For Immediate Release
Lora Lumpe, 202-361-3028
Make a Call to Ban the Bombs That Keep on Killing
National Senate Call-in Week: Call 1-800-538-3218
WASHINGTON - After more than a month off, the Senate is back in DC starting today. It
is currently slated to end this year's work on September 26. Before
Senators leave town, they need to put their names on S. 594, the Cluster
Munitions Civilian Protection Act. The act limits the use, sale, and transfer
of cluster munitions that do not meet a 99 percent or higher functioning rate. It
also requires that the weapons be used only against clearly defined military
targets, not in areas normally inhabited by civilians or where civilians are
known to be present.
"We believe that the U.S. Government must do everything possible
to ensure that no more U.S.-made cluster munitions end up as unexploded duds
that threaten civilians, especially children," said Lora Lumpe,
coordinator of the US Campaign to Ban Landmines and Cluster Bombs. "The Cluster
Munitions Civilian Protection Act is a first step in the right direction.
Senators' co-sponsorship of this bill NOW will help move U.S.
policy in a responsible way, closer to that of US allies, who have already
banned further use of cluster munitions based on humanitarian concerns."
A global treaty banning cluster munitions was negotiated in May 2008.
That treaty will be opened for signature on December 3, 2008 in Oslo, Norway.
Among the expected 100+ signers will be America's
closest military allies, including Australia,
Belgium, Canada, Denmark,
France, Germany, Indonesia,
Japan, Kenya, Lebanon,
Morocco...and the UK.
government did not take part in the negotiations and currently does not plan to
sign the treaty. Support for this legislation, S. 594, will help encourage the
next administration to bring the U.S. into the global ban.
To see a list of which Senators have already co-sponsored S. 594, see http://tinyurl.com/5wsdpn
Constituents are asked to call
1-800-538-3218 and ask for their Senator's office. Once
connected, ask your Senator to co-sponsor
S.594, the Cluster Munition Civilian Protection Act, in September.
Cluster munitions don't wait for election results. Cluster bombs
have killed and injured thousands of civilians during the last 40 years and
continue to do so today. They were used most recently by both Georgia and Russia in last month's
conflict. These weapons cause widespread harm on impact, and many
landmine-like cluster submunitions remain on the ground, threatening civilians
long after the war has ended.
Cluster munitions always end up killing and maiming more civilians than
combatants. One third of all recorded cluster munitions casualties are