31 May 2010

Countdown to entry into force – Week 6: Argentina

Although the Republic of Argentina has publicly supported a broad ban on cluster bombs and was an active participant in the “Oslo Process” to negotiate the Convention on Cluster Munitions, it has still not signed the treaty.“Argentina can’t have it both ways – it can’t call for a prohibition on cluster bombs and then fail to get on board the international treaty banning the weapons,” said María Pía Devoto, director of the Asociación de Políticas Públicas in Argentina, a Cluster Munition Coalition member organisation that has actively promoted the treaty in Latin America. “With the Convention on Cluster Munitions about to enter into force, now is the time for Argentina to join, to send a strong message that it’s serious about preventing civilian suffering.”In 1982, the United Kingdom dropped cluster bombs containing more than 15,000 submunitions on Argentine positions during the armed conflict in the Falkland/Malvinas islands. Argentina previously stockpiled US- and French-produced cluster bombs, but it never used or transferred them and reportedly destroyed its stocks by 2005. In the past, Argentina developed artillery-delivered cluster munitions, but the effort did not reach full-scale production and was dismantled before the armed forces could use the weapons.In Latin America, Mexico, Nicaragua, Ecuador, and Uruguay have ratified the Convention. Argentina’s neighbour Chile, a former producer and stockpiler of cluster bombs, has ceased production and recently passed legislation to ratify the Convention. ??Although Argentina adopted the text of the Convention in 2008, it has expressed concerns that some articles may provide loopholes to the ban. But, it is inconceivable that any international instrument as strong as this Convention could be negotiated on cluster munitions elsewhere. Only by joining the Convention will Argentina be able to help ensure that all provisions are properly interpreted and implemented, and that the most comprehensive ban possible is achieved.The CMC urges Argentina to sign the Convention without delay and to work with other Latin American countries to promote a regional cluster bomb-free zone, following the example of the 1967 Treaty of Tlatelolco designating Latin America as a nuclear weapons-free zone.Download letters urging the government of Argentina to sign the Convention on Cluster Munitions:

  • CMC letter urging the government of Argentina to sign the Convention
  • Template letter urging the government of Argentina to sign the Convention
Additional information on Argentina and cluster munitions:
  • ?Argentina country chapter of the May 2009 report, Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice
Return to the CMC countdown page