Banning cluster bombs
Cluster bombs are being discussed in Dublin at an international conference. Mark Durkan of the SDLP has tabled a motion in the UK parliament. Amnesty welcomes Durkan's move. You can check who has signed the motion.
This is an "Early Day Motion" or EDM and it is a way of back-bench MPs putting issues on the agenda.
Update, 30 May 2008: I was pleased that the draft treaty was agreed in Dublin by representatives of about 110 countries. Some major nations could not be bothered to attend the meeting and the United States was even lobbying other governments to try to weaken the treaty.
Cluster bombs may drop out of sight at last says an article by David Cronin.
Update: The number of MPs signing Mark Durkan's motion reached 53 by 12 June 2008. Only two Conservative MPs have signed and the MP for my constituency is not one of them. I thought that David Cameron said that the party he leads was progressive?
The MP for my constituency finally wrote to reply on this issue. He welcomed the agreement in Dublin BUT (yes, it is a big BUT) refused to sign the EDM and gave as one reason not wanting to interfere with joint operations between our military and our allies. One country that we seem to be allied with is the United States and that government could not even be bothered to send a representative to the international conference on cluster bombs so will of course not sign up to a ban. Is the UK government going to permit US armed forces based in the UK to have cluster bombs?
Update, 15 July 2008: Now there is an Early Day Motion from Martin Caton welcoming the cluster bomb treaty and urging the government not to permit the stationing of cluster bombs on UK soil by the United States. So far 85 MPs have signed it. Not one from the Conservative Party has yet signed the motion.
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