Over 100 countries adopt treaty to ban cluster bombs


Cluster bomb survivors and campaigners welcomed the formal adoption of the Cluster Munitions Convention by over 100 countries. This historic treaty bans the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of all existing and future cluster bombs. To keep pressure on governments and to ensure that the treaty enters into force, campaigners today launched the People’s Treaty.

“The adoption of this treaty has intensified the stigma attached to cluster bombs. It’s up to the countries to turn the text into reality,” said Thomas Nash, coordinator of the Cluster Munition Coalition.

After the formal adoption of the treaty text in Dublin, the signing of the treaty will take place in Oslo in early December 2008. For the treaty to enter into force it must be ratified by 30 countries. Survivors and campaigners will be following up on a national level with the People’s Treaty launched today.

The work to ban cluster munitions is far from complete:

Six of the biggest producers of cluster munitions have not adopted the treaty. United States, Russia, China, Israel, Pakistan and Indian did not attend the meeting and made it very clear that they will not sign the treaty. Three of those countries - US, Russia and China together they stockpile more than a billion cluster munitions, which is more than what all the other countries together have.

The treaty also comes short as a number of cluster munition were not included in the treaty, like the super intelligent cluster bombs that contain less than 10 sub-munitions , for example the German model Smart 155.

The treaty allows military cooperation with no signing countries, which permits to sell these weapons "on requests" by these countries.

Other steps into banning all cluster munitions, should be to prohibit the investment on the production of these weapons.

The treaty is an important step but much more work and pressure needs to happen.

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