Two steps to ban cluster bombs

Adapted from the Presbyterian Washington Office:

Ninety-five countries, including our closest NATO allies, have just signed a global treaty banning cluster bombs. The Holy See, Ireland, Norway, Sierra Leone have ratified the treaty. The United States has not yet signed the treaty.

Cluster bombs are weapons of no discrimination. They kill combatants and noncombatants alike. They remain dangerous long after the conflict has ended. Cluster bombs have killed and injured thousands of noncombatants during the last 40 years. Children are as many as one third of all recorded cluster munitions casualties.

Please urge the Obama administration to launch a thorough review within the next six months of past U.S. policy decisions to stand outside the treaty banning cluster munitions, as well as the treaty banning anti‐personnel landmines. We expect that such a review will give appropriate weight to humanitarian and diplomatic concerns, as well as to U.S. military interests.

Help move U.S. policy in the right direction by urging your representative to cosponsor H.R.981 and your senators to cosponsor S. 416, the Cluster Munitions Civilian Protection Act. This bill bans the use of cluster munitions in or near civilian populated areas, as well as the use of weapons that leave behind more than 1 percent of their submunitions unexploded on the ground-effectively like landmines.  This bill states that, "Cluster munitions will not be used where civilians are known to be present or in areas normally inhabited by civilians."

Now is the time for the United States to join other nations in their efforts to rid the world of these weapons.

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