Cluster Bomb Tour Bus takes on Eastern Europe

On Wednesday, 1st October an eight-week campaign trail through Europe was launched to convince all governments to sign a groundbreaking treaty banning cluster bombs, in Oslo on December 3, 2008. Beginning in Belgrade, Serbia and ending at the signing ceremony in Norway, the Ban Bus will rally public support for the treaty and turn the eyes of the world on governments who are resisting putting pen to paper and curbing ending the suffering of millions.

A new Convention

The global ban on cluster munitions is the latest development in the field of international humanitarian law. The Convention bans the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of cluster munitions and puts obligations on countries to clear affected areas, assist victims and destroy stockpiles. It is the most significant treaty of its kind since the ban on anti-personnel landmines in 1997. Like the Mine Ban Treaty (or Ottawa Treaty), this new treaty is likely to have a powerful effect in stigmatising cluster bombs, so that even those countries that do not sign the treaty will not be able to use them without being subject to international condemnation.
Text of the Convention in English, French, Spanish

The Oslo Process

The Cluster Munitions Process, also known as the Oslo Process, began in February 2007 in Oslo, Norway, with the issue of the "Oslo Declaration". In this Declaration, 46 nations committed themselves to conclude a legally binding international instrument on cluster munitions. The Oslo Process previously held meetings in Lima, Peru in May 2007 and Vienna, Austria in December 2007. The "Wellington Declaration" of 22 February 2008, resulting from a final preliminary meeting in Wellington, New Zealand, briefly set forth the principles to be included in the draft treaty. At the Dublin Diplomatic Conference on Cluster Munitions from 19 – 30 May 2008, 107 countries agreed to adopt the Convention. It will be open for signature in Oslo on December 3, 2008.

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