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Norway takes the initiative for a ban on cluster munitions

“Norway will organise an international conference in Oslo to start a process towards an international ban on cluster munitions that have unacceptable humanitarian consequences,” says Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.

21/11/2006 :: “The Government regrets that this week’s Review Conference of the Convention onCertain Conventional Weapons in Geneva failed to reach agreement on starting negotiations to ban cluster munitions. We must now establish concrete measures that will put an end to the untold human suffering caused by cluster munitions. We are pleased to note the increasing calls for an international ban. Norway is ready to work closely with others to establish such a ban,” he continues.

“We must take advantage of the political will now evident in many countries to prohibit cluster munitions that cause unacceptable humanitarian harm. The time is ripe to establish broad cooperation on a concerted effort to achieve a ban,” says Mr Støre.

“I will now invite countries that have shown an interest and a will to take urgent action to address the cluster munition problem, together with other partners such as the relevant UN organisations, the Red Cross movement and other humanitarian organisations, to an international conference in Oslo to get this process started. The efforts to achieve an international ban on cluster munitions will be an important part of our efforts to prevent humanitarian disasters. Every day there are reports of new victims of cluster munitions. There is every indication that the problem will only get worse in the future. This could have enormous humanitarian consequences and pose a major obstacle to reconstruction and socio-economic development if we don’t do something about it,” Mr Støre concludes.

(Published 21.11.06)

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Cluster munitionsPhoto: U.S. Air Force