Three years ago, public pressure pushed through a ban of these cruel bombs. But now the US is lobbying nations to quietly sign a new law that allows their use -- signing the death warrant for thousands of other children. Most countries are still on the fence on how to vote. Only if we raise the alarm across the world can we shame our governments to block this deadly decision.
Positions are being drawn up now. We only have four days until countries meet to send our leaders a clear message: stand up for the cluster bombs ban and keep our children safe. Click below to sign the petition, and forward this email to everyone you know -- our petition will be delivered directly to delegates at the Geneva conference:
Thousands of people -- mainly children -- have been maimed or killed by these bombs. When they are fired, they spray small "bomblets" over a wide area, many of which fail to explode. Years later, people disturb them in their fields or school playgrounds not knowing what they are, and they explode.
In 2008, over half of the world's governments outlawed these weapons by signing the Convention on Cluster Munitions. But now, shockingly, countries like France, Germany, Italy, Sweden and the UK, who all signed the Convention, are under pressure from the US, China and Russia to run rings round the ban by signing a separate agreement that would allow them to use cluster munitions. Only Norway, Mexico, Austria and a few others are fighting this horror.
Negotiators at the Convention on Conventional Weapons meet in Geneva next week. Most governments don't really want this protocol and have not said which way they will vote, but they are under severe pressure from the US to comply and will only object if the global public persuades them.
There's no time to lose -- the conference starts on Monday. Let's call on our governments to reject this deadly and cynical US campaign to legalize cluster killing. Click below to sign the petition and forward this email widely -- we've done it before, let's do it again:
Cluster bombs and land mines were banned because citizens raised the alarm across the world -- with victims and survivors leading the way. For their sakes and to ensure no more lives are lost, let's not allow these cruel weapons back and join together now to demand a more peaceful world.
Alex, Stephanie, Alice, Ricken, Laura, Nicholas, Wissam, and the whole Avaaz team
UK backs bid to overturn ban on cluster bombs (The Independent):
ICRC chief says proposed cluster bomb pact is weak (Reuters)
Fourth Review Conference of the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Weapons:
Weapons law to cause humanitarian harm (Stop Cluster Munitions.org):
The Past and Future of the CCW (Arms Control.org):
No backsliding on cluster bombs (The Indepedent):
Raed Mokaled and the story of Ahmad (Handicap International):
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