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Last Updated: 12 August 2014

Cluster Munition Ban Policy


The Republic of Malta signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 3 December 2008 and ratified on 24 September 2009. It was among the first 30 countries to trigger the convention’s entry into force on 1 August 2010.

Malta has declared that its existing legal framework is sufficient to implement the convention.[1]

Malta submitted its initial Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 report on 9 May 2011.[2] As of 27 June 2014, it had yet to submit any updated reports due by 30 April each year.

Malta actively participated in the Oslo Process that created the convention and contributed to efforts to achieve the strongest possible text during the negotiations in Dublin in May 2008.[3]

Malta has engaged in the work of the Convention on Cluster Munitions since 2008. It participated in the convention’s Meetings of States Parties in 2011 and 2012, but did not attend the Fourth Meeting of States Parties in Lusaka, Zambia in September 2013. Malta has not participated in the convention’s intersessional meetings in Geneva, such as those held in April 2014.

Malta 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 “continued widespread and systematic gross violations of human rights…including those involving the use of…cluster munitions.”[4]

Interpretive issues

Malta has articulated its views on a number of important issues related to the interpretation and implementation of the convention. Regarding the prohibition on transit and foreign stockpiling of cluster munitions under the convention, in 2009 Malta stated, “Our understanding of the commitments arising out of the convention is that, as a party, we will not permit the transit of cluster munitions across, or foreign stockpiling of cluster munitions on, our national territory.”[5] Regarding investments in cluster munition production, it said, Malta interprets Article 1(b) of the Convention on Cluster Munitions as prohibiting this activity. Malta believes that the assistance prohibition under Article 1(c) of the Convention precludes financing and investment in corporations linked with the production of cluster munitions.”[6]

Malta has not yet provided its views on the prohibition on assistance during joint military operations with states not party that may use cluster munitions.

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

Use, production, transfer, and stockpiling

Malta has declared that it has never used, produced, transferred, or stockpiled cluster munitions.[7]


[1] Malta has listed National Interest Enabling Powers Act (Chapter 365) and the Military Equipment (Export Control) Regulations under national implementation measures. Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form A, 9 May 2011.

[2] The report covers calendar year 2010.

[3] For details on Malta’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. 116–117.

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

[5] Letter from Amb. Saviour F. Borg, Permanent Mission of Malta to the UN in New York, 2 March 2009.

[6] Email from Mariella Grech, Ministry of Foreign Affairs to Handicap International France, 26 April 2010. This view was reiterated in April 2011. Email from Laura Sammut, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 8 April 2011.

[7] Letter from Amb. Borg, Permanent Mission of Malta to the UN in New York, 2 March 2009; and Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Forms B, C, D, and E, 9 May 2011.