Ban Ki-moon welcomes progress on cluster munitions

24 February 2007 – Reacting to a new declaration on cluster munitions, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed all progress to reduce the devastating humanitarian impact of these arms.

The Declaration signed on Friday by a group of nations attending the Oslo conference on Cluster Munitions envisages the conclusion next year of a new agreement banning cluster munitions that cause “unacceptable harm to civilians,” a spokesperson for Mr. Ban said in a statement.

“The Secretary-General welcomes all progress to reduce and ultimately eliminate the horrendous humanitarian effects of these weapons,” the statement said.

The Oslo process supplements intense efforts under way to address the “cruel impact of these weapons on civilians under the broad multilateral forum of States parties to the Inhumane Weapons Convention (CCW),” the spokesperson noted, adding that this forum will soon examine the reliability and the technical and design characteristics of cluster munitions with a view to minimizing their humanitarian impact.

“Both processes have the same humanitarian objective. In these circumstances they should not be seen as in competition with one another but as complementary and mutually reinforcing,” the statement stressed.

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