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Country Reports


The Republic of Botswana signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions in Oslo on 3 December 2008. The status of the ratification process is unknown.

Botswana is not party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW). Botswana is not known to have ever used, produced, stockpiled, or transferred cluster munitions.

Botswana first joined the Oslo Process during the Wellington conference in February 2008, and endorsed the Wellington Declaration, indicating its intention to participate in the Dublin negotiations on the basis of the Wellington draft text. It later attended the Livingstone conference in March/April 2008, where it endorsed the Livingstone Declaration, calling for a comprehensive treaty with a prohibition that should be “total and immediate.”[1]

Botswana actively participated in the formal negotiations in Dublin in May 2008 and agreed to adopt the convention text. It made statements on several issues, including in support of a broad definition of “cluster munition,” a strong provision on international cooperation and assistance, the inclusion of a deadline for states to enact national implementation measures, and language to address the possession of cluster munitions by non-state armed groups.[2] Botswana also opposed the inclusion of a transition period before implementation of the convention.[3] With respect to the exclusion for certain weapons with submunitions, Botswana said the burden of proof must be on those who possess the weapons to demonstrate that they do not have the harmful humanitarian effects of cluster munitions.[4]

During the Dublin Diplomatic Conference, Botswana explained its support for the Oslo Process, stating, “While Botswana is not directly affected by this menace of cluster munitions, we have a serious concern regarding the possible proliferation of this type of weapon.… We note that, with billions of submunitions believed to be stockpiled in more than 70 countries, there is a need to avoid incidences of their transfer to other places, such as our own. Non-proliferation could, therefore, only be meaningfully achieved through the adoption of an international covenant which will be binding on all.”[5]

At the Kampala regional conference in September 2008, Botswana endorsed the Kampala Action Plan, in which participants declared that states should sign and “take all necessary measures to ratify the convention as soon as possible.”[6]

When signing the convention in December 2008, Botswana made a statement “reaffirming Botswana’s unyielding determination to see the Cluster Munition Convention deliver on the lofty ideas that we have set forth therein during the historic diplomatic conference in Dublin.”[7]

[1] Livingstone Declaration, Livingstone Conference on Cluster Munitions, 1 April 2008.

[2] Dublin Diplomatic Conference on Cluster Munitions, 19–30 May 2008. Notes by Landmine Action. Summary Record of the Committee of the Whole, Dublin Diplomatic Conference, Second Session: 20 May 2008, CCM/CW/SR/2, 18 June 2008; Third Session: 20 May 2008, CCM/CW/SR/3, 18 June 2008; and Tenth Session: 26 May 2008, CCM/CW/SR/10, 18 June 2008.

[3] Summary Record of the Committee of the Whole, Eighth Session: 23 May 2008, Dublin Diplomatic Conference, CCM/CW/SR/8, 18 June 2008.

[4] Dublin Diplomatic Conference, 21 May 2008. Notes by Landmine Action.

[5] Statement of Botswana, Dublin Diplomatic Conference, 19 May 2008.

[6] CMC, “Report on the Kampala Conference on the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” 30 September 2008; Kampala Action Plan, Kampala Conference, 30 September 2008.

[7] Statement of Botswana, Convention on Cluster Munitions Signing Conference, Oslo, 3 December 2008.