Tomorrow, Saturday (19 April), on the initiative of the Cluster Munitions Coalition, information events, dialogue fora and protests will be held worldwide to highlight the issue of cluster munitions and urge their prohibition.
This issue is currently being intensively discussed at international level within the “Oslo Process” initiated by Norway in early 2007. The aim of that initiative is to open for signature an international agreement banning cluster munitions by the end of 2008. This agreement will place a comprehensive ban on cluster munitions. The Oslo Process will enter a decisive phase with the conference to be held in Dublin from 19 to 30 May 2008.
The Federal Government expressly supports the aim of a complete ban on cluster munitions, which due to their broad impact and high dud rate pose a particular threat to civilians – not only during the fighting itself but above all long after the end of military conflicts.
Not only the use but also the development, production, stockpiling, import and export of cluster munitions must be banned. Existing stockpiles must be destroyed, and aid for the victims of previous operations as well as support for countries affected by cluster munitions must be increased.
The Dublin conference at the end of May provides an opportunity to achieve those objectives: Together with around 100 other countries, Germany will call for a comprehensive agreement banning cluster munitions.