Cluster Munition Ban Policy

Last updated: 05 July 2016

Summary: State Party Cuba acceded to the convention on 6 April 2016 after pledging to do so in an address to the convention’s First Review Conference in September 2015. It also voted in favor of a UN resolution on the convention in December 2015. Cuba is not known to have used, produced, or exported cluster munitions, but it has a stockpile.


The Republic of Cuba acceded to the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 6 April 2016. The convention will enter into force for Cuba on 1 October 2016. It is not clear if Cuba intends to adopt national implementing legislation to enforce the convention’s provisions.

Cuba’s initial Article 7 transparency report for the convention is due by 30 March 2017.

Cuba announced its intent to accede at the convention’s First Review Conference of the Convention on Cluster Munitions in September 2015 in Dubrovnik, Croatia.[1] During the high-level segment, Cuba’s representative Ambassador Rodolfo Benitez Verson informed States Parties that Cuba was preparing to accede to the Convention on Cluster Munitions in the near future.

The following month at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Cuba expressed its “strong support” for the convention and described recent use of the weapons as “incompatible with the principles and norms of international humanitarian law.”[2] Cuba voted in favor of a UNGA resolution on the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 7 December 2015, which urges states outside the convention to “join as soon as possible.”[3]

Cuba’s representative to the UN in New York, Ambassador Rodolfo Reyes, deposited the instrument of accession with the UN on 6 April 2016.[4] Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) Director Megan Burke accepted an invitation to witness the deposit.

Cuba did not participate in the Oslo Process that created the Convention on Cluster Munitions, but it has attended some of the convention’s meetings as an observer.

Before the 2015 Review Conference, Cuba expressed support for the humanitarian rational of banning cluster munitions, but never expressed support for the convention or given any indications that it was considering accession. Cuba in the past expressed concern at the way in which the Convention on Cluster Munitions was concluded outside of UN auspices as well as with certain provisions, such as the definition of cluster munitions and “interoperability” provisions contained in Article 21 on relations with states not party to the convention.[5]

Cuba attended the convention’s Meetings of States Parties in 2010, 2011, and 2014, as well as the First Review Conference and an intersessional meeting in 2015.

Cuba is not party to the Mine Ban Treaty.

Cuba is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) and participated in a CCW effort to conclude a new protocol on cluster munitions that failed in 2011.

Use, production, and transfer

Cuba is not known to have used, produced, or exported cluster munitions.

Stockpiling and destruction

Cuba has never confirmed or denied stockpiling cluster munitions.[6] Since it began reporting in 2009, the CMC has listed Cuba as a stockpiling cluster munitions of Russian origin. Jane’s Information Group lists Cuba as possessing KMG-U dispensers that deploy submunitions and RBK-250-275 and RBK-500-series cluster bombs.[7] Also, according to standard international reference publications, Cuba also possesses BM-21 Grad 122mm surface-to-surface rocket launchers, but it is not known if the ammunition for these weapons includes versions with submunition payloads.[8]

Under Article 3 of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Cuba is required to destroy all stockpiled cluster munitions under its jurisdiction and control as soon as possible, but not later than 1 October 2024.

[1] Statement of Cuba, Convention on Cluster Munitions First Review Conference, Dubrovnik, 11 September 2015.

[2] Statement of Cuba, UNGA First Committee on Disarmament and International Security, New York, 26 October 2015.

[3]Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA Resolution 70/54, 7 December 2015.

[4] CMC, “Cuba Bans Cluster Munitions,” 6 April 2016.

[5] Statement of Cuba, Convention on Cluster Munitions Fifth Meeting of States Parties, San Jose, 3 September 2014.

[6] In December 2013, Cuba expressed concern at what it described as an “allegation” that it possesses a stockpile of cluster munitions. Statement of Cuba, Regional Workshop on Cluster Munitions, Santiago, 12 December 2013. Notes by the CMC.

[7] Robert Hewson, ed., Jane’s Air-Launched Weapons, Issue 44 (Surrey, UK: Jane’s Information Group Limited, 2004), p. 837.

[8] International Institute for Strategic Studies, The Military Balance 2011 (London: Routledge, 2011); and Colin King, ed., Jane’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal 2008, CD-edition, 3 December 2007 (Surrey, UK: Jane’s Information Group Limited, 2008).