Sunday, August 01, 2010

"Deadly 'toys' " {WMD's}: Ban In Effect, Not By The U.S.

Will we hear mention of this on the U.S. Sunday Morning talking heads shows, crickets! We the U.S. media be reporting on this, chances are extremely little if at all and most certainly not a front page story!

Cluster bomb ban comes into effect

The treaty prohibits signatories from using,
producing and stockpiling the weapons [AFP]

1 August 2010

A global treaty banning cluster munitions has gone into force.

The Convention on Cluster Munitions, which became binding international law on Sunday, prohibits the use, production and stockpiling of the weapon, which is blamed for killing and maiming tens of thousands of civilians.

Thomas Nash, from the Cluster Munition Coalition, a network of 200 civil society organisations, hailed the ban.

"This is the most significant piece of international humanitarian law to enter into force since the land mine ban 10 years ago. From this moment on, countries have a legal obligation to assist the victims," the Reuters news agency quoted him as saying.

The treaty requires signatories to destroy stockpiled cluster munitions within eight years, clear contaminated areas within 10 years and help affected communities and survivors.

The Convention on Cluster Bombs was first adopted in May 2008 and ratified by 37 states including Britain, France, Germany and Japan, which all have significant stocks.


The United States, the world's largest producer with the biggest stockpile of 800 million submunitions, has refused to sign the treaty so far, although it says it will ban the weapon from 2018. Continued

Cluster bomb ban treaty takes effect worldwide

Moldova’s Ministry of Defence destroys cluster munition stocks in a controlled explosion at Bulboaca training ground, 29 July 2010. Photo credit: Asle Huse/NPA

(London, 29 July 2010) – The Convention on Cluster Munitions takes effect on Sunday, 1 August 2010, when it becomes binding international law in countries around the world. In dozens of countries, campaigners from the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) will join UN agencies, governments and international organisations in events celebrating the swift entry into force of the most significant disarmament and humanitarian treaty in over a decade.

“Campaigners around the world are celebrating a triumph of humanitarian values over a cruel and unjust weapon,” said Thomas Nash, Coordinator of the CMC. “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, by assisting victims and making land safe.”

Adopted in Dublin on 30 May 2008 and opened for signature in Oslo in December 2008, the Convention bans the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of cluster munitions and calls for the destruction of stockpiles within eight years, clearance of cluster munition-contaminated land within 10 years, and assistance to cluster munition survivors and affected communities. On 1 August, all of the Convention’s provisions become fully and legally binding for states that have joined. Continued

CNN Hero Aki Ra Disarms Land Mines In Cambodia He Placed Decades Earlier

Aki Ra, leader of the nonprofit Cambodian Self Help Demining team, works to make his country more safe by clearing land mines on a daily basis. He estimates that he and his team have cleared more than 50,000 land mines -- some of which he planted himself.

At around age ten, Aki Ra was selected by the Khmer Rouge to lay land mines in and around his village. Over the next three years Aki Ra must have planted some 4,000 to 5,000 land mines in a single month.

"I had [bad] feelings, because sometimes we were fighting against our friends and relatives," Aki Ra said. "I felt sad when I saw a lot of people were killed. A lot of people were suffering from landmines. [But] I did not know what to do, [because] we were under orders." Continued

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