Ahmad picked up a bright metal object in a park where he was celebrating his 5th birthday in Lebanon. It was an unexploded cluster bomblet, which blew up in his face, killing him slowly in front of his family.
Three years ago, public pressure pushed through a ban of these cruel bombs. But now the US is lobbying nations to quietly sign a new law that allows their use — signing the death warrant for thousands of other children. Most countries are still on the fence on how to vote. Only if we raise the alarm across the world can we shame our governments to block this deadly decision.
Positions are being drawn up now. We only have days until countries meet to send our leaders a clear message: stand up for the cluster bombs ban and keep our children safe. Click below to sign the petition — it will be delivered directly to delegates at the Geneva conference:
Thousands of people — many of them children — have been maimed or killed by these bombs. When they are fired, they spray small “bomblets” over a wide area, many of which fail to explode. Years later, people disturb them in their fields or school playgrounds not knowing what they are, and they explode.
In 2008, over half of the world’s governments outlawed these weapons by signing the Convention on Cluster Munitions. But now, shockingly, countries like France, Germany, Italy, Sweden and the UK, who all signed the Convention, are under pressure from the US, China and Russia to run rings round the ban by signing a separate agreement that would allow them to use cluster munitions. Only Norway, Mexico, Austria and a few others are fighting this horror.
Negotiators at the Convention on Conventional Weapons meet in Geneva next week. Most governments don’t really want this protocol and have not said which way they will vote, but they are under severe pressure from the US to comply and will only object if the global public persuades them.
There’s no time to lose — the conference starts on Monday. Let’s call on our governments to reject this deadly and cynical US campaign to legalize cluster killing. Click below to sign the petition and forward this email widely — we’ve done it before, let’s do it again:
Cluster bombs and land mines were banned because citizens raised the alarm across the world — with victims and survivors leading the way. For their sakes and to ensure no more lives are lost, let’s not allow these cruel weapons back and join together now to demand a more peaceful world.
Fourth Review Conference of the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Weapons:
UK backs bid to overturn ban on cluster bombs (The Independent):
CCW – the potential to cause more humanitarian harm than good (Stop Cluster Munitions.org):
The Past and Future of the CCW (Arms Control.org):
No backsliding on cluster bombs (The Indepedent):
Raed Mokaled and the story of Ahmad (Handicap International):
Please pass this on. And do take the time to sign it.
US to stockpile cluster bombs in Australia? Despite Australia having signed the convention against cluster munition, a US base may transport and stockpile munition.