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Country Reports


The Republic of Hungary signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions in Oslo on 3 December 2008. Upon signing the convention, Minister of Foreign Affairs Kinga Göncz announced that Hungary had already started “the necessary domestic legal procedure for parliamentary approval of the Convention on Cluster Munitions.”[1]

Hungary is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW), and ratified Protocol V on Explosive Remnants of War on 28 June 2005.

Cluster Munition Ban Policy

At the CCW Third Review Conference in November 2006, Hungary supported a proposal for a mandate to negotiate a legally-binding instrument “that addresses the humanitarian concerns posed by cluster munitions.”[2] When other CCW States Parties rejected such a mandate, Hungary joined 25 nations in supporting a declaration calling for an international agreement that would prohibit the use of cluster munitions “within concentrations of civilians,” prohibit the use of cluster munitions that “pose serious humanitarian hazards because they are for example unreliable and/or inaccurate,” and require destruction of stockpiles of such cluster munitions.[3]

Hungary then participated in the initial conference launching the Oslo Process in February 2007 and endorsed the Oslo Declaration, committing states to conclude a convention prohibiting cluster munitions that cause unacceptable harm to civilians in 2008. It participated in all of the international conferences to develop the convention text in Lima, Vienna, and Wellington, as well as the formal negotiations in Dublin in May 2008.[4]

At the Lima conference, Hungary announced that it would enact a national moratorium on the use of cluster munitions by its armed forces until a legally binding international instrument on cluster munitions was concluded.[5] The unilateral moratorium was officially enacted on 9 November 2007. The Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that it hoped this decision would contribute to and show support for ongoing international diplomatic efforts aimed at tackling the problem of cluster munitions.[6]

During the Dublin negotiations, Hungary did not intervene frequently, but supported the inclusion of a provision on “interoperability” (joint military operations with states not party).[7] It stated that the safety of its forces contributing to peacekeeping missions called for such a provision.[8]

Use, Production, Stockpiling, and Transfer

Hungary is not believed to have used or produced cluster munitions. In 2006, officials acknowledged Hungary possessed Soviet-era air-dropped cluster bombs and said that their status was under review.[9] At the Lima conference in May 2007, Hungary stated that its armed forces were developing plans to destroy the cluster munitions in its stockpiles.[10] Jane’s Information Group lists Hungary as possessing KMG-U dispensers which deploy submunitions, and RBK-250, RBK-275, and RBK-500 cluster bombs.[11]

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

[2] Proposal for a Mandate to Negotiate a Legally-Binding Instrument that Addresses the Humanitarian Concerns Posed by Cluster Munitions, Presented by Austria, Holy See, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, and Sweden, Third Review Conference of the States Parties to the CCW, CCW/CONF.III/WP.1, Geneva, 25 October 2006.

[3] Declaration on Cluster Munitions, Third Review Conference of the States Parties to the CCW, CCW/CONF.III/WP.18, Geneva, 17 November 2006.

[4] It also attended the regional conference in Brussels in October 2007.

[5] Statement of Hungary, Lima Conference on Cluster Munitions, 24 May 2007. Notes by WILPF.

[6] “The Hungarian Government Introduced a National Ban on the Use of Cluster Munitions,” Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Hungary, www.mfa.gov.hu.

[7] Statement of Hungary, Informal Discussions on Interoperability, Dublin Diplomatic Conference on Cluster Munitions, 22 May 2008. Notes by Landmine Action.

[8] Statement of Hungary, Closing Plenary, Dublin Diplomatic Conference, 30 May 2008. Notes by Landmine Action.

[9] Human Rights Watch interview with members of Hungary’s delegation to the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Sessions of the CCW Group of Governmental Experts, Geneva, 19 June 2006 and 31 August 2006.

[10] Statement of Hungary, Lima Conference on Cluster Munitions, 24 May 2007. Notes by WILPF.

[11] Robert Hewson, ed., Jane’s Air-Launched Weapons, Issue 44 (Surrey, UK: Jane’s Information Group Limited, 2004), p. 840.