Conference on cluster bombs opens in Dublin

Diplomats from around the world are gathering in Dublin for a conference that aims to secure a treaty banning the use of cluster bombs. The proposed ban has the support of more than 100 countries.


Humanitarian organisations say a binding treaty is now urgent because these weapons cause unacceptable harm to civilians. But some of the biggest producers of cluster weapons, including the US, China and Russia, are against the move.

On the eve of the conference, Pope Benedict expressed hope that it will be possible to reach a strong and credible international agreement. He said it is necessary to heal the errors of the past and avoid them happening again in the future. Pope Benedict prayed for the victims of the cluster munitions, for their families and for those who will join the conference too, wishing that it will be successful.

Cluster bombs have been used in countries including Cambodia, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Lebanon. The initial weapon scatters thousands of smaller bombs across a wide area, but these bomblets can fail to explode, leaving a deadly legacy as civilians return to their homes.

Von: 19.5.2008,

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