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News > World

UN Rejects Continued Use of Cluster Bombs

  • United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres. Jul. 7, 2023.

    United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres. Jul. 7, 2023. | Photo: Twitter/@GarciaFreitas4

Published 7 July 2023

Humanitarian groups have raised alarm over their potential to indiscriminately affect civilians.

On Friday, United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres rejected the continued use of cluster bombs in the wake of the U.S. government's announcement that it will supply Ukraine with such weaponry.

Biden to Announce Shipment of Cluster Bombs to Ukraine

An international convention banning the use of cluster bombs has been in place for 15 years, Guterres' spokesman Farhan Haq said at his daily press briefing. 

The secretary-general supports the Convention on Cluster Munitions and wants countries to comply with the terms contained in this treaty, the spokesman said.

"Accordingly, (Guterres) does not want cluster bombs to continue to be used on the battlefield," Farhan Haq added. 

123 countries adopted the convention in 2008; 111 nations are parties to the agreement, while only 12 are signatories. The U.S., Ukraine, Russia, China, and Israel did not join the treaty.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres refuses to see continued use of cluster munitions, Farhan Haq, his deputy spokesman, said on Friday.

U.S. President Joe Biden today confirmed the shipment of cluster bombs as part of a new military aid package to Ukraine valued at $800 million.

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan recognized during a press conference at the White House that "cluster munitions create a risk of harm to civilians from unexploded ordnance." However, he said that the delivery of this weaponry is "critical" in the context of arms support to Kiev.

The quantities of cluster munitions to be delivered to Ukraine have not been disclosed. Humanitarian groups have raised alarms about their potential to indiscriminately affect civilians.

Cluster bombs, first used during World War II, consist of a container that opens in the air, scattering many mini-bombs over a wide area, between 200 and 400 meters in radius. One-fifth or more of these bombs may detonate if disturbed or tampered with years after being dropped.

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