Thursday, June 12, 2008

Ban Cluster bombs get out clause?

Treaty piles on pressure to make cluster bombs smarter treaty piles on pressure to make cluster bombs smarter Can you build a "safe" cluster bomb? That is the question facing military...countries in Dublin, Ireland, last week. Cluster bombs scatter many small submunitions, or...

Cluster bomb get out clauseThe non-export version of JSOW is a cluster bomb. Australia has signed on to the new cluster bomb treaty but as New Scientist (7 June p25 Letting Go of Cluster Bombs) points out the cluster bomb treaty has some interesting clauses one of which is that high accuracy fragmentation warheads can be seen as meeting the guidelines of the treaty that allow for cluster bombs which engage single targets rather than a whole area.

Becky Maynard, No More Landmines, 4th Floor, Charles House, 375 Kensington High Street, London, W14 8QH.
Tel: + 44 (0)20 7471 5580 writes to say an enormous thank you for signing the No More Landmines’ petition calling on governments to ban cluster bombs. On May 31st the final text for this groundbreaking and comprehensive new treaty to ban cluster bombs was provisionally agreed in Dublin by the majority of the world's stockpilers, producers and past users of cluster munitions.

The fact that some of the key governments who were pushing for multiple exceptions, transition periods and loopholes to retain stockpiles have adopted the text proposed in Dublin is a real testament to those who stood up to say that they oppose these indiscriminate weapons. Your voice was joined by those of hundreds of thousands of others around the world and made a real difference to the creation of the most significant humanitarian treaty of the decade.

At the Dublin conference campaigners heard first hand of the terrible injuries that cluster bombs cause to innocent civilians. Soraj Ghulam Habib, pictured right, from the Herat Province of Afghanistan was only 10 years old when he lost both legs in a cluster bomb accident. Soraj said that cluster munitions destroyed his dreams - he could not go to school, he couldn’t play with his friends, people laughed at him and called him a beggar. Now 17 years old and back in education, Soraj will spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair but is full of hope that this treaty will completely stigmatize the use of these weapons and that future generations of children will not suffer the same fate as him.

The treaty will be opened for signature in Oslo in December this year but will not come into force until 30 countries have signed and ratified. You can still make a big difference and help to keep the pressure on governments to sign and ratify the treaty as early as possible by signing the People’s Treaty. This is a petition that individuals and groups across the world will be signing to make sure that as many states as possible sign the new treaty from 2-3 December 2008. Just visit if you would like to sign.

RAAF, JSOW and InteroperabilityBy admin ... is treaty consistent, even though Washington didn’t sign it. I am sure Canberra would accept such an interpretation, which means that the effect of this arms control provision is to outlaw cluster munitions for low technology states.Science & Global Security -

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