Martin calls for backing on cluster bomb ban

Foreign Affairs Minister Micheál Martin called today on countries across the world to join Ireland in outlawing cluster bombs.

Foreign Affairs Minister Micheál Martin called today on countries across the world to join Ireland in outlawing cluster bombs.

Mr Martin wants up to 30 countries to back a treaty agreed at ground-breaking international talks in Dublin a year ago.

Only six nations have ratified the agreement but a minimum of 30 are required to bring the ban into force.

The agreement was regarded as a major diplomatic triumph for Ireland.

Campaigning group the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) will be presented with the Tipperary Peace Prize by Mr Martin today in recognition of its work.

The accolade will be accepted on behalf of the CMC by Serbian demining activist Branislav Kapetanovic, who was severely injured in 2000 during the conflict in the Balkans.

The CMC is made up of 300 organisations across the world.

Cluster bombs, which often lie undisturbed in undergrowth or buried for years, can maim or kill civilians.

“Mr Martin believes a new international norm should be established, whereby the use of bombs by any country would be regarded as completely unacceptable,” said his spokesman.

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