Ban 'delighted' at adoption of new cluster bomb convention

30 May 2008 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the adoption of the Convention on Cluster Munitions in Dublin, and encouraged Member States to ratify the new agreement.

“I am delighted that the strong calls to address the humanitarian impact of cluster munitions have been answered with the adoption today of this new Convention,” Mr. Ban said in a statement issued by his spokesperson.

“I welcome this successful outcome of the Dublin Diplomatic Conference, and congratulate everyone who contributed to the process,” he added.

Delegations from 111 States have agreed on the text of the new international convention, which bans the use of cluster munitions. At the opening of the Diplomatic Conference on Cluster Munitions 11 days ago in Dublin, Mr. Ban said in a statement that the devices are “inherently inaccurate and often malfunction,” and they pose “a very real danger to civilians, both at the time of use and long after conflicts have ended.”

The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) also reported that cluster munitions have been used for more than six decades, and have contaminated countries such as Laos, Viet Nam and Cambodia for over 30 years, while more recently they have been used in Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq and southern Lebanon.

Some 40 per cent of victims are children who are injured or killed long after direct hostilities have drawn to a close, the agency added.

The Secretary-General said today that, “A broad-based coalition of States, international organizations and civil society has brought about a new international standard that will enhance the protection of civilians, strengthen human rights and improve prospects for development.”

“The entire United Nations system stands ready to support and assist States in implementing their treaty obligations,” he added. “I therefore encourage States to sign and ratify this important agreement without delay, and I look forward to its rapid entry into force.”


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