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Ban Cluster Bombs


Dear friends,

Ahmad picked up a bright metal object in a park in Lebanon where he was celebrating his 5th birthday. It was an unexploded cluster bomblet, which blew up in his face, killing him slowly in front of his family.

Three years ago, public pressure pushed through a ban of these cruel bombs. But now the US is lobbying nations to quietly sign a new law that allows their use — signing the death warrant for thousands of other children. Most countries are still on the fence on how to vote. Only if we raise the alarm across the world can we shame our governments to block this deadly decision.

Positions are being drawn up now. We only have four days until countries meet to send our leaders a clear message: stand up for the cluster bombs ban and keep our children safe. Click below to sign the petition, and forward this email to everyone you know — our petition will be delivered directly to delegates at the Geneva conference:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/cluster_bombs_ii_b/?tta

Thousands of people — mainly children — have been maimed or killed by these bombs. When they are fired, they spray small “bomblets” over a wide area, many of which fail to explode. Years later, people disturb them in their fields or school playgrounds not knowing what they are, and they explode.

In 2008, over half of the world’s governments outlawed these weapons by joining the Convention on Cluster Munitions. But now, shockingly, countries like France, Germany, Italy, Sweden and the UK, who all signed the Convention, are under pressure from the US, China and Russia to run rings round the ban by signing a separate agreement that would allow them to use cluster munitions. Only Norway, Mexico, Austria and a few others are fighting this horror.

Negotiators at the Convention on Conventional Weapons meet in Geneva next week. Most governments don’t really want this protocol and have not said which way they will vote, but they are under severe pressure from the US to comply and will only object if the global public persuades them.

There’s no time to lose — the conference starts on Monday. Let’s call on our governments to reject this deadly and cynical US ruse. Click below to sign the petition and forward this email widely:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/cluster_bombs_ii_b/?tta

Cluster bombs and land mines were banned because citizens raised the alarm across the world — with victims and survivors leading the way. For their sakes and to ensure no more lives are lost, let’s not allow these cruel weapons back and join together now to demand a more peaceful world.

With hope,

Alex, Stephanie, Alice, Ricken, Laura, Nicholas, Wissam, and the whole Avaaz team More information:

Fourth Review Conference of the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Weapons:
http://www.unog.ch/80256EE600585943/%28httpPages%29/43FD798E7707CE5AC12578B20032B630?OpenDocument

UK backs bid to overturn ban on cluster bombs (The Independent):
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/uk-backs-bid-to-overturn-ban-on-cluster-bombs-6259139.html

CCW – the potential to cause more humanitarian harm than good (Stop Cluster Munitions.org):
http://www.stopclustermunitions.org/ccw/

The Past and Future of the CCW (Arms Control.org):
http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2011_03/LookingBack

Leading article: No backsliding on cluster bombs (The Independent):
http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/leading-articles/leading-article-no-backsliding-on-cluster-bombs-6259009.html

Raed Mokaled and the story of Ahmad (Handicap International):
http://www.handicapinternational.be/en/raed-mokaled

November 10, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

2 Comments »

  1. Unexploded ordinance is a hazard in any war zone, cluster bomlets just get the lions share of criticism. Most people don’t have a clue of what a CB is, they just hear the name and get all indignant. A Cluster Bom is a small bomblet that is carried in a larger container, the bomb shaped container is dropped and at a predetermined altitude splits open and the smaller munitions are ejected.In a combaqt zone these are effective over a larger area. Their use in cities are not as effective, but in opoen areas, such as an AlQueada camp they do the job very well, Rule of thumb in a war zone. If it isn’t yours, don’t touch it.

    Comment by billwa | November 11, 2011 | Reply

    • I’m sure that is gratifying to the countless children etc. who have been maimed by these devices. The main issue is that there has been and still is an indiscriminate use of these devices, mainly by America in civilian areas. More civilians that soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan and Iraq than soldiers; collateral damage is the quaint term used. If “terrorist” groups and I use that term loosely kill civilians it is murder yet when recognised governments do it, it is collateral damage and just hard luck.

      Comment by summertime75 | November 11, 2011 | Reply


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