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May 28, 2008

International ban on cluster bombs \”very close\” says British Prime Minister

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

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British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has said that an international treaty, aimed at banning the use of cluster bombs is “very close” to being achieved. It is hoped that many other countries, both present at the talks and those not present, such as the United States and Canada will sign up to the treaty.

An American B-1b Lancer drops cluster bombs. Image: U.S. Air Force.

An American B-1b Lancer drops cluster bombs.
Image: U.S. Air Force.

Cluster bombs have been used in countries such as Cambodia, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Lebanon but more than 100 countries and multiple humanitarian organisations have supported the creation of the ban on their use, as they can remain dangerous for many years after being dropped and can cause “unacceptable harm to civilians”.

The claim comes after 10 days of talks in Dublin between 109 nations, however countries such as the United States, Russia and China oppose the treaty. A final draft is due to be shown to delegates at the talk this afternoon and could result in a deal “by the end of the week, possibly sooner” according the the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

The move by Mr Brown would also mean that the entire stockpile of cluster bombs owned by the UK would also be scrapped, costing taxpayers millions. However many countries such as Britain, Germany, Japan and Switzerland asked for 7 to 15 years to bring in the rules, however many humanitarian organisations have criticised this move.

Related news


Learn more about Cluster bomb and Cluster Munition Coalition on Wikipedia.
  • “Ban on cluster bombs ‘very close'”. BBC News Online, May 28, 2008
  • Peter O’Neil “Pressure on Canada as Britain backs cluster-bomb ban”., May 28, 2008
  • Michael Evans “Britain ready to sign cluster-bomb treaty”. The Times Online, May 28, 2008
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