The Washington Post reports: “More than 100 countries reached agreement Wednesday to ban cluster bombs, controversial weapons that human rights groups deplore but that the United States, which did not join the ban, calls an integral, legitimate part of its arsenal.
…Advocates of the ban said they hope the agreement, which was supported by rich nations and poor from Scandinavia to Africa, will have the same effect as the 1997 ban on land mines, reducing use even among non-signatory countries.”
Also opposing the treaty and absent from the summit are Israel, Pakistan, India, Russia and China, who together produce 99% of the world's supply of cluster bombs.
The White House opposes the ban because they say these bombs have a military utility. The United States has defended its non-attendance, saying it was “deeply concerned” about the humanitarian impact of cluster bombs and all weapons of war, despite “disagreements” about the best way forward.
Though, the Post reports that “the controversy over cluster bombs has led the United States to stop exporting them for now — a law that went into force this year bars the foreign sale of cluster bombs that have less than a 99 percent detonation or disabling rate, conditions that current versions of the weapons do not meet.”
To listen to Public Radio International's program “The World” discuss the treaty, and explain how cluster bombs work click here. Or view their diagram below.