Draft treaty on cluster bombs agreed
Wellington - A majority of delegates attending an international conference on cluster bombs in the New Zealand capital Wellington have backed a draft treaty banning the weapons. New Zealand's Minister for Disarmament Phill Goff said 82 of the 122 countries represented at the conference had signed the draft, known as the Wellington Declaration. Minister Goff said he hoped that a final version of the treaty would be approved at a follow-up conference, scheduled to be held in Dublin in May.
Cluster bombs are large devices that can be dropped from aircraft or fired in missiles or artillery shells and contain hundreds of small bomblets. Many of the small bombs fail to detonate when initially fired but go off later, killing and maiming innocent civilians.
The main manufacturers of cluster munitions, China, Russia and the US, are opposed to a ban. Israel used them during its 2006 offensive against Hizbollah in southern Lebanon. The Netherlands suspended their use last year.
Von: www.radionetherlands.nl, 22.02.2008