Britain unites with smaller countries to block U.S. bid to legalise cluster bombs

The Guardian reports: A coalition of countries including Britain on Friday defeated an attempt by the US, Russia, China and Israel to get an international agreement approving the continued use of cluster bombs. The weapons, which have been used in Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon scatter “bomblets” over a wide area, maiming and killing civilians, notably children, long after they have been dropped and are banned under a 2008 convention which was adopted by the UK and in more than 100 countries. The US, refused to sign and in negotiations in Geneva, over the past two weeks pressed for a protocol to be added to a UN convention to provide legal cover for the continuing use of cluster munitions. But smaller countries, supported by agencies including Amnesty and Oxfam, refused to give way.

Thomas Nash, director of Article 36, a group which coordinated opposition to cluster munitions, said: “The rejection of this attempt to set up a weaker standard on cluster bombs shows that states can act on the basis of humanitarian imperatives and can prevail in the face of cynical pressure from other states”.

He added: “It shows that it is not only the US and other so called major powers that call the shots in international affairs, but that when small and medium sized countries work together with civil society and international organisations we can set the agenda and get results”.

The US was supported in the Geneva talks by other cluster bomb manufacturers – including Russia, China, Israel, India and Pakistan.

They were backed by countries which had signed the 2008 convention, including France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Australia, conference observers said.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

2 thoughts on “Britain unites with smaller countries to block U.S. bid to legalise cluster bombs

  1. Christopher Hoare

    The criminal societies here are well identified, their satellites who dutifully followed orders and backed their attempt have displayed their ability to be bought. More contempt to them.

    Britain amuses by its attempt to appear a leader of the moral nations. When will it come out in support of the nuclear weapons free zone in the Middle East, or stand up for the end of nonjudicial execution and arbitrary murder, or the abduction and rendition of arbitrarily profiled travellers? It must have picked this issue as an easy one to gain credits with.

  2. Norman

    Does it really matter whether or not the munitions are banned? The Countries who use them don’t abide with Geneva Convention laws anyway. The world is headed for a nuclear war at long last, because the empires are in their death throes, at least Russia & the U.S., China remains to be seen.

Comments are closed.