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Bombs

Volume 474: debated on Wednesday 2 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations the Government has made to ensure that civil society organisations will have a strong voice during the negotiations in May on a treaty banning cluster munitions. (196859)

The Government welcomes the continued active participation of civil society organisations in the Oslo Process on cluster munitions. At the Dublin meeting in May, final negotiations on the text of a treaty will take place and civil society organisations are being invited to attend by the Government of Ireland as observers as per the rules of procedure for Dublin which can be found at:

http://www.clustermunitionsdublin.ie/pdf/draft-rules-for-dublin-c-en.pdf.

The Government are pleased with the outcome of the last Oslo Process meeting in Wellington (18-22 February), where the UK was able to join many other nations in supporting the Wellington Declaration this document can be found at:

http://www.mfat.govt.nz/clustermunitionswellington/conference-documents/Wellington-declaration-final.pdf.

We believe that this declaration and the associated compendium of proposals, which includes contributions from the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Cluster Munition Coalition, pave the way for a successful outcome in Dublin, securing a legally binding instrument prohibiting the use, production, transfer and stockpiling of those cluster munitions that cause unacceptable harm to civilians.