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Cluster Munitions

Volume 454: debated on Thursday 14 December 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps the Government are taking to support the multilateral process led by the Norwegian Government to negotiate a prohibition on cluster munitions outside the framework of the UN Convention on Conventional Weapons. (109130)

The UK recognises the humanitarian impact of unexploded ordnance, including cluster munitions. At the recent review conference for the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW), the UK secured an agreement by consensus which included all major producers and users of cluster munitions. This will set up a discussion mandate that should lead to negotiations on a legally-binding protocol that addresses the humanitarian impact of cluster munitions. This approach is consistent with Kofi Annan's call at the conference for action within the existing CCW framework. If the process agreed within the CCW falters or fails, we will review our policy.