Vatican calls on United States, other countries, to join cluster bomb ban

(Crux) There are too many victims of cluster munitions, and the United States and other countries should remove them from their weapons stockpiles, according to the Vatican’s representative to the UN offices in Geneva.

Archbishop Ivan Jurkovič, the Vatican’s Permanent Observer to the United Nations in Geneva, called for the “universalization and full implementation” of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, “making sure that, in the future, the cluster munitions will never be a cause of human suffering.”

Cluster bombs and other munitions are larger devices which release smaller bomblets on a target. Because these bomblets cover a larger area, they pose greater danger to nearby civilian populations. Even worse, many of these sub-munitions do not explode as planned, they can pose a hazard for years after a conflict ends.

Over 10,000 civilians have been killed by leftover ordinance. In Vietnam, it is estimated at least 300 people die each year from cluster bombs used in the Vietnam War decades ago. [More]