Press Service of the Greens/EFA Group
Press release 20.11.2008
The European parliament today adopted a Greens/EFA initiated resolution calling for a ban on cluster weapons.
Greens/EFA foreign and security policy spokeswoman Angelika Beer commented:
“I am very pleased that the European Parliament has overwhelmingly (1) supported a Green initiative that calls for a ban on production, transfer and use of cluster weapons.
“The Commission and Council should now do everything in their power to get member states to sign up to the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) (2) and ratify it as soon as possible.
“The use of cluster munitions in Georgia was a reminder of their devastating effects. Despite this, it is far from sure that all 107 countries that supported the Convention text in Dublin in May will also put pen to paper in Oslo. The participation of the USA and Russia will be particularly crucial if the ban is to be effective. “
Finnish Green MEP Satu Hassi commented:
“98% of cluster munitions’ victims are civilians, and many are children. Like landmines, cluster munitions can hinder rebuilding and mobility for years after a conflict has ended.
“It is therefore essential that this treaty enters into force as soon as possible. All EU members – including doubters Finland, Greece and Poland – should sign, ratify and implement the Convention. If the EU does not present a united front, other countries will be gifted an excuse to continue using these indiscriminately destructive weapons.
“Additionally, no European troops should be deployed in operations where their allies might use cluster munitions.”
Note to editors:
(1) 471 voted in favour, 6 against.
(2) The Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) was adopted by 107 countries at the diplomatic conference in Dublin from 19-30 May 2008. It will be open for signature from 3 December in Oslo and will enter into force on the first day of the sixth month after the 30th ratification. The CCM will prohibit the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of cluster munitions as an entire category of weapons.