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Country Reports


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

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

Ghana first joined the Oslo Process at the Lima conference in May 2007. During the Vienna conference in December 2007, Ghana announced on behalf of the African Union that it planned to create a common African position for a total ban on cluster munitions.[1]

Ghana actively participated in discussions on the treaty text during the Wellington conference in February 2008. It endorsed the Wellington Declaration, indicating its intention to participate in the formal negotiations in Dublin. It stated, “We cannot water down the effects and strength of this treaty by using technicalities like transition periods, inter-operability and definitions…. We cannot say we want to prohibit and ban [cluster munitions] immediately because of its humanitarian consequences and still give exemptions and transition. For us this is a paradox.”[2]

Ghana also 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.”[3]

During treaty negotiations in Dublin in May 2008, Ghana made statements in favor of a comprehensive definition of “cluster munition,” arguing against exceptions based on failure rates, accuracy, and self-destruct mechanisms.[4] Ghana also opposed the introduction of a transition period before implementation of the convention.[5] Ghana joined the consensus in adopting the convention.

At the Kampala regional conference in September 2008, Ghana announced its intent to sign the convention in Oslo and endorsed the Kampala Action Plan. Minister of State at the Ministry of Interior Nana Obiri Boahen outlined Ghana’s position on interpretative matters relating to the convention, saying that in Ghana’s view, States Parties must not intentionally assist other states in using cluster munitions and in other acts prohibited by the convention, should not allow other states to transport cluster munitions through their territory, should remove stockpiles of foreign cluster munitions from their territory, and should retain only the minimum number of cluster munitions required for training purposes, which could be in the hundreds or thousands but not the tens of thousands.[6]

In Oslo on 3 December 2008, Minister Boahen signed the convention and stated that Ghana will ensure that it sets the necessary processes in place for Parliament to ratify as soon as practicable. The minister urged “all countries to ratify the convention as soon as possible so that we can start implementation and stigmatize any future use of cluster munitions.”[7]

[1] Katherine Harrison, “The Vienna Conference on Cluster Munitions, 5–7 December 2007,” WILPF, January 2008, www.wilpf.int.ch.

[2] Statement of Ghana, Wellington Conference on Cluster Munitions, 19 February 2008.

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

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

[5] Summary Record of the Committee of the Whole, Fifth Session: 21 May 2008, Dublin Diplomatic Conference, CCM/CW/SR/5, 18 June 2008; and Eighth Session: 23 May 2008, CCM/CW/SR/8, 18 June 2008.

[6] CMC, “Report on the Kampala Conference on the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” 29–30 September 2008.

[7] Statement by Nana Obiri Boahen, Minister of State at the Ministry of Interior, Convention on Cluster Munitions Signing Conference, Oslo, 3 December 2008.