May 27, 2008

Ban Cluster Bombs Now!

From our friends at, an appeal to pressure all governments to stop producing and using cluster bombs. Please take a moment to view the video and sign their petition. Perhaps now is the time to finally see an end to this abomination.
Dear Friends:
Final negotiations are underway right now in Dublin, Ireland on a treaty to ban cluster bombs. Arms manufacturers are pushing governments to riddle the treaty with loopholes and delays -- and the final text will be decided in the next 72 hours.
Cluster munitions don't just kill during war. They scatter small, shiny, unexploded "bomblets" on the ground that hold their deadly charge for years. When children pick them up, they are often maimed or killed. Most governments agree that these weapons should be outlawed, but back-room pressure is rising to undercut a strong ban.
If enough of us act before the treaty is signed on Friday, we can drown out the weapons merchants and convince our governments to ban cluster bombs once and for all. Click below to send a message, and then forward this email to friends and family:
The treaty to ban cluster munitions is the result of an inspiring, years-long campaign by citizens from around the world -- with victims and survivors of cluster bombs leading the way. One spokesman for the effort, Branislav Kapetanovic, lost his hands, legs, and some of his hearing and eyesight in a cluster-bomb explosion in his native Serbia. He is now in Dublin, pushing for the treaty -- but he took a moment to sent this message to the Avaaz community (you can see a video on the the Avaaz site):
And here are some news articles about the state of the negotiations:
Cluster munitions kill children and other civilians long after wars are over--and this week, we have a chance to ban them. 116 countries are in the final stages of negotiation on a cluster bomb ban -- but some are trying to water down the treaty with loopholes, exceptions, and delays.
Our information is that the delegations obstructing a strong treaty in the last few days include the UK, France, Germany, South Africa, the Netherlands, Finland, Denmark, Japan, Sweden and Switzerland, so messages to these leaders will be particularly valuable. [my bold] A worldwide outcry for a strong treaty is needed now. The treaty will be signed Thursday--so add your voice by using the tool below to send a message to government leaders:
To see if your country makes, stockpiles, or uses cluster bombs, click here.
Or click here to see a video message from a cluster bomb victim.
Send your message now!

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