UN meeting takes cautious steps to limit use of cluster bombs¤

A UN weapons conference on Tuesday agreed to negotiate a new accord regulating the use of cluster bombs, but stopped short of pursuing a legally binding treaty after resistance from the United States, Russia and other countries. Diplomats from 102 nations agreed to "negotiate a proposal to address urgently the humanitarian impact of cluster munitions, while striking a balance between military and humanitarian considerations." The use of cluster bombs has come under growing criticism from Canada, the European Union and others, as well as from non-governmental organization who argue that the weapon inflicts severe suffering on civilians.