Global cluster bomb ban comes into force

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Cluster bomb victim

A new global treaty banning cluster munitions has come into force.

The Convention on Cluster Munitions bans the stockpiling, use and transfer of virtually all existing cluster bombs, and also provides for the clearing up of unexploded munitions.

It has been adopted by 108 states, of which 38 have ratified it.

First developed during World War II, cluster bombs contain a number of smaller bomblets designed to cover a large area and deter an advancing army.

Campaigners have hailed the treaty as the most significant disarmament and humanitarian treaty for a decade.

“This is a triumph of humanitarian values over a cruel and unjust weapon,” Thomas Nash, co-ordinator of the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC), told the BBC.

“At a time when concern over civilian deaths in conflict is in the news, this treaty stands out as a clear example of what governments must do to protect civilians and redress the harm already caused by cluster bombs.”

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said: “This new instrument is a major advance for the global disarmament and humanitarian agendas, and will help us to counter the widespread insecurity and suffering caused by these terrible weapons, particularly among civilians and children.”

The agreement “highlights not only the world’s collective revulsion at these abhorrent weapons, but also the power of collaboration among governments, civil society and the United Nations to change attitudes and policies on a threat faced by all humankind,” Mr Ban said.

Civilian victims

Cluster munitions are weapons dropped by aircraft or fired from the ground, which release submunitions or “bomblets” over a wide area.

If the shrapnel-filled bomblets fail to detonate on impact they can remain active for years. Some are unusually shaped or brightly coloured, making them attractive to children.

The charity Handicap International estimates that 98% of cluster bomb victims are civilians and nearly one-third are children.

“The main problem with cluster bombs is that they kill too many civilians,” says Mr Nash.

“They don’t discriminate between soldiers and civilians in populated areas and so many of them remain unexploded after an attack that they contaminate areas and kill and injure civilians for years.

“They’re one of the worst conventional weapons in the world today.”

The Convention on Cluster Munitions prohibits the production, use, stockpiling and transfer of the weapons.

It sets deadlines for the destruction of stockpiles and the clearance of contaminated land.

Significantly, it also requires countries affected by cluster bombs to help victims of the weapons.

Israel is believed to have dropped 4m bomblets onto southern Lebanon in the last days of the war

The campaign to ban cluster munitions gained momentum after the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

The UN estimates that Israel dropped 4m bomblets onto southern Lebanon during the last three days of the war, when a ceasefire had already been agreed.

Israel insists its use of cluster munitions in Lebanon was in accordance with international humanitarian law and says most were fired at open and uninhabited areas used by Hezbollah fighters.

“Lebanon was the turning point,” says Jeff Abramson from the Arms Control Association, an advocacy group based in Washington.

“It was the international outcry in 2006 that prompted the Norwegian government to start the negotiation process that has led to this new treaty.”

US resistance

But many of the world’s major military powers – including the US, Russia and China – are not signatories to the treaty.

The US administration insists cluster munitions are “legitimate weapons” with “clear military utility in combat”.

It argues that cluster munitions actually cause less harm to civilians than some other weapons.

The US is taking steps to ensure that any cluster munitions used after 2018 have a failure rate of less than 1%.

Despite the absence of important military nations, campaigners believe the Convention on Cluster Munitions will make the use of the weapons unacceptable in future conflicts.

“It’s instructive to look at the 1997 Ottawa Treaty banning anti-personnel landmines,” says the Head of Oxfam’s Control Arms Campaign, Anna MacDonald.

“The United States didn’t sign up to that either but it hasn’t produced or used landmines since the treaty came into force.”

“This treaty will create a new norm – it will stigmatise the weapons,” agrees Mr Nash.

“Twenty-two out of the 28 countries in Nato, including the UK, have joined up to this ban. Practically, morally and in some cases legally it’s going to be extremely difficult for any country to even contemplate using cluster munitions in future.”

1. The cluster bomb, in this case a CBU-87, is dropped from a plane and can fly about nine miles before releasing its load of about 200 bomblets.

2. The canister starts to spin and opens at an altitude between 1,000m and 100m, spraying the bomblets across a wide area.

3. Each bomblet is the size of a drink can and contains hundreds of metal pieces. When it explodes, it can cause deadly injuries up to 25m away.

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12 responses to “Global cluster bomb ban comes into force”

  1. tony ali Avatar

    tarie ya aydami look at the shiite young boy in the picture and tell me you don’t feel sorry for him.

    i’m durzi and my heart bleeds when i see this. how is this his fault coming into our planet brand new.

    all hizbollah did in 2006 was kidnap only 2 soldiers. was i mad at them? yes. did i hate them for it? yes.

    but when israel bombed the WHOLE of lebanon while i was there in Alley watching the bombs dropping and then israeli planes blowing the bridges and lying and saying on the news they were blowing up trucks filled with weapons at the border, i joined hizbollah in unity as a lebanese cos it was no longer hizbollah against israel. it became lebanon against israel. remember my FAMILY message.

    even my canadian wife commented when we were going to syria and saw the trucks, they were food trucks man. not weapons. she hates israel cos she could see on CNN how they’re saying they have the right to defend themsleves and she asked against what?

    lebanon has no army and they could have killed the HA member they were showing on tv shooting off a shoulder held missile but it serves their purpose. they show him shooting it off. israel knew it wasn’t after HA. it just doesnt want its neighbors to be strong. it fears strong neighbors.

    when nasrallah apologised on tv and admitted his mistake i moved on but i still wanted the government to place more guidelines and restrictions on their actions which has happened.

    HA acted with complete restraint when the flotilla incident happened and they also had restraint during all the pokes and jabs from israeli threats and war practices and whatever. so my silent prayer has so far worked.

    4 million cluster bombs (thats the whole population of lebanon i think) in a small tiny area on lebanon.

    mish 7araam this boy who has dreams and ambitions like any other boy on our planet to live like this for the rest of his life?

    isnt it sad that our lebanese people are suffering in our own country? elak why should HA allow anyone in their turf when lebanese generals were serving israelis tea. tfeh!

    i guess now the honorable princess diana (MSRIP) is happy as she used to lobby hard against land mines and such.

    this is a very good victory but will israel listen? they dropped the outlawed sulphur bombs on palestinians. do they care?

    when will israel hand over the maps to the lebanese government so we can make our country safe.

    too bad the USA didnt sign to it but then again its owned by israel so too bad for USA image worldwide.

    though i dont accept nor do i support weapons, i can see why HA is reluctanct to giving up its weapons at this stage. it would be suicidal for the whole of lebanon so again, i agree with the president when he said now is not the time.

    to hell with israel and long live lebanon and ALL its people.

    1. Mohamad Ali Avatar
      Mohamad Ali

      Your words are spot on Tony. I commend you.

    2. Mohamad Ali Avatar
      Mohamad Ali

      Your words are spot on Tony. I commend you.

    3. Tarie AL fanarie Avatar
      Tarie AL fanarie

      Ya Tony I would be inhuman if i don’t feel terrible for this poor boy. But again we try to stop hezbollah from hurting lebanese and we don’t care if they hurt israelis. All i was said before that israel has asked hezbollah on several occassions give us our soldiers back and we won’t bomb you. I agree their bombing was ruthless. But hezbollah was throwing rockets everyone on Israel. What if their rockets were pretty accurate and deadly and you see a poor israeli boy with no arms and legs? how would feel about it also? i am not sympathsizing with them for God’s sake. I am just saying hezbollah and syria lay off lebanon. Where was Syria their beloved sister not helping lebanon and let it get bombed by israel? the whole world was watching israel bombing Lebanon and so did our dear sister syria. why on earth the syrian were so good at bombing lebanese towns and torturing our people and draggin them to jail where we never saw them again? why is the double standard here? what has syria to you average lebanese done good for Lebanon? hezbollah i can’t blame for loving syria since they have supported them in every way they can to fight their battle with israel. But when did the syrian fire a cannon at israel when israel struck lebanon? didn’t the syrian burn salim Loisee the Hwadath editor his hands because he was writing anti syrians in his magazine? what about shooting Taha hussein in South Beirut the famous Shiite writer also because he was also criticizing the syrian presense in lebanon. My cousin neighbor in the north get his penis cut off and stuffed in his mouth because he was opposing the syrian presence. You and hezbollah want to tell me that its okay to kiss and make up with syria and syria is good for lebanon? since when? the S.O.B just left lebanon last week and just 2 days ago he announced from Damascus that war could happen anytime soon. And we all know just what happened today. I am not favoring israel here and i support the lebanese army no matter what. But israel said it has ariel shots of who started the shooting. Now let’s suppose it showed without any provocations that the lebanese army shot at them first? what is your reaction here if you saw these shots? Again I am not siding with israel but what if these pictures showing lebanese army shooting at israel? then who really controls the army in the South? hezbollah my friend.. Why suddenly Nassrallah coming with proof that israel killed hariri and his associates after 5 years of syria and then later hezbollah of committing the crime? why suddenly he has proof? why didn’t he spare himself and everyone the guessing game if he had solid proof? I bring the same issue again? why the cleanup of the bomb site? why tony?

    4. Tarie AL fanarie Avatar
      Tarie AL fanarie

      Ya Tony I would be inhuman if i don’t feel terrible for this poor boy. But again we try to stop hezbollah from hurting lebanese and we don’t care if they hurt israelis. All i was said before that israel has asked hezbollah on several occassions give us our soldiers back and we won’t bomb you. I agree their bombing was ruthless. But hezbollah was throwing rockets everyone on Israel. What if their rockets were pretty accurate and deadly and you see a poor israeli boy with no arms and legs? how would feel about it also? i am not sympathsizing with them for God’s sake. I am just saying hezbollah and syria lay off lebanon. Where was Syria their beloved sister not helping lebanon and let it get bombed by israel? the whole world was watching israel bombing Lebanon and so did our dear sister syria. why on earth the syrian were so good at bombing lebanese towns and torturing our people and draggin them to jail where we never saw them again? why is the double standard here? what has syria to you average lebanese done good for Lebanon? hezbollah i can’t blame for loving syria since they have supported them in every way they can to fight their battle with israel. But when did the syrian fire a cannon at israel when israel struck lebanon? didn’t the syrian burn salim Loisee the Hwadath editor his hands because he was writing anti syrians in his magazine? what about shooting Taha hussein in South Beirut the famous Shiite writer also because he was also criticizing the syrian presense in lebanon. My cousin neighbor in the north get his penis cut off and stuffed in his mouth because he was opposing the syrian presence. You and hezbollah want to tell me that its okay to kiss and make up with syria and syria is good for lebanon? since when? the S.O.B just left lebanon last week and just 2 days ago he announced from Damascus that war could happen anytime soon. And we all know just what happened today. I am not favoring israel here and i support the lebanese army no matter what. But israel said it has ariel shots of who started the shooting. Now let’s suppose it showed without any provocations that the lebanese army shot at them first? what is your reaction here if you saw these shots? Again I am not siding with israel but what if these pictures showing lebanese army shooting at israel? then who really controls the army in the South? hezbollah my friend.. Why suddenly Nassrallah coming with proof that israel killed hariri and his associates after 5 years of syria and then later hezbollah of committing the crime? why suddenly he has proof? why didn’t he spare himself and everyone the guessing game if he had solid proof? I bring the same issue again? why the cleanup of the bomb site? why tony?

  2. tony ali Avatar

    tarie ya aydami look at the shiite young boy in the picture and tell me you don’t feel sorry for him.

    i’m durzi and my heart bleeds when i see this. how is this his fault coming into our planet brand new.

    all hizbollah did in 2006 was kidnap only 2 soldiers. was i mad at them? yes. did i hate them for it? yes.

    but when israel bombed the WHOLE of lebanon while i was there in Alley watching the bombs dropping and then israeli planes blowing the bridges and lying and saying on the news they were blowing up trucks filled with weapons at the border, i joined hizbollah in unity as a lebanese cos it was no longer hizbollah against israel. it became lebanon against israel. remember my FAMILY message.

    even my canadian wife commented when we were going to syria and saw the trucks, they were food trucks man. not weapons. she hates israel cos she could see on CNN how they’re saying they have the right to defend themsleves and she asked against what?

    lebanon has no army and they could have killed the HA member they were showing on tv shooting off a shoulder held missile but it serves their purpose. they show him shooting it off. israel knew it wasn’t after HA. it just doesnt want its neighbors to be strong. it fears strong neighbors.

    when nasrallah apologised on tv and admitted his mistake i moved on but i still wanted the government to place more guidelines and restrictions on their actions which has happened.

    HA acted with complete restraint when the flotilla incident happened and they also had restraint during all the pokes and jabs from israeli threats and war practices and whatever. so my silent prayer has so far worked.

    4 million cluster bombs (thats the whole population of lebanon i think) in a small tiny area on lebanon.

    mish 7araam this boy who has dreams and ambitions like any other boy on our planet to live like this for the rest of his life?

    isnt it sad that our lebanese people are suffering in our own country? elak why should HA allow anyone in their turf when lebanese generals were serving israelis tea. tfeh!

    i guess now the honorable princess diana (MSRIP) is happy as she used to lobby hard against land mines and such.

    this is a very good victory but will israel listen? they dropped the outlawed sulphur bombs on palestinians. do they care?

    when will israel hand over the maps to the lebanese government so we can make our country safe.

    too bad the USA didnt sign to it but then again its owned by israel so too bad for USA image worldwide.

    though i dont accept nor do i support weapons, i can see why HA is reluctanct to giving up its weapons at this stage. it would be suicidal for the whole of lebanon so again, i agree with the president when he said now is not the time.

    to hell with israel and long live lebanon and ALL its people.

  3. tony ali Avatar

    tarie i would love to sit with you and bring a mallet with me cos you’re so think that you do need a good bang on your head bro.

    you said HA and syria lay off lebanon. dude, like seriously, do you have bipolar? do you love repeaying yourself? do you have ADHD?

    HA is lebanese ya a3ma. lay off lebanon? they live in lebanon you retard.

    Syria opened an embassy in lebanon so pick a new song man. why do you keep harping about the past. the past is dead man. i was in lebanon during te syrian blockades. my uncle was taken into a syrian tent and he was so close to not coming back out. move on. we all suffered and i don’t need you to keep reminding me.

    i love our path at this present and if you understand what god is all about, you will know when to move on cos the god energy is not a stagnant energy. it is continuously moving and changing by using many facilities that he has given us such as compassion, empathy, sympathy, forgiveness, insight into others and into the self, love, closure, unity, construction and hope.

    many of us choose to cling onto the negative ones that he also gave us cos negative energy for the weak gives them the illusion of strength which utilizes different facilities such as irrational behavior, revenge, hate, destruction, grudge and ill will. one might think that one is strong when using these but when one walks away from harms way and sings, the gifted among us feel an immense power for being able to do such things.

    one guy owed me $650 one time for 2 months. he called me one time and he was sitting there joking with me and i confronted him about the $650 that he has been owing me.

    he got really angry and told me to go to his house cos he ws gonna beatme up. i said okay, i will be there in 10 minutes and you we can talk in my car as per HIS instructions. i picked him up and he kept yelling and yelling and at the end, i asked if he was done, and i simply asked him if he was gonna pay me or not.

    he got out of his car and actually told me to WATCH MY BACK. i left and while driving off, i told God Almighty yo listen my dear father/mother/everything i will relinquish my ownership to the money as i will leave it up to you to chase him with your stick.

    3 months later i received a phone call from the monkey my EX-FRIEND. he called apologising as he explained to me how bad he was and he was still promising to pay me and i asked what was the reason of his phone call.

    he told me that he was on a construction site and he wasnt paying attention and the crane hit him in the back and he has to go for surgery.

    i told him good luck and looked up to god and said wow, he told me to watch my back and he should’ve been watching his.

    the moral of the story is all these nurderers, killers and whoever you’re so worked up about release them. their day will come and their karma is waiting for them. allow for new beginnings to enter your life.

    allow for change to take you in new directions. allow for positive energy to lift you from your stagnant spot.

    since i’ve been in touch with lebanese politics thanks to ya libnan web site, i have never seen a whiny buncg of expats who do more complaining than embracing. not only that, but, boy are there so many history teachers here that love to throw names and incidents – some as far back as 35 years that somehow seem to be bugging them and they’re blaming lebanon’s problems on the past.

    our problems are now and we need to catch up with our MPs who have finally found the answer to lebanon’s survival and that is UNITY. one people one label – lebanese under many religions and many thought processes.

    who the hell is taha hussein and why do you like naming so many names? what did he mean to you man? i dont even know who this guy is and i still say allah yir7amoo.

    salim’s burning of his hand? wasnt tht like in the 70s? or 80s? get out of your head man. we’re in the year 2010 now.

    nasrallah doesnt just suddenly have proof. politics ya zaki is all about timing. look at how the US politics work. they give enough stuff to israel and pas just enough laws before elections to get them elections.

    do you think collecting evidence is easy? how do you know whats been going on with all the captured spies? are they being tortured to give the evidence they have? i hope so. nasralla is lebanese dude and he is what he is and dresses the way he does. thats ehat lebanons about. we preach freedom yet we question what doesn’t look like us. if he aint wearing jeans then he aint lebanese right?

    you are always siding with israel and you really are a pain man. the picture speaks a thousand words. i read another article that said israel stated that the tree was hitting the fence and triggering off the motion detectors or something like that.

    why didn’t the idiots notify the UNIFIL and asked them to remove it? thats what that stupid designer loser outfit is for. but noooooooooooo, israel has to get a crane with absolute disrespect to lebanese sovereignty and go over the fence.

    you talk about the kidnapping of the soldiers again like a broken record. under the geneva convention an exchange of political prisoners is supposed to take place so HA was actually trying to avert was since it heard israel was gonna strike. anyway, this is a nroken record and nasrallah apologised and i as his lebanese brother accepted.

    so you need to accept and look at the goodness thats coming out of this UNITY instead of harping like a little girl about the past.

    GET OVER IT.

    1. Sydney, Australia Avatar
      Sydney, Australia

      Tony – you are a legend bro!

    2. Sydney, Australia Avatar
      Sydney, Australia

      Tony – you are a legend bro!

    3. Mohamad Ali Avatar
      Mohamad Ali

      Again Tony, you are spot on. Just calm down and try and not let others get the better of you.

    4. Mohamad Ali Avatar
      Mohamad Ali

      Again Tony, you are spot on. Just calm down and try and not let others get the better of you.

  4. tony ali Avatar

    tarie i would love to sit with you and bring a mallet with me cos you’re so think that you do need a good bang on your head bro.

    you said HA and syria lay off lebanon. dude, like seriously, do you have bipolar? do you love repeaying yourself? do you have ADHD?

    HA is lebanese ya a3ma. lay off lebanon? they live in lebanon you retard.

    Syria opened an embassy in lebanon so pick a new song man. why do you keep harping about the past. the past is dead man. i was in lebanon during te syrian blockades. my uncle was taken into a syrian tent and he was so close to not coming back out. move on. we all suffered and i don’t need you to keep reminding me.

    i love our path at this present and if you understand what god is all about, you will know when to move on cos the god energy is not a stagnant energy. it is continuously moving and changing by using many facilities that he has given us such as compassion, empathy, sympathy, forgiveness, insight into others and into the self, love, closure, unity, construction and hope.

    many of us choose to cling onto the negative ones that he also gave us cos negative energy for the weak gives them the illusion of strength which utilizes different facilities such as irrational behavior, revenge, hate, destruction, grudge and ill will. one might think that one is strong when using these but when one walks away from harms way and sings, the gifted among us feel an immense power for being able to do such things.

    one guy owed me $650 one time for 2 months. he called me one time and he was sitting there joking with me and i confronted him about the $650 that he has been owing me.

    he got really angry and told me to go to his house cos he ws gonna beatme up. i said okay, i will be there in 10 minutes and you we can talk in my car as per HIS instructions. i picked him up and he kept yelling and yelling and at the end, i asked if he was done, and i simply asked him if he was gonna pay me or not.

    he got out of his car and actually told me to WATCH MY BACK. i left and while driving off, i told God Almighty yo listen my dear father/mother/everything i will relinquish my ownership to the money as i will leave it up to you to chase him with your stick.

    3 months later i received a phone call from the monkey my EX-FRIEND. he called apologising as he explained to me how bad he was and he was still promising to pay me and i asked what was the reason of his phone call.

    he told me that he was on a construction site and he wasnt paying attention and the crane hit him in the back and he has to go for surgery.

    i told him good luck and looked up to god and said wow, he told me to watch my back and he should’ve been watching his.

    the moral of the story is all these nurderers, killers and whoever you’re so worked up about release them. their day will come and their karma is waiting for them. allow for new beginnings to enter your life.

    allow for change to take you in new directions. allow for positive energy to lift you from your stagnant spot.

    since i’ve been in touch with lebanese politics thanks to ya libnan web site, i have never seen a whiny buncg of expats who do more complaining than embracing. not only that, but, boy are there so many history teachers here that love to throw names and incidents – some as far back as 35 years that somehow seem to be bugging them and they’re blaming lebanon’s problems on the past.

    our problems are now and we need to catch up with our MPs who have finally found the answer to lebanon’s survival and that is UNITY. one people one label – lebanese under many religions and many thought processes.

    who the hell is taha hussein and why do you like naming so many names? what did he mean to you man? i dont even know who this guy is and i still say allah yir7amoo.

    salim’s burning of his hand? wasnt tht like in the 70s? or 80s? get out of your head man. we’re in the year 2010 now.

    nasrallah doesnt just suddenly have proof. politics ya zaki is all about timing. look at how the US politics work. they give enough stuff to israel and pas just enough laws before elections to get them elections.

    do you think collecting evidence is easy? how do you know whats been going on with all the captured spies? are they being tortured to give the evidence they have? i hope so. nasralla is lebanese dude and he is what he is and dresses the way he does. thats ehat lebanons about. we preach freedom yet we question what doesn’t look like us. if he aint wearing jeans then he aint lebanese right?

    you are always siding with israel and you really are a pain man. the picture speaks a thousand words. i read another article that said israel stated that the tree was hitting the fence and triggering off the motion detectors or something like that.

    why didn’t the idiots notify the UNIFIL and asked them to remove it? thats what that stupid designer loser outfit is for. but noooooooooooo, israel has to get a crane with absolute disrespect to lebanese sovereignty and go over the fence.

    you talk about the kidnapping of the soldiers again like a broken record. under the geneva convention an exchange of political prisoners is supposed to take place so HA was actually trying to avert was since it heard israel was gonna strike. anyway, this is a nroken record and nasrallah apologised and i as his lebanese brother accepted.

    so you need to accept and look at the goodness thats coming out of this UNITY instead of harping like a little girl about the past.

    GET OVER IT.

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