Laos declaration on cluster bombs hailed

Nov. 15, 2010 at 4:13 PM
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VIENTIANE, Laos, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- A declaration at a Laos summit on cluster munitions lays the ground work to getting rid of the weapons altogether, Human Rights Watch said.

World leaders at a cluster bomb convention in Laos last week agreed to a declaration that condemns the use of weapons and increases the available resources for their victims.

Austria during the summit became the eighth nation to announce that it completed the destruction of its cluster munitions stockpiles.

Steve Goose, director of the arms division at Human Rights Watch, said the Laos summit was an import step on the road to the complete elimination of cluster bombs.

"The countries that took part in this meeting made it clear they understand how important and urgent it is to help countries affected by these weapons get rid of them," he said in a statement.

The Convention on Cluster Munitions, enacted in August, bans the use, production and transfer of cluster munitions. The Laos meeting was the first summit since the ban came into force.

Human Right Watch said 121 nations sent delegates to the Laos meeting, 40 of which ratified the August convention.

Lebanon is host for the second annual convention in September.

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