US tries to dodge cluster bomb ban

In Dublin in May, 111 countries agreed to ban cluster bombs.

The United States didn't show up for the conference and, according to a report in The Guardian, has now published its response:

  • to reduce the number of unexploded bomblets each one contains; and
  • to sell off older bombs to other treaty-dodging nations.

Amnesty is just one of a wider range of organisations which has been campaigning for the treaty. We hosted a briefing for politicians at Stormont and a public meeting in Belfast in the run-up to the Dublin negotiations. Mark Durkan lodged a supportive EDM.

The Guardian reports that Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy, who has led efforts to outlaw cluster munitions in the US, has called the Pentagon's plans a retrograde step, accusing the Bush administration of "another squandered opportunity for US leadership".

One positive to take from the Pentagon policy memo is that it is clear that the United States does feel under some international pressure to make moves away from cluster bombs. Let the pressure continue.

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Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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