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Country Reports


The Kingdom of Thailand has not signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions. It is not party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW).

Thailand is not believed to have ever used or produced cluster munitions. The United States supplied it with 500 Rockeye and 200 CBU-71 cluster bombs at some point between 1970 and 1995.[1] The status and composition of its current stockpile is not known.

Thailand did not attend the initial meeting to launch the Oslo Process, but participated in the regional conference in Cambodia and all three of the international conferences to develop the convention text in Lima, Vienna, and Wellington. Thailand then chose to attend the formal negotiations in Dublin in May 2008 as an observer. It subsequently attended the regional conference in Lao PDR aimed at promoting signature to the convention, but attended the signing conference in Oslo in December 2008 again only as an observer.

At the Lima conference, Thailand said it supported the development of an international instrument on cluster munitions, but noted the difficulties for affected countries and emphasized the importance of financial assistance to help such countries comply with any future agreement.[2] At the Vienna conference, Thailand again stressed the importance of international assistance.[3] It supported the rights-based approach to victim assistance and emphasized the importance of including provisions relating to data collection on cluster munitions victims.[4] Although only attending the Dublin negotiations in May 2008 as an observer, Thailand described the text as well balanced and welcomed its adoption.[5]

The ICRC hosted a Southeast Asia regional meeting on cluster munitions in Bangkok on 24–25 April 2008. This was not a formal part of the Oslo Process. Participants from the region included Brunei, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. Representatives of Australia, Ireland, Japan, Norway, the UN, CMC, and other NGOs also attended. Conference participants discussed the global humanitarian impact of the weapon, as well as specific problems that it poses in Southeast Asian states. States discussed their national policy perspectives, efforts to address cluster munitions through the Oslo Process and the CCW, and key issues that would come up during the Dublin negotiations.[6]

On 2 November 2008 as part of the Global Week of Action on cluster munitions, the Thailand “Ban Bus” was launched in central Bangkok, along with an exhibition and public activities, then traveled across the country raising awareness and promoting the convention.[7]

At the Oslo signing conference in December 2008, Thailand made a statement affirming that it had no intention of using cluster munitions or acquiring more of them in the future. It said it recognized a moral commitment to provide for the victims of the weapons. However, Thailand stated that as it maintained stocks of cluster munitions, it would require further time to evaluate the convention. Thailand said it was concerned about the high cost of stockpile destruction and was seeking ways to develop a comprehensive plan for destruction. Thailand added that it wished to see all stakeholders, including the manufacturers of cluster munitions, join the convention. Furthermore, Thailand argued that the prohibition in the convention was not sufficiently broad and that countries in a position to acquire munitions not prohibited by the convention would be able to use them “with impunity.”[8]

On 22 February 2009, Nonviolence International held a meeting with the Secretary General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Secretariat and Thailand’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, who committed to discuss the convention during the ASEAN meeting of Defense Ministers on 26 February 2009, in Pattaya, Thailand.[9]

Thailand hosted a regional workshop in Bangkok in April 2009 on the Mine Ban Treaty, in advance of the Second Review Conference. Following the workshop, Australia hosted, with Lao PDR co-chairing, a briefing on the Convention on Cluster Munitions with the aim of encouraging states from the Southeast Asia region to sign.[10]

[1] US Defense Security Assistance Agency, Department of Defense, “Cluster Bomb Exports under FMS, FY1970–FY1995,” 15 November 1995, obtained by Human Rights Watch in a Freedom of Information Act request, 28 November 1995.

[2] Statement of Thailand, Lima Conference on Cluster Munitions, 23 May 2007. Notes by CMC/WILPF.

[3] Statement of Thailand, Vienna Conference on Cluster Munitions, 5 December 2007. Notes by CMC/WILPF.

[4] Statement of Thailand, Session on Victim Assistance, Vienna Conference, 6 December 2007. Notes by CMC/WILPF.

[5] Summary Record of the Committee of the Whole, Sixteenth Session: 28 May 2008, Dublin Diplomatic Conference on Cluster Munitions, CCM/CW/SR/16, 18 June 2008.

[6] ICRC, “Southeast Asia Regional Meeting on Cluster Munitions, Summary Report,” April 2008, www.stopclustermunitions.org.

[7] CMC, “Global Week of Action to Ban Cluster Bombs, 27 October – 2 November 2008,” www.stopclustermunitions.org.

[8] Statement of Thailand, Convention on Cluster Munitions Signing Conference, Oslo, 4 December 2008. Notes by Landmine Action.

[9] CMC “CMC Newsletter, February 2009,” 17 March 2009, www.stopclustermunitions.org.

[10] CMC, “Bangkok Workshop on Achieving a Mine-Free South-East Asia,” 9 March 2009, www.stopclustermunitions.org.