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Cluster-bomb ban enters into force on August 1
Published in Saudi Press Agency on 17 - 02 - 2010

The United Nations said today a convention
prohibiting the use of cluster munitions will become a binding
international law when it enters into force on August 1, according to dpa.
The Convention on Cluster Munitions will become effective because
Burkina Faso and Moldova ratified it on Tuesday, which brought to 30
the total number of ratifications required to make it binding on the
international community.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the entry into force of
the convention, saying that it will advance the global disarmament
agenda. He said the weapons are unreliable and inaccurate, and
continue to harm civilians long after a conflict is over.
"It impairs post-conflict recovery by making roads and land
inaccessible to farmers and air workers," he said.
A cluster bomb contains dozens of smaller explosives or bomblets.
When dropped from the air, the bomb explodes and spreads the bomblets
in mid-air to a vast area, causing injuries indiscriminately. Cluster
munitions have been used in the Middle East and Afghanistan.
A total of 104 countries have signed the Convention on Cluster
Munitions since it was adopted in Oslo in December, 2008. Of the 104
signers, 30 countries have ratified. But the signers did not include
major weapons manufacturing countries like China, Russia and the
United States.
The convention bans the use, production, stockpiling and transfer
of the the weapon and requires countries to clear affected areas
within 10 years and destroy stockpiles of the weapon within eight
years after they were deployed. The convention calls for assistance
to victims and affected communities.
The Convention of Cluster Munitions is the second most significant
international disarmament treaty since the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty
banning antipersonnel landmines.

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