Cluster Bombs are a particularly vile weapon. Murderous on impact, they remain lethal long after fighting ends.
In recent years, there have been moves to ban the use of cluster bombs. Successive Australian Governments have played some role in this. The Peace Organization of Australia explains…
“In May 2008 the text for a treaty banning cluster munitions was concluded in Dublin, Ireland, at a meeting of 111 states. The treaty bans the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of cluster munitions and places obligations on countries to clear affected areas, assist victims and destroy stockpiles. It is the most significant treaty of its kind since the ban on anti-personnel landmines in 1997.
Like the Mine Ban Treaty, this new treaty is likely to have a powerful effect in stigmatising cluster bombs, so that even those countries that do not sign the treaty will not be able to use them without being subject to international condemnation.
The Peace Organisation of Australia urges the Australian Government to sign and ratify the Cluster Munitions Convention when it opens for signature in December.”
Developing international momentum for an effective ban on cluster bombs has been like a twin-track obstacle race for (genuine) proponents.
The most obvious problem were States that simply didn’t show up at Dublin. These include Russia and China, India and Pakistan. But the USA and Israel are also on this list. They are nations that currently refuse to sign any kind of ban.