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Friday, November 21, 2008

Let us Help Ban Cluster Bombs Now!

Cluster munitions are weapons made up of multiple explosive submunitions or bomblets which are dispensed from a container which opens in mid-air after being deployed mainly by aircraft. They pose a unique and grave lethal threat to civilians both during and after armed conflict in which they are used.

This december 3, states will sign the convention on cluster munitions in oslo, norway. essentially it calls for the following:

1) stop the use of cluster bombs;

2) destroy the existing stockpiles;

3) clear the remnants; and

4) assist the victims.

We need your help. MAKE IT HAPPEN... Help Ban Cluster Bombs Now!



1. We do not want them to become an actual problematic presence here.

2. They are in fact an actual problematic presence in other countries or areas where overseas Filipinos are found. One such area was southern Lebanon and northern Israel in August 2006 where, respectively, Israel and the Lebanon-based Hezbollah non-state armed group used cluster munitions to horrendous effect. They were used again just last August in the Russia-Georgia War.

3. We express our humanitarian solidarity with all such victims of cluster munitions, and most especially to those closest to home – in our Southeast Asian neighbors Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. This is the most cluster bombed region resulting from the Vietnam War of four decades ago.

4. We do not want our territory to be ever used again for the infliction of devastation by cluster bombs on our Asian neighbors. There are indications that the former U.S. military bases in the Philippines were used as staging or transit points, even if not the main ones, for U.S. B-52 cluster bombing during the Vietnam War.

5. We have a foreign policy committed to international peace and security as shown by Philippine adherence to most humanitarian, weapons and disarmament treaties. In our premium region of the ASEAN, we share the longtime aspiration for a "Zone of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality" (ZOPFAN).

*from Atty. Soliman Santos Jr. (2008) The New Cluster Munitions Ban Treaty and the May 2008 Dublin Diplomatic Conference

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