Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Military Space News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



Landmark cluster bomb ban agreed by 111 countries

Cluster bombs ban treaty text agreed: Ireland
The text of an international convention to ban cluster bombs was agreed Wednesday by delegates from more than 100 countries meeting in Dublin, an Irish foreign ministry spokeswoman told AFP. "The text has been agreed by all delegates," the spokeswoman said. After 10 days of often tense debate at Croke Park stadium in the Irish capital, diplomats agreed the wording of a wide-ranging pact that would completely end the use, production, transfer and stockpiling of cluster munitions by its signatories. It also provides for the welfare of victims and clearing affected areas. In a dramatic move Wednesday, Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced in London that Britain would withdraw all its cluster bombs from service, which broke the deadlock in Dublin. Cluster munitions are among the weapons that pose the gravest dangers to civilians.
by Staff Writers
Dublin (AFP) May 28, 2008
Delegates from 111 nations agreed Wednesday a landmark treaty to ban cluster bombs, Ireland's foreign ministry said, in a deal that lacks the backing of major producers and stockpilers of the lethal weapons.

After 10 days of painstaking negotiations at Croke Park stadium in Dublin, diplomats agreed the wording of a wide-ranging pact to outlaw the use, production, transfer and stockpiling of cluster munitions by its signatories.

It also provides for the welfare of victims and the clearing of areas contaminated by unexploded cluster bombs.

The agreement will be formally adopted on Friday, and signed in Oslo on December 2-3. Signatories would then need to ratify it.

"This is a very strong and ambitious text which nevertheless was able to win consensus among all delegations," said Irish Foreign Minister Micheal Martin. "It is a real contribution to international humanitarian law."

But crucially, the United States, Russia, China, India, Israel and Pakistan -- all major producers and stockpilers of cluster bombs -- were absent from the Dublin talks, and thus not part of the agreement.

The Irish Department for Foreign Affairs said 111 participating states and 18 observer countries attended.

The process "has been characterised by a true determination on all sides to reach an ambitious and consensual outcome," the ministry said.

The treaty requires the destruction of stockpiled munitions within eight years -- though it leaves the door open for future, more precise generations of cluster munitions that pose less harm to civilians.

Britain was widely cited by campaigners as being at the forefront of a group of states seeking to water down the treaty.

But in a dramatic move Wednesday, Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced in London that Britain would withdraw all its cluster bombs from service in a bid to "break the log jam" in the Dublin talks.

Brown later said in a statement he was "delighted" with the treaty's agreement, and said it made "the world a safer place."

The draft treaty agreed in Dublin read:

"Each state party undertakes never under any circumstances to:

"(a) Use cluster munitions;

"(b) Develop, produce, otherwise acquire, stockpile, retain or transfer to anyone, directly or indirectly, cluster munitions;

"(c) Assist, encourage or induce anyone to engage in any activity prohibited to a state party under this convention."

Much of the wrangling at Croke Park focused on what signatories could and could not do in joint operations with states still using cluster bombs.

The draft text said signatories "may engage in military cooperation and operations".

But the Cluster Munition Coalition, an umbrella group of non-governmental organisations, hopes that the treaty will stigmatise the use of cluster munitions -- as the similar Ottawa Treaty did for landmines -- and stop countries from helping others to use them.

CMC co-chair Simon Conway told AFP the treaty was a compromise but nonetheless "incredibly strong".

"We're going to end up with a strong treaty that prohibits every cluster bomb that's ever been used, with no transition periods, with strong obligations on clearance and particularly strong obligations on victim assistance," he said.

"The people that have done the most compromising are the bad guys," he added, welcoming Britain's "massive movement".

"They are giving up for all the right reasons, which is that they cause indiscriminate harm and kill civilians."

Hildegarde Vansintjan, advocacy officer for disability campaigners Handicap International, said the convention made states responsible for providing assistance to cluster bomb victims.

The treaty "would be a real step forward for the people suffering from cluster munitions all over the world," she told AFP.

The cluster munitions ban process, started by Norway in February 2007, took the same path as the 1997 Ottawa Treaty by going outside the United Nations to avoid vetoes and seal a swift pact.

Cluster munitions are among the weapons that pose the gravest dangers to civilians, especially in heavily bombed countries like Laos, Vietnam and Afghanistan.

Dropped from planes or fired from artillery, they explode in mid-air, randomly scattering bomblets. Countries are seeking a ban due to the risk of civilians being killed or maimed by their indiscriminate, wide area effect.

They also pose a lasting threat to civilians as many bomblets fail to explode on impact.

Cluster bombs ban text agreed after British move
The text of a landmark international convention to ban cluster bombs was agreed Wednesday by delegates from more than 100 countries meeting in Dublin, an Irish foreign ministry spokeswoman told AFP.

After 10 days of often tense debate at Croke Park stadium in the Irish capital, diplomats agreed the wording of a wide-ranging pact that would completely end the use, production, transfer and stockpiling of cluster munitions by its signatories.

It also provides for the welfare of victims and the clearing of areas contaminated by unexploded cluster bombs.

"The text has been agreed by all delegates," the spokeswoman said.

The treaty requires the destruction of stockpiled munitions within eight years.

Britain was widely cited by campaigners as being at the forefront of a group of states seeking to water down the treaty.

But in a dramatic move Wednesday, Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced in London that Britain would withdraw all its cluster bombs from service in a bid to break the deadlock in the Dublin talks.

"We have decided we will take all our types of cluster bombs out of service," Brown said.

"I believe that is going to make a difference to the negotiations that are now taking place."

The draft treaty agreed in Dublin read:

"Each state party undertakes never under any circumstances to:

"(a) Use cluster munitions;

"(b) Develop, produce, otherwise acquire, stockpile, retain or transfer to anyone, directly or indirectly, cluster munitions;

"(c) Assist, encourage or induce anyone to engage in any activity prohibited to a state party under this convention."

China, India, Israel, Pakistan, Russia and the United States -- all major producers and stockpilers -- are absent from the Dublin talks.

Much of the wrangling at Croke Park focused on what signatories could and could not do in joint operations with states still using cluster bombs.

The draft text said signatories "may engage in military cooperation and operations".

But the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC), an umbrella group of non-governmental organisations, hopes that the treaty will stigmatise the use of cluster munitions -- as the similar Ottawa Treaty did for anti-personnel landmines -- and stop countries from helping others to use them.

The CMC said the treaty was a compromise but nonetheless "incredibly strong".

"The treaty is going through," CMC co-chair Simon Conway told AFP.

"We're going to end up with a strong treaty that prohibits every cluster bomb that's ever been used, with no transition periods, with strong obligations on clearance and particularly strong obligations on victim assistance."

He welcomed Britain's "massive movement", saying it was giving up its cluster munitions "for all the right reasons."

"The people that have done the most compromising are the bad guys," he added.

"We've seen significant movement by countries that literally a week ago were saying there was no way they were going to give up these weapons.

"That will make a dramatic difference. They are giving up for all the right reasons, which is that they cause indiscriminate harm and kill civilians."

Brown told reporters at his Downing Street office: "We have decided, after a great deal of discussion, that we can help break the log jam so that we can get international agreement that would ban cluster bombs.

"I think this would be a big step forward to make the world a safer place."

The cluster munitions ban process, started by Norway in February 2007, has taken the same path as the landmark 1997 Ottawa Treaty: going outside the United Nations to avoid vetoes and seal a swift pact.

The Dublin gathering is aiming to thrash out a definitive agreement, to be signed in Oslo on December 2-3. Signatories would then need to ratify it.

Cluster munitions are among the weapons that pose the gravest dangers to civilians, especially in heavily bombed countries like Laos, Vietnam and Afghanistan.

Dropped from planes or fired from artillery, they explode in mid-air, randomly scattering bomblets. Countries are seeking a ban due to the risk of civilians being killed or maimed by their indiscriminate, wide area effect.

They also pose a lasting threat to civilians as many bomblets fail to explode on impact.

Community
Email This Article
Comment On This Article

Share This Article With Planet Earth
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook



Related Links
The latest in Military Technology for the 21st century at SpaceWar.com



Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


Lockheed Martin Receives Funding F-35 Lot 2 Production
Fort Worth TX (SPX) May 28, 2008
The United States Department of Defense has authorized the release of funds to buy six conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) F-35A Lightning IIs for the U.S. Air Force, with provisional approval to purchase six short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) F-35Bs for the U.S. Marine Corps following a senior leadership review and the inaugural flight of that variant.







  • US commander senses change in China attitude following quake
  • NATO needs to work with, not against Russia: Moscow
  • US ambassador urges Japan to boost defence spending
  • Outside View: Russia at war -- Part 2

  • US: Iran must not 'stall' on nuclear issue
  • Larijani warns IAEA that Iran could revise cooperation
  • Pakistan hails 'historic' nuclear tests 10 years on
  • Denuclearisation of NKorea by end 2008 'a challenge': Hill

  • RBS15 Mk3 Successfully Fired
  • India tests ballistic missile: official
  • Iran mulls strengthening missile programme: report
  • LaBarge Awarded Contract For Upgraded Missile Launch System

  • US seeking to overcome China, Russia missile defense objections
  • Medvedev warns over US missile defence plans
  • White House sees Russia 'open' to talks on US missile plan
  • Russian ABM Plans Part Two

  • China's new jumbo-jet firm no threat to Airbus, Boeing: state media
  • China unveils new jumbo jet company: report
  • NASA And JAXA To Conduct Joint Research On Sonic Boom Modeling
  • Analysis: Can airplanes go green?

  • UN concludes Russia shot down Georgian spy plane
  • AAI Shadow UAS Reaches 300000 Flight Hours
  • Boeing Flies A160T Hummingbird Unmanned Rotorcraft For 18 Hours
  • Northrop Grumman Showcases UAV Capabilities At Berlin ILA Air Show 2008

  • PTSD cases surged in 2007: US military
  • US to withdraw 4,000 troops from Iraq
  • Analysis: Petraeus upbeat on Iraq
  • Bush: early Iraq withdrawal would be 'catastrophic'

  • Landmark cluster bomb ban agreed by 111 countries
  • Titanium doors to increase soldier safety
  • Thompson Files: Why America needs the F-22
  • Northrop Grumman and Central Florida Join Forces For Next-Gen Optics And Photonics

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2007 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement