World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Immediate Action To Curb Use Of Cluster Bombs

Annan Calls For Immediate Action To Curb Use Of Cluster Bombs

New York, Nov 7 2006 11:00AM

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today called for urgent actions to address the “disastrous impact” of cluster munitions, warheads that can scatter scores of smaller bombs, especially when used in populated areas, as occurred in this summer™s conflict between Israel and the Lebanese Hizbollah group.

“Recent events show that the atrocious, inhumane effects of these weapons – both at the time of their use and after conflict ends – must be addressed immediately, so that civilian populations can start rebuilding their lives,” Mr. Annan told the Review Conference of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) in Geneva.

“I urge States Parties to the CCW to make full use of this framework to devise effective norms that will reduce and ultimately eliminate the horrendous humanitarian and development impact of these weapons,” he said in a message delivered by UN Deputy Secretary-General of the Conference on Disarmament Tim Caughley.

While some progress has been made these weapons have continued to be used with devastating effect, most recently in Lebanon and Israel by both sides during the 34-day conflict, which ended in August.

The UN Mine Action Coordination Centre (UNMACC) in southern Lebanon reported that their density is higher than in Kosovo and Iraq, especially in built-up areas, posing a constant threat to hundreds of thousands of people, humanitarian and reconstruction workers, and peacekeepers.

“I have repeatedly called upon States to comply fully with international humanitarian law,” Mr. Annan said. “In particular, I call on you to freeze the use of cluster munitions against military assets located in or near populated areas. At the same time, we should all remember that placing military assets in such areas is illegal ῵nder international humanitarian law.

“I also urge you to freeze the transfer of those cluster munitions that are known to be inaccurate and unreliable, and to dispose of them. And I challenge you to establish technical requirements for new weapons systems so that the risk they pose to civilian populations can be reduced,” he added.
UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Jan Egeland echoed Mr. Annan’s call. “As a matter of urgency, I call on all States to implement an immediate freeze on the use of cluster munitions,” he told the gathering. “This freeze is essential until the international community puts in place effective legal instruments to address urgent humanitarian concerns about their use.

Lebanon is only the most recent country hit by the legacy of unexploded cluster munitions. Cambodia and Vietnam continue to bear the burden of such bombs 30 years after the end of conflict, impeding the safe cultivation of land and the development of infrastructure.

“Ultimately, as long as there is no effective ban, these weapons will continue to disproportionately affect civilians, maiming and killing women, children, and other vulnerable groups,” Mr. Egeland concluded.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: Is This Guy The World’s Most Dangerous Thirtysomething?

Saudi Arabia has long been regarded as a pillar of stability in the Middle East, and is the essential caterer to the West’s fossil fuel needs. It is also the country that gave us Osama Bin Laden, al Qaeda, and 15 of the 19 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks... More>>

ALSO:

Non-Binding Postal Vote: Australia Says Yes To Same Sex Marriage

Binoy Kampmark: Out of 150 federal seats, 133 registered affirmative totals in returning their response to the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”. More>>

ALSO:

Bonn Climate Change Conference: Protecting Health In Small Island States

The vision is that, by 2030, all Small Island Developing States will have health systems that are resilient to climate change and countries around the world will be reducing their carbon emissions both to protect the most vulnerable from climate risks and deliver large health benefits in carbon-emitting countries. More>>

ALSO:

Camp Shut Down: Refugees Must Be Rescued From Manus

On 31st October 2017, the detention centre on Manus Island in which the Australian Government has been holding more than 700 refugees was closed, leaving those living there in a desperate situation. More>>

ALSO:

EARLIER:

Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>

ALSO: