Nations Target Cluster-Munitions Funding; Netherlands, Belgium Go after Banks, Investors

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), May 21, 2007 | Go to article overview

Nations Target Cluster-Munitions Funding; Netherlands, Belgium Go after Banks, Investors


Byline: John Zarocostas, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

GENEVA - Targeted policies by Norway against investments in cluster-munitions companies and a new law in Belgium that prohibits financial institutions from offering credit or services to cluster-munition manufacturers are expected to bring similar steps by more governments and corporations, arms-control diplomats and specialists say.

These efforts are likely to gather momentum in Canada, the Netherlands, and other countries as advocacy groups intensify efforts to end the use of such weapons, most of whose victims for years after the cessation of hostilities are overwhelmingly civilians, studies show.

Cluster munitions are shells that are designed to come apart near ground level and disperse many smaller "bomblets" over a large area. Usually they are dropped by planes, and most often are intended for use against enemy infantry.

"Civilians are almost the sole victims of cluster munitions [and account for] 98 percent of casualties," said a report issued Wednesday by Handicap International (HI), an advocacy group that examined the effect of such weapons in 25 countries and regions.

The report by HI, co-recipient of 1997 Nobel Peace Prize, estimated that casualties from cluster munitions were as high as 4,132 in Afghanistan; 2,989 in Iraq; 587 in Lebanon as of last month; and 4,000 in Laos, where 52.9 million cluster bomblets expended there by U.S. and allied forces during the Vietnam War fell near villages.

Altogether, Handicap International estimates that more than 440 million cluster bomblets have been used in the past 42 years and believes the number of casualties worldwide could be as high as 100,000. HI also says 400 million people living in affected areas are at risk from unexploded cluster bomblets.

Global effort

Officials from 70 countries are to meet Wednesday through Friday in Lima, Peru, to advance international talks begun three months ago in Oslo to try to draft a global treaty next year banning certain cluster munitions that cause unacceptable harm to civilians.

The Lima talks are intended to increase the momentum and define what a future treaty should contain, which cluster munitions to prohibit and how to prevent further proliferation, and to create a framework of how to provide aid to victims, clear contaminated land and destroy stockpiles, said Norwegian Ambassador Steffen Kongstad.

Patricia Lewis, a British nuclear physicist and arms-control specialists who heads the U.N. Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR), told reporters that the process begun in Norway "is raising the standard for international negotiations."

She said the talks on cluster munitions and other recent arms-control initiatives, are putting the spotlight "on the moral and humanitarian aspects of their use."

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, like his predecessor, Kofi Annan, and United Nations humanitarian agencies support the Oslo process to conclude a treaty on cluster munitions, according to U.N. diplomats.

"We hope [the diplomatic efforts] lead to a strong treaty to ban cluster munitions," said Stan Brabant, chief for international policy at Handicap International.

The United States does not favor a new treaty but seeks technical improvements to enhance the accuracy of the weapons - which is opposed by some other major powers such as China, because of cost - and recognizes the humanitarian problems caused by use of cluster munitions, arms control, analysts said.

The U.S. is the largest contributor of funds for mine clearance.

John Borrie, a U.N. arms-control specialist, said that in the recent conflict in Lebanon, 90 percent of the victims of cluster munitions - used on a large scale by Israeli forces, but also by militant group Hezbollah - were civilians.

Mr. Borrie said such weapons have two hazards: At the time of use, it is difficult to target them accurately, and when used near civilian areas, it is difficult to avoid hitting bystanders. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Nations Target Cluster-Munitions Funding; Netherlands, Belgium Go after Banks, Investors
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.