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Country Reports
Download PDF of country response to Human Rights Watch letter.


The Principality of Liechtenstein signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions in Oslo on 3 December 2008. Liechtenstein informed Human Rights Watch in February 2009 that its policy is to adopt relevant internal implementation legislation before ratifying international conventions. It also noted that, due to its Customs Union Treaty with Switzerland, “Liechtenstein will have to wait for the Swiss legal implementation and ratification of the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions before ratifying the Convention.”[1]

Liechtenstein stated that it has never used, produced, stockpiled, or transferred cluster munitions.[2] Liechtenstein is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) and ratified Protocol V on Explosive Remnants of War on 12 May 2006.

Cluster Munition Ban Policy

Liechtenstein was among the 25 states that endorsed a formal declaration at end of the Third Review Conference of the CCW in November 2006 calling for an international agreement to “prohibit the development, production, stockpiling, transfer and use of cluster munitions that pose serious humanitarian hazards because they are for example unreliable and/or inaccurate.”[3]

Liechtenstein participated in the Oslo Conference on Cluster Munitions in February 2007 and endorsed the Oslo Declaration, thereby committing to conclude a new treaty in 2008. Liechtenstein attended the Vienna Conference in December 2007, and, although it did not attend the Wellington Conference in February 2008, it endorsed the Wellington Declaration, indicating its intention to participate in the formal negotiations in Dublin in May. However, Liechtenstein did not attend the negotiations.

Upon signing the convention, Liechtenstein pledged “the ratification of this treaty at the earliest possible date.” In a statement reiterating its full support for the convention, and praising the cooperative nature of the Oslo Process as a means for the convention to acquire universal adherence, Liechtenstein stated, “We are all aware that we have a long way to go until we reach this final goal. Determined political will and concerted efforts are required to reach it. We stand ready to make our contribution to that end.”[4]

[1] Letter from Christine Stehrenberger, Deputy Director, Office for Foreign Affairs, 10 February 2009. Due to the longstanding Customs Union Treaty with Switzerland, the import and export of goods in Liechtenstein is governed by Swiss legislation. In order for Liechtenstein and Switzerland to incorporate national implementation of the convention into legislation, “an amendment of the Swiss Federal Act on War Material (Schweizerisches Kreigsmaterialgesetz), which is to a large extent applicable to Liechtenstein, will be necessary.”

[2] Ibid.

[3] Declaration on Cluster Munitions, presented by Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Holy See, Hungary, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, and Switzerland, Third Review Conference of the States Parties to the CCW, Geneva, CCW/CONF.III/WP.18, 17 November 2006.

[4] Statement by Daniel Ospelt, Permanent Representative of Liechtenstein to the Council of Europe, Convention on Cluster Munitions Signing Conference, Oslo, 3 December 2008.