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ACTION ALERT: Cluster Bomb Ban: Paul McCartney Calling


April 26, 2008
Friends Committee on National Legislation

The world community is calling for a ban on cluster bombs. On May 19, representatives of more than half the world's nations will gather in Dublin, Ireland, to hammer out the final details of a treaty banning the use and export of all or most cluster bombs.

http://action.fcnl.org/r/11382/45326

"Cluster bomblets, like anti-personnel mines, are unacceptable when they kill and injure civilians including children. I call upon individuals, organisations, and politicians to do all they can to remove and reduce the impact of these weapons for future generations."
~ Paul McCartney, April 19, 2008

The world community is calling for a ban on cluster bombs. On May 19, representatives of more than half the world's nations will gather in Dublin, Ireland, to hammer out the final details of a treaty banning the use and export of all or most cluster bombs.

The US government won't be there. We need to show the world that millions of people in this country support protecting civilians from the indiscriminate effects of cluster bombs. The way to do that is to increase the number of cosponsors of congressional legislation that would effectively ban these indiscriminate weapons from the US arsenal.

Many of you have already raised your voices against cluster weapons in the lead up to these negotiations. In the last month, more than 200 people in 41 states organized events in meetings, churches, restaurants, homes, and on college campuses to watch the documentary Bombies, to write letters to Congress, and to learn how to advance a cluster bomb ban.

But the work isn't done. Nineteen senators have cosponsored legislation to effectively ban cluster bombs. We at FCNL hope to persuade at least one-quarter of the Senate - 25 senators - to cosponsor this legislation before the global negotiations begin in mid-May.

Take Action
• Urge your senators to add their names to the growing list of elected leaders from both parties who have cosponsored the Cluster Munitions Civilian Protection Act (S. 594).

• If you've already written to your senators, let five friends know and ask them to write as well.

• Find out about some of the events: http://action.fcnl.org/r/11387/45326/.

• And more actions are coming up in the next few weeks: http://action.fcnl.org/r/11388/45326/ .

• For updated information on cluster bombs: www.banclusterbombs.org.

• For more information on what Paul McCartney said http://action.fcnl.org/r/11389/45326/

Background:
Paul McCartney Leads Celebrities inCall for Cluster Bomb Ban


Saturday 19 April is the Global Day of Action on Cluster Munitions and around the world people are adding their names to national and international petitions calling for a ban on these inhumane weapons.

Paul McCartney led a host of celebrities in signing No More Landmines’ petition including: Jo Brand, Jeremy Hardy, Emma Thompson, David Knopfler, KT Tunstall, Sir Michael Parkinson, John McCarthy, Neil Mullarkey, Davina McCall, David Walliams, Nelly Furtado, Boris Becker, Tony Robinson, John Conteh, Graham Norton and Rory Bremner.

"Cluster bomblets, like anti-personnel mines, are unacceptable when they kill and injure innocent civilians including children. I call upon individuals, organisations and politicians to do all they can to remove and reduce the impact of these weapons for future generations." Paul McCartney

Although the UK is participating in the negotiations to draft a treaty to ban cluster munitions by the end of 2008, they have been one of the vocal opponents of an outright prohibition, calling instead for exemptions for certain weapons that the UK has in stock including the M85 model. In addition they are calling for an extension period to the prohibition however NGO’s working on the ground in mine clearance and victim assistance believe that any exceptions will continue to pose an enormous risk to civilians.

No More Landmines’ petition was launched in conjunction with Cluster Munition Coalition members, and calls on the UK government to work towards a strong treaty for a ban on the production, use, transfer and stockpiling of all cluster bombs. The petition can be signed online by visiting www.landmines.org.uk

Neil Morrans, Director of No More Landmines explained ‘Despite the ongoing claims of the Ministry of Defence over the safety mechanisms of these weapons reducing their civilian impact, each year we see families whose lives are torn apart by cluster munitions. In the face of the undeniable evidence of the devastation they cause both during and long after conflicts the public have clearly supported the call to consign these weapons to history.’

The final wording of the treaty will be decided in the final cluster munition conference being held in Dublin from 19 – 30 May 2008.



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