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Download PDF of country response to Human Rights Watch letter.


The Republic of Iceland signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions in Oslo on 3 December 2008. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated in March 2009, “Iceland’s ratification of the Convention on Cluster Munitions is underway.  It is not clear at this time when the parliamentary process will be completed because of upcoming elections.”[1]

Iceland was an active participant in the Oslo Process and was among the states to endorse the Oslo Declaration in February 2007. It attended the international preparatory conferences in Lima and Vienna, and the formal negotiations in Dublin in May 2008.

During the Dublin negotiations, Iceland’s representative made a salient statement regarding Article 21, on relations between States Parties and states not party to the convention. It made clear that Article 21 should not be seen as undercutting the obligation in Article 1 not to assist with any activity prohibited by the convention. Specifically, “While the article sets out an appeal to States which are not parties to join the regime of the Convention, it recognizes the need for continuing cooperation in what is hoped will be a short transition period. This intention is captured clearly in paragraph 3 of the Article which should not be read as entitling States Parties to avoid their specific obligations under the Convention for this limited purpose. The decision to reinforce this position by listing some examples in paragraph 4 cannot therefore be interpreted to allow departures in other respects.”[2]

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Iceland has never stockpiled, used, produced, or transferred cluster munitions.”[3]

Iceland ratified the Convention on Conventional Weapons, including Protocol V on Explosive Remnants of War, on 22 August 2008.

[1] Email from Petur G. Thorsteinsson, Head of Arms Control and Disarmament, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, 5 March 2009.

[2] Statement of Iceland, Dublin Diplomatic Conference on Cluster Munitions, 30 May 2008.

[3] Email from Petur G. Thorsteinsson, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, 5 March 2009.