United Nations - Treaty Collection on the Internet
Skip Navigation Links
    UNTS Document   
 
STATUS AS AT : 24-04-2014 05:03:02 EDT
CHAPTER XXVI
DISARMAMENT
1 . Convention on the prohibition of military or any other hostile use of environmental modification techniques
New York, 10 December 1976
Entry into force
:
5 October 1978, in accordance with article IX(3).
Registration :
5 October 1978, No. 17119
Status :
Signatories : 48. Parties : 76
Text :
United Nations, Treaty Series , vol. 1108, p. 151 and depositary notification C.N.263.1978.TREATIES-12 of 27 October 1978 (rectification of the English text).
Note :
The Convention was approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its resolution 31/721 of 10 December 1976.  In application of paragraph 2 of the said resolution, the Secretary-General decided to open the Convention for signature and ratification by States from 18 to 31 May 1977 at Geneva, Switzerland. Subsequently, the Convention was transmitted to the Headquarters of the Organization of the United Nations at New York, where it was open for signature by States until 4 October 1978.
Participant
Signature
Ratification, Accession(a), Succession(d)
Afghanistan
  22 Oct 1985 a
Algeria
  19 Dec 1991 a
Antigua and Barbuda
  25 Oct 1988 d
Argentina
  20 Mar 1987 a
Armenia
  15 May 2002 a
Australia
31 May 1978
 7 Sep 1984
Austria
  17 Jan 1990 a
Bangladesh
   3 Oct 1979 a
Belarus
18 May 1977
 7 Jun 1978
Belgium
18 May 1977
12 Jul 1982
Benin
10 Jun 1977
30 Jun 1986
Bolivia (Plurinational State of)
18 May 1977
 
Brazil
 9 Nov 1977
12 Oct 1984
Bulgaria
18 May 1977
31 May 1978
Cabo Verde
   3 Oct 1979 a
Cameroon
  18 Apr 2011 a
Canada
18 May 1977
11 Jun 1981
Chile
  26 Apr 1994 a
China 2
   8 Jun 2005 a
Costa Rica
   7 Feb 1996 a
Cuba
23 Sep 1977
10 Apr 1978
Cyprus
 7 Oct 1977
12 Apr 1978
Czech Republic 3
  22 Feb 1993 d
Democratic People's Republic of Korea
   8 Nov 1984 a
Democratic Republic of the Congo
28 Feb 1978
 
Denmark
18 May 1977
19 Apr 1978
Dominica
   9 Nov 1992 d
Egypt
   1 Apr 1982 a
Estonia
  14 Apr 2011 a
Ethiopia
18 May 1977
 
Finland
18 May 1977
12 May 1978
Germany 4, 5
18 May 1977
24 May 1983
Ghana
21 Mar 1978
22 Jun 1978
Greece
  23 Aug 1983 a
Guatemala
  21 Mar 1988 a
Holy See
27 May 1977
 
Honduras
  16 Aug 2010 a
Hungary
18 May 1977
19 Apr 1978
Iceland
18 May 1977
 
India
15 Dec 1977
15 Dec 1978
Iran (Islamic Republic of)
18 May 1977
 
Iraq
15 Aug 1977
 
Ireland
18 May 1977
16 Dec 1982
Italy
18 May 1977
27 Nov 1981
Japan
   9 Jun 1982 a
Kazakhstan
  25 Apr 2005 a
Kuwait
   2 Jan 1980 a
Lao People's Democratic Republic
13 Apr 1978
 5 Oct 1978
Lebanon
18 May 1977
 
Liberia
18 May 1977
 
Lithuania
  16 Apr 2002 a
Luxembourg
18 May 1977
 
Malawi
   5 Oct 1978 a
Mauritius
   9 Dec 1992 a
Mongolia
18 May 1977
19 May 1978
Morocco
18 May 1977
 
Netherlands 6
18 May 1977
15 Apr 1983
New Zealand 7
   7 Sep 1984 a
Nicaragua
11 Aug 1977
 6 Sep 2007
Niger
  17 Feb 1993 a
Norway
18 May 1977
15 Feb 1979
Pakistan
  27 Feb 1986 a
Panama
  13 May 2003 a
Papua New Guinea
  28 Oct 1980 a
Poland
18 May 1977
 8 Jun 1978
Portugal
18 May 1977
 
Republic of Korea
   2 Dec 1986 a
Romania
18 May 1977
 6 May 1983
Russian Federation
18 May 1977
30 May 1978
Sao Tome and Principe
   5 Oct 1979 a
Sierra Leone
12 Apr 1978
 
Slovakia 3
  28 May 1993 d
Slovenia
  20 Apr 2005 a
Solomon Islands
  19 Jun 1981 d
Spain
18 May 1977
19 Jul 1978
Sri Lanka
 8 Jun 1977
25 Apr 1978
St. Lucia
  27 May 1993 d
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  27 Apr 1999 d
Sweden
  27 Apr 1984 a
Switzerland
   5 Aug 1988 a
Syrian Arab Republic
 4 Aug 1977
 
Tajikistan
  12 Oct 1999 a
Tunisia
11 May 1978
11 May 1978
Turkey
18 May 1977
 
Uganda
18 May 1977
 
Ukraine
18 May 1977
13 Jun 1978
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
18 May 1977
16 May 1978
United States of America
18 May 1977
17 Jan 1980
Uruguay
  16 Sep 1993 a
Uzbekistan
  26 May 1993 a
Viet Nam
  26 Aug 1980 a
Yemen 8
18 May 1977
20 Jul 1977
Declarations and Reservations
(Unless otherwise indicated, the declarations and reservations were made
upon ratification, accession or succession.)
Argentina 9
       The Argentine Republic interprets the terms "widespread, long-lasting or severe effects" in article I, paragraph 1, of the Convention in accordance with the definitions agreed upon in the understanding on that article. It likewise interprets articles II, III and VIII in accordance with the relevant understandings.

Austria

Reservation:
       "Considering the obligations resulting from its status as a permanently neutral state, the Republic of Austria declares a reservation to the effect that its co-operation within the frame work of this Convention cannot exceed the limits determined by the Status of permanent neutrality and membership with the United Nations."

Germany 5

Upon signature:
       "With the proviso that the correct designation of the Federal Republic of Germany in the Russian language is `Federativnuju Respubliku Germaniju'."

16 June 1977


       "The correct designation of the Federal Republic of Germany in the Russian language following the preposition `sa' in the Russian text was spelled out in the afore-mentioned proviso as `Federativnuju Respubliku Germaniju'."

Guatemala

Reservation:
       Guatemala accepts the text of article III, on condition that the use of environmental modification techniques for peaceful purposes does not adversely affect its territory or the use of its natural resources.

Kuwait 10

Reservation:
       This Convention binds the State of Kuwait only towards States Parties thereto. Its obligatory character shall  ipso facto  terminate with respect to any hostile state which does not abide by the prohibition contained therein.

Understanding:
       "It is understood that accession to the Convention on the Prohibition of Military or any other hostile use of Environmental Modification Techniques, done in Geneva, 1977, does not mean in any way recognition of Israel by the State of Kuwait.  Furthermore, no treaty relation will arise between the State of Kuwait and Israel."

Netherlands

Declaration:
       "The Kingdom of the Netherlands accepts the obligations laid down in article 1 of the said Convention as extending to states which are not a party to the Convention and which act in conformity with article 1 of the Convention."

New Zealand
       "The Government of New Zealand hereby declares its interpretation that nothing in the Convention detracts from or limits the obligations of States to refrain from military or any other hostile use of environmental modification techniques which are contrary to international law".

Republic of Korea
       "It is the understanding of the Government of the Republic of Korea that any technique for deliberately changing the natural state of rivers falls within the meaning of the term 'environmental modification techniques' as defined in article II of the Convention.
       "It is further understood that military or any other hostile use of such techniques, which could cause flooding, inundation, reduction in the water-level, drying up, destruction of hydrotechnical installations or other harmful consequences, comes within the scope of the Convention, provided it meets the criteria set out in article I therefore."

Switzerland
       Because of the obligation incumbent upon it by virtue of its status of perpetual neutrality, Switzerland must make a general reservation specifying that its co-operation in the framework of this Convention cannot go beyond the limits imposed by this status. This reservation refers, in particular, to article V, paragraph 5, of the Convention, and to any similar clause which may replace or supplement this provision in the Convention (or in any other arrangement).

Turkey

Upon signature:

Interpretative statement:
       "In the opinion of the Turkish Government the terms ‘wide- spread’, ‘long lasting’ and ‘severe effects’ contained in the Con- vention need to be clearly defined. So long as this clarification is not made the Government of Turkey will be compelled to in- terpret itself the terms in question and consequently it reserves the right to do so as and when required.
       "Furthermore, the Government of Turkey believes that the difference between `military or any other hostile purposes' and `peaceful purposes' should be more clearly defined so as to pre- vent subjective evaluations."

Territorial Application
Participant
Date of receipt of the notification
Territories
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 11 16 May 1978 United Kingdom Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia in the Island of Cyprus, Association of Caribbean States, Brunei, Solomon Islands and United Kingdom Territories
End Note
1. Official Records of the General Assembly, Thirty-first Session, Supplement No. 39 (A/31/39), p. 36.
2.With the following declaration with respect of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and Macao Special Administrative Region:

In accordance with the provisions of Article 153 of the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China and Article 138 of the Basic Law of the Macao Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, the Government of the People's Republic of China decides that the Convention shall apply to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the Macao Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China.

3.Czechoslovakia had signed and ratified the Convention on 18 May 1977 and 12 May 1978, respectively. See also note 1 under “Czech Republic” and note 1 under “Slovakia” in the “Historical Information” section in the front matter of this volume.
4.See note 1 under “Germany” regarding Berlin (West) in the “Historical Information” section in the front matter of this volume.
5.The German Democratic Republic had signed and ratified the Convention on 18 May 1977 and 25 May 1978, respectively. See also note 2 under “Germany” in the “Historical Information” section in the front matter of this volume.
6.For the Kingdom in Europe and the Netherlands Antilles. See also note 1 under “Netherlands” regarding Aruba/Netherlands Antilles in the “Historical Information” section in the front matter of this volume.
7.The accession shall also apply to the Cook Islands and Niue.
8.Democratic Yemen had acceded to the Convention on 12 June 1979. See also note 1 under “Yemen” in the “Historical Information” section in the front matter of this volume.
9.The Government of Argentina has specified that the understandings referred to in the declaration are the Understandings adopted as part of the report of the Conference of the Committee on Disarmament to the General Assembly at its thirty-first session, published under the symbol A/31/27. [Report of the Conference of the Committee on Disarmament to the General Assembly (Volume I, Annex I).]
10.On 23 June 1980, the Secretary-General received from the Government of Israel the following communication concerning the above-mentioned understanding:

"The Government of Israel has noted the political character of the statement made by the Government of Kuwait. In the view of the Government of Israel, this Convention is not the proper place for making such political pronouncements.  Moreover, the said declaration cannot in any way affect whatever obligations are binding upon Kuwait, under general international law or under particular conventions.  Insofar as concerns the substance of the matter, the Government of Israel will adopt towards the Government of Kuwait an attitude of complete reciprocity."

11.See note 2 under “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland” regarding Hong Kong in the “Historical Information” section in the front matter of this volume.