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Campaigners launch Global Day of Action to ban Cluster Bombs in support of first ever treaty

Campaigners from more than 40 countries around the world, including Amnesty International, are hosting a Global Day of Action to Ban Cluster Bombs on Saturday 19 April 2008.

The day takes place a month before world governments meet at the Dublin Diplomatic Conference On Cluster Munitions from 19 – 30 May 2008 to negotiate and adopt the first ever legally binding treaty to prohibit cluster munitions.

The Global Day of Action to Ban Cluster Bombs aims to highlight 40 years of civilian deaths and injuries caused by cluster bombs.

Cluster bombs often look toy-like in appearance and size, and it is estimated that 60% of civilian casualties are Children's rights.

Amnesty International said:

“We welcome the attention cluster munitions are being given by a growing number of governments around the world, and call on world leaders at the Dublin conference to negotiate the strongest possible treaty to ban the use of these horrific weapons.”

At the Dublin Conference, governments from across the world will meet to negotiate the most significant disarmament and humanitarian treaty in more than a decade. The treaty will bring about a ban on cluster bombs, rapid clearance of contaminated land and an increase in the vital assistance to victims.

Amnesty International said:

“It is vital that at the historic Dublin conference, states adopt a Cluster Munition treaty that aims to establish global standards to save the many thousands of lives blighted by these weapons. Governments must also provide humanitarian assistance to survivors, and resources to help clean up contaminated areas without delay.”

In February 2007, 46 governments from around the world launched an initiative in Oslo to ban cluster munitions. They pledged to conclude with a legally binding treaty by 2008 that would prohibit the use, transfer, and production of cluster munitions that cause unacceptable harm to civilians, and provide adequate resources to assist survivors and clear contaminated areas.

The commitment was reaffirmed in the Wellington Declaration of 22 February 2008, where states also pledged to conclude the negotiations in Dublin in May 2008. Some 85 states have so far endorsed this Declaration. The US, Russia and China have remained outside this ban process but agreed last November to put cluster bombs on the agenda of the Convention on Conventional Weapons.

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