Liberals Call on Conservative Government to Support Effort to Prohibit Cluster Munitions
Ottawa- The Conservative government must back the Norwegian-led effort to develop an international treaty to prohibit the use of cluster munitions, the Honourable Ujjal Dosanjh, Liberal Foreign Affairs critic, the Honourable Bryon Wilfert, Chair of the Liberal caucus committee on Canada and the World and the Honourable Keith Martin, Vice-Chair of the caucus committee on Canada and the World said today.
A three-day gathering is set to get underway in Oslo on February 21, 2007, with expected attendance by countries from around the world. While Canada has finally agreed to send a representative to the meeting, the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister still refuse to openly support the concept of an international ban.
"As I did during Question Period last week, I urge the Prime Minister to get off the fence and show the kind of leadership that the world expects from Canada," said Mr. Wilfert. "Attending the meeting is simply not enough. Canada must be at the forefront of the effort. We should be using our international reputation to encourage countries to restrain the use of cluster munitions in conflicts instead of sitting on the sidelines and watching while other countries make progress on the issue."
"Canada has always been a leader on efforts to ban weapons that present significant risk to innocent civilians," said Mr. Dosanjh. "The Norwegians are using the Ottawa Convention for the banning of anti-personnel landmines as a model for this effort. It would be an international embarrassment for Canada not to support this effort."
"By Canada joining the growing international consensus to develop an international treaty ban we would again be taking a leadership role on the protection of the rights of innocent individuals," said Mr. Martin. "Instead, we once again see the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister squandering a chance to truly represent Canadian values on the world stage."
Von: 09.02.2007, http://www.liberal.ca