Irish Bishops Welcome Cluster Bomb Treaty

DUBLIN, Ireland, MAY 30, 2008 ( The Irish bishops welcome the successful conclusion of the International Diplomatic Conference on Cluster Munitions.

The final treaty, signed today in Dublin by 111 nations, prohibits the production, use, transfer and stockpiling of cluster munitions.

Cluster munitions are weapons that include cargo containers that are fired, launched and dropped by aircraft or land-based artillery. The containers open over a target area and disperse large numbers of the submunitions that are designed to explode when they hit a target.

Auxiliary Bishop Raymond Field of Dublin, the chair of the Irish Commission for Justice and Social Affairs, said in a press statement released today that the “treaty has been the result of cooperation between political leaders and representatives of the nongovernmental organization sector, working together in defense of vulnerable civilian populations whose well-being is threatened by the consequences of Cluster Munitions strikes.”

He added: “While this treaty has made a vital contribution to the raising of international standards in relation to the protection of vulnerable civilians, more remains to be done.

“Moral and political pressure must be brought to bear on those nations that have not yet signed the treaty. Furthermore, nations must be vigilant against the development and production of similarly inhumane weapons in the future.”