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Georgia: Cluster Munitions

Volume 704: debated on Thursday 23 October 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What representations they have made either directly or through the European Union to the Governments of Georgia and Russia regarding their use of cluster munitions and cluster bombs during the recent conflict in Georgia. [HL5402]

We are concerned by the confirmed use of cluster munitions by Georgian forces, and the evidence of their use by Russian forces, which has been raised in EU-Russian discussions. So far, neither Russia nor Georgia has indicated an intention to join the Convention on Cluster Munitions that was adopted at Dublin in May. We believe the new convention is strong and will help to make the world a safer place. We will work with other countries that were not present at Dublin to encourage the widest possible support for the new convention and its norms.

The Government have contributed £2 million to relief efforts in Georgia, part of which is for clearance of mines and unexploded ordnance, including cluster munitions, the legacy of the recent conflict.

That these weapons were used in Georgia underlines the need to use all international fora available to secure action on cluster munitions. We therefore continue to work hard to ensure a meaningful protocol on cluster munitions is adopted within the framework of the United Nations (UN) Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, where both Russia and Georgia are engaged. Adherence to it would be an important early step towards joining the Convention on Cluster Munitions.