Council of Europe calls for total ban on cluster bombs

29 May 2009

Council of Europe calls for total ban on cluster bombs

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) is calling for a total ban on the production and use of cluster bombs. A resolution to that effect won the unanimous support of parliamentarians from forty-seven member states gathered in Strasbourg. Even the Russian delegation voted in favour, despite the refusal to date of the Russian government to sign the convention banning cluster weaponry. SP Senator Tiny Kox, chair of the United European Left (GUE) in PACE, believes that a breakthrough is now possible in the struggle for a worldwide ban.

Tiny Kox“More than a hundred countries, including the Netherlands, have signed the convention," Senator Kox pointed out. "The Russian vote appears to offer an opening, as does President Obama's attitude to the issue. The SP took the lead in the Netherlands fighting for a ban, and now almost everyone shares this opinion. The issue can now be tackled. In the past the use of mustard gas turned out not only to be inhuman but also counter-productive. The same applies to cluster bombs, which don't kill soldiers: 98% of fatalities resulting from these weapons are civilian deaths, which is both inhuman and ineffective. It would be a tremendous achievement if we could now take this major step in disarmament. The Dutch government can, as a result of this vote, take the lead globally in demanding a ban on cluster bombs.”

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