Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Good News: International Treaty to Ban Cluster Bombs

It seems that though I try to take note of hopeful trends, peace actions, reconciliations, witnessing, etc., there can be a baleful tone to the proceedings on Behind the Lines. Here's some good news: cluster bombs can go the way of the dodo. Clusters, go handicap yourselves!

30 May 2008


Contact: Dr. George Cody, Executive Director
Phone: 202-223-9333 Email: atfl@atfl.org

(Washington DC). The American Task Force for Lebanon (ATFL) applauds the 110 countries that reached agreement in Dublin, Ireland, on Wednesday, May 28, to ban cluster bombs. We congratulate the United Kingdom, a staunch NATO ally, for its turnabout and now fully supporting the treaty. Lebanon is a signatory and staunch supporter of the treaty.

ATFL is proud that one of its principal objectives in the ATFL "Action Plan: Stop The Carnage, Ban The Cluster Bomb!" campaign has been achieved. Since December 2006 ATFL has called for an international treaty banning cluster weapons and has specifically been urging the United States to support an international treaty to ban the use, transfer and sale of cluster bombs.

Dr. Cody, ATFL Executive Director, commended the parties instrumental in making this treaty a reality. He said "ATFL salutes the 110 countries that made this agreement possible and urges the United States to join the community of nations and ban these weapons." Dr. Cody further stated "ATFL commends Senator Diane Feinstein, Senator Patrick Leahy, Representative Darrell Issa, Representative James McGovern, and other Members of Congress, for their bipartisan leadership on this humanitarian issue."

This treaty is the culmination of a process that began in February 2007 when 46 governments met in Oslo, Norway to endorse a call by the Norwegian government to conclude a new, legally binding instrument in 2008. The purpose of the treaty was to prohibit the use, production, transfer and stockpiling of cluster munitions that cause unacceptable harm to civilians and provides adequate resources to assist survivors and clear contaminated areas.

In the draft Convention in Dublin at the diplomatic conference for the adoption of a Convention on cluster munitions, the State Parties to the Convention have agreed "...that each State Party undertakes never under any circumstances to use cluster munitions, develop, produce, otherwise acquire, stockpile, retain or transfer to anyone, directly or indirectly, cluster munitions or assist, encourage or induce anyone to engage in any activity prohibited to a State Party under the Convention...."

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