact of Unexploded Cluster Munitions in Serbia,” January 2009.
 “Cluster Bomb Conference in Belgrade,” B92 News (Belgrade), 3 October 2007.
 Email from Vujic, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 14 February 2011.
 Letter from the Public Relations Department, Ministry of Defense, 6 July 2011.
 Letter No. 235/1 from Dr. Slobodan Vukcevic, Permanent Mission of Serbia to the UN in Geneva, 9 February 2009.
 See Human Rights Watch and Landmine Action, Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, May 2009), p. 238.
 On its website, Engine Development and Production Serbia (EDEPRO Serbia) advertises improvements to the range of Orkan surface-to-surface rockets. On its website, Yugoimport–SDPR also advertises artillery that could fire cluster munitions. An upgraded version of the OGANJ called the LRSVM (Self-Propelled Multiple Modular Rocket Launcher, Lanser Raketa Samohodni Višecevni Modularni), capable of delivering both cluster and unitary munitions, is advertised as “current project” at the Military-Technical Institute’s website: http://www.vti.mod.gov.rs/index.php?view=actuality&type=projects&category=1&id=75. Email from Jelena Vicentic, AAA-S, 26 June 2012.
 Mira Švedić, “Velika obnova” (The great renewal), Odbrana, Directorate of Public Relations, Ministry of Defense, 1 April 2011.
 According to the Ministry, publicly available reports on the transfers of controlled goods for 2005–2006, 2007, and 2008 provide sufficient evidence that there were no imports or exports of cluster munitions. While the reports for 2009 and 2010 had yet to be published, the Ministry stated that it could confirm that there were no records in its database of licenses issued in 2009 or 2010 for the import or export of cluster munitions. Email from Jasmina Roskić, Head of Division for Agreements on Bilateral Promotion and Protection of Investments, Concessions, and Foreign Trade in Controlled Goods, Ministry of Economy and Regional Development, 16 February 2011. See also, “Annual Report on the Realization of Foreign Trade Transfers of Controlled Goods for 2005 and 2006,” Ministry of Economy and Regional Development, Belgrade, 2007; “Annual Report on the Transfers of Controlled Goods in 2007,” Ministry of Economy and Regional Development, Belgrade, 2009; and “Annual Report on the Transfers of Controlled Goods in 2008,” Ministry of Economy and Regional Development, Belgrade, 2010.
 Robert Hewson, ed., Jane’s Air-Launched Weapons, Issue 44 (Surrey, UK: Jane’s Information Group Limited, 2004), p. 845.
 For information on Yugoslav production of these weapons see, Hewson, ed., Jane’s Air-Launched Weapons, Issue 44 (Surrey, UK: Jane’s Information Group Limited, 2004), p. 291; Terry J. Gandler and Charles Q. Cutshaw, eds., Jane’s Ammunition Handbook 2001–2002 (Surrey, UK: Jane’s Information Group Limited, 2001), p. 641; Leland S. Ness and Anthony G. Williams, eds., Jane’s Ammunition Handbook 2007–2008 (Surrey, UK: Jane’s Information Group Limited, 2007), pp. 598–599, 720; and, US Defense Intelligence Agency, “Improved Conventional Munitions and Selected Controlled-Fragmentation Munitions (Current and Projected) DST-1160S-020-90.”