Legislation banning investments in cluster munitions exist in the following countries:
Belgium was the first country in the world to prohibit investments in producers of cluster munitions. The 2007 law prohibits: “the financing of a company under Belgian law or under the law of another country, which is involved in the manufacture, use, repair, marketing, sale, distribution, import, export, stockpiling or transportation of anti-personnel mines and or sub-munitions within the sense of this act, and with a view to distribution thereof (…).” The law states the exact meaning of financing, which it defines as ‘any kind of financial support, more concret credits, bank guarantees or the acquisition for own account of the financial instrument these companies have issued’.
- Download Belgium's Legislation (PDF 1.74MB)
- Translation of the Belgian legislation (ENG) (PDF 85KB)
- Q and A on the Belgian legislation (ENG) (PDF 129KB)
Part V of the 2008 Irish Cluster Munitions and Anti-Personnel Mines Bill explicitly prohibits investment of public money in producers of cluster munitions.
- Download Ireland's Legislation (PDF 415KB)
The 2011 Law on the Ratification and Implementation of the Oslo Convention on the ban on cluster munitions (Law No. 95) states that "whoever uses, subject to the provisions of Article 3, paragraph 3, develops, produces, acquires in any way, stores, retains, or transfers, directly or indirectly, cluster munitions or parts thereof, or financially assists, encourages or induces others to engage in such activity, is punished with imprisonment from three to twelve years and a fine of 258,228 euros to 516,456 euros."
A draft bill was submitted to the Senate on 26 April 2010 to prohibit Italian financial institutions from providing any form of support to Italian and foreign companies involved in a range of activities including the production, use, sale, import, export, stockpiling, or transport of antipersonnel mines as well as cluster munitions and explosive submunitions thereof.
- Download Italy’s legislation (in Italian)
Luxembourg passed its Convention on Cluster Munitions ratification law on 7 May 2009. Article 3 of the law contains a ban on investments: “All persons, businesses and corporate entities are prohibited from knowingly financing cluster munitions or explosive submunitions.” At the first Meeting of State Parties in Laos, the Luxembourg Vice Prime Minister Jean Asselborn has encouraged all states who have signed the Convention states to prohibit the financing of cluster bombs.
In January 2013 the Dutch Market Abuse (Financial Supervision Act) Decree was changed to include an obligation “to prevent any Dutch financial institution to directly support any national or foreign enterprise which produces, sells or distributes cluster munitions”. The legislation includes a prohibition on: providing loans, acquiring or offering a financial instrument that has been issued by a company engaging in the production, selling, or distribution of cluster munitions, and acquiring non-marketable holdings in the capital of such a company. It does not apply to:
a. transactions based on an index in which enterprises described in subsection 1 (a) constitute less than 5 percent of the total;
b. transactions in investment funds operated by third parties in which enterprises described in subsection 1 (a) constitute less than 5 percent of the total; and
c. investments in clearly defined projects carried out by an enterprise described in subsection 1 (a) insofar as such funding is not utilized for the production, sale and distribution of cluster munitions.
As per 1 April 2013, a financial institution in violation of Article 21a can be sanctioned to a fine with a set basic amount of €500,000 and a maximum of €1,000,000.
The Cluster Munitions (Prohibition) Bill of 2009, which governs New Zealand's implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, includes a prohibition on investment in companies that manufacture cluster munitions. The law is clear about what sort of financing is prohibited: ‘assets of every kind, whether tangible or intangible, moveable or immoveable, however acquired; and includes legal documents) or instruments (for example bank credits, travellers’ cheques, bank cheques, money orders, shares, securities, bonds, drafts, and letters of credit in any form (for example, in electronic or digital form) evidencing title to, or an interest in, assets of any kind’. The legislation was unanimously adopted and signed into law by the governor-general on 17 December paving the way for the deposit of New Zealand’s ratification instrument on 23 December 2009.
- Download New Zealand's Legislation (PDF 666 KB)
The Convention on Cluster Munitions ratification law of the Independent State of Samoa took effect on 27 April 2012. Part II, article 6 of the Cluster Munitions Prohibition Act 2012 contains a prohibition on investments in cluster munitions. The Cluster Munitions Prohibition Act 2012 states that: “[…] a person who directly or indirectly does one (1) or more of the following commits an offence: invest funds with the intention that the funds be used, or knowing that the are to be used, in the development or production of cluster munitions.” The law clearly defines what it means by funds: “funds means assets of every kind, whether tangible or intangible, moveable or immoveable, however acquired; and includes legal documents or instruments in any form evidencing title to, or an interest in, assets of any kind.”
• Download Samoa’s Legislation PDF
Switzerland passed its Convention on Cluster Munitions ratification law on 17 July 2012. Switzerland enacted legislation to implement the Convention by approving amendments to its Federal Law on War Material which came into force 1 January 2013.
The Federal Law on War Material was amended to include a prohibition on direct and indirect investments in prohibited war materiel, including cluster munitions. Article 8b regarding direct investments reads as follows:
“1 It is prohibited to finance directly the development, manufacturing or acquisition of forbidden war materiel.
2 For the purposes of this Act following acts are considered as direct financing: the direct extension of credits, loans and donations or comparable financial benefits to cover the costs of or to promote the development, manufacturing or the acquisition of prohibited war materiel.”
Article 8c covers indirect investments, which are forbidden “if the intention is to bypass the prohibition on direct financing”.
Download Switzerland’s legislation (in French).
For detailed information and analysis of these countries legislation go to the Worldwide investments in cluster munitions’ report.
Ministerial statements on investments have been made in the following countries:
The UK “Cluster Munition (Prohibition) Bill” received Royal Assent on 25 March 2010. In both Houses, debates on the Bill questioned whether the financing of cluster munition production was prohibited under the legislation. The text of the legislation does not explicitly include a prohibition on investment in, or provision of financial services to, companies involved in the production of cluster munitions. However, in response to parliamentary questions the Government issued a Ministerial Statement on 7 December 2009 confirming that “under the current provisions of the Bill, which have been modelled upon the definitions and requirements of the convention, the direct financing of cluster munitions would be prohibited. The provision of funds directly contributing to the manufacture of these weapons would therefore become illegal.”
The legislation does not prohibit indirect financing of cluster munitions, however the government intends to work with the financial sector, non-governmental organisations and other interested parties, to promote a voluntary code of conduct to prevent indirect financing, and if necessary would use their right to initiate legislation.
- Download the ministerial statement which provides clarification of the Cluster Munitions (Prohibitions) Act
The French government gave an interpretative statement specifying that they understand investments in cluster munitions as being banned under the prohibition on assistance. On 6 July 2010, the Deputy Minister of Defense at the National Assembly said: "any knowingly financial assistance, directly or indirectly, in the production or trading of cluster munitions would be considered as assistance, encouragement or inducement falling within the scope of the law under criminal complicity or commission of offenses under this bill. If the monitoring of the implementation of the law by the National Commission for the Elimination of Antipersonnel Mines (CNEMA) shows a failure on this point, the Government would draw the appropriate conclusions, proposing to Parliament the necessary legislative changes."
- View the declaration in French.
Parliamentary initiatives to ban investments in cluster munitions
Parliamentary discussions are ongoing in Norway.
The Convention on Cluster Munitions is primarily implemented in Norway in a separate law on cluster munitions as set out in Proposition no 7 submitted to the Odelstring. In this proposal “ (...) The Ministry agrees that investment, for example, in companies that develop or produce cluster munitions may fall within the scope of the Convention’s prohibition of aiding and abetting”. However, this is more like an explanatory note to the CCM, than that it is legally binding in any way. Although it is not illegal to finance cluster munitions in Norway, the Ethics Committee of the Norwegian Petroleum Fund has taken steps to ensure that the Norwegian Government is not investing in cluster producers.
- Click here for Proposition n° 7 to the Odelsting
View the Ethics Council’s recommendation on exclusion of cluster weapons from the Government Petroleum Fund
The following countries have stated that they consider investment in cluster munition producers to be prohibited under the Convention on Cluster Munitions:
The Australian government has draft implementing legislation that will enable Australia to ratify the Convention on Cluster Munitions - the Criminal Code Amendment (Cluster Munitions) Prohibition Bill. The current draft bill does not include a prohibition on investment in cluster munition producers. However, in a letter dated January 2011 from the Attorney General's Department with regards to the Bill, it is stated that ‘the intentional provision of financial assistance to an entity so that the entity can develop or produce cluster munitions would amount to an offence under the proposed provisions of the Bill’. A short summary on the legislation can be found here: http://www.stopclustermunitions.org/news/?id=3198
Bosnia and Herzegovina
In a letter to Human Rights Watch on 14 July 2011 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs states that Bosnia and Herzegovina considers investment in the production of cluster munitions to be prohibited.
In an email to Handicap International France in May 2011, the Ministry of External Relations stated that Cameroon views investment in cluster munitions prodcuers prohibited by the Convention on Cluster Munitions.
Responding to a questionnaire by Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Colombia stated on 26 March 2010 that it views a prohibition on investments in producers of cluster munitions as part of the Convention on Cluster Munitions.
Responding to a questionnaire by the Cluster Munition Monitor, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Croatia stated on 23 March 2011 that it agrees that investment in the production of cluster munitions is prohibited by the Convention on Cluster Munitions.
In a letter to Human Rights Watch on 30 April 2012, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the Czech Republic believes that investment in the production of cluster munitions is prohibited by the Convention on Cluster Munitions.
On 14 May 2010, the Permanent Representative of Guatemala to the United Nations in Geneva wrote in a letter to Human Rights Watch that – according to the interpretation of the government of Guatemala- the Convention also includes a prohibition on investments in companies that manufacture cluster munitions.
The Holy See
The Holy See, in a statement at the First Meeting of States Parties in Vientiane, Lao PDR in November 2010 stated that “in a world increasingly globalized and interdependent, countries produce, possess the means of production or invest in the defense industry, beyond their national frontiers. It is important for the integrity of the Convention and its implementation to include those investments in the list of prohibitions.”
In a letter to Human Rights Watch on 27 April 2011, Janos Martonyi of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that "Hungary believes that investment into the production of cluster munitions is prohibited by the Convention."
In a letter to Human Rights Watch on 1 June 2011, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Lao PDR "strongly supports the full prohibition of cluster munitions, including those activities during the joint military operations, transiting, foreign stockpiling and investment in the production of cluster munitions.”
On 10 February 2009, the Lebanese Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva wrote in a letter to Human Rights Watch that "It is the understanding of the government of Lebanon that Article /1/ Paragraph (c) of the Convention prohibits the investment in entities engaged in the production or transfer of cluster munitions or investment in any company that provides financing to such entities. In the view of Lebanon, "assistance" as stipulated in Article /1/ paragraph (c) includes investment in entities engaged in the production or transfer of cluster munitions and is thus prohibited under the Convention.”
On 2 April 2010, Ambassador Rajemison Rakotomaharo (Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva) wrote in a letter to Human Rights Watch that the Convention, in the opinion of Madagascar, also precludes investments in companies that produce cluster munitions.
On 25 March 2010, Major Dan Kuwali, director of Legal Services of the Malawi Defence Force, stated during the Africa Regional Conference on the Universalisation and Implementation of Convention on Cluster Munitions in Pretoria, South Africa that Malawi is of the opinion that the Convention constitutes a prohibition on the investment in producers of cluster munitions.
On 25 April 2010, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs offered its understanding of several provisions in the Convention on Cluster Munitions in an e-mail to Handicap International France. It stated that “The policy of the Government of Malta on issues of interpretation of the Convention is guided by the need to ensure the rapid destruction of cluster munitions. With regard to investment in the production of cluster munitions, Malta interprets Article 1 (b) of the Convention on Cluster Munitions as prohibiting this activity. Malta believes that assistance prohibition under Article 1 (c) of the Convention precludes financing and investment in corporations linked with the production of cluster munitions.”
In a letter to Human Rights Watch dated 4 March 2009, Ambassador Juan Manual Gómez Robledo from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs wrote that "Also, it is Mexico's opinion that investment for the production of cluster munitions is also prohibited by the Convention.”
In a letter to Human Rights Watch on 6 April 2009, Minister Rosemary Museminali of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation made it known that “any investment in the production of cluster munitions is prohibited".
In a letter to Human Rights Watch on 13 February 2011, the Ministry of Armed Forces said that Senegal "considers the transfer and foreign stockpiling of cluster munitions, and investment in cluster munitions to constitute a violation of the CCM.”
In a letter to Human Rights Watch on 14 March 2012, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that it "has no intention of allowing investment in cluster munitions production."
During the National Committee on Anti-personnel Landmines (NCAL) on 11 September 2009 in Lusaka, the Director of Zambia Mine Action Centre stated that it is the understanding of Zambia that the Convention on Cluster Munitions includes a prohibition on investments in companies that manufacture cluster munitions.