US defeated in bid on cluster bomb accord

By REUTERS
November 25, 2011 22:05

 
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GENEVA - A US-led push to regulate, rather than ban, cluster munitions failed on Friday after 50 countries objected, following humanitarian campaigners' claims that anything less than a outright ban would be an unprecedented reversal of human rights law.

While the United States, China and Russia want rules about the manufacture and use of cluster bombs, activists say such regulations would legitimize the munitions, backtracking from the Oslo Convention, an international treaty that seeks a worldwide ban.

"Against all odds it looks like we're going to have success this evening," Steve Goose, head of the arms division at Human Rights Watch, told a press conference in Geneva.

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