UN Chief: Cluster bombs to be banned

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced Tuesday that the international convention banning cluster bombs has received the 30 ratifications required and will enter into force on Aug. 1.
Cluster bomblets are packed by the hundreds into artillery shells, bombs or missiles, which scatter them over vast areas. Some fail to explode immediately and can lie dormant for years until they are disturbed, often by children attracted by their small size and bright colors. A bomblet can kill or maim someone within 10 to 50 meters.
The convention prohibits all use, stockpiling, production and transfer of cluster munitions, sets strict deadlines for the destruction of stockpiles and clearance of contaminated land, and obliges states to support survivors and affected communities.
Ban said the UN received the 30th instrument of ratification for the Convention on Cluster Munitions on Tuesday, triggering its entry into force on Aug. 1, according to a statement from the UN spokesman.
The UN chief said the convention's impending entry into force just two years after its adoption demonstrates "the world's collective revulsion at the impact of these terrible weapons" which are "unreliable and inaccurate" and kill and maim civilians long after conflicts end, the statement said.
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