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Cluster Bomb Campaigners Honored


Campaigners who helped secure a global ban on cluster bombs have been awarded the Tipperary International Peace Prize.
Last month, almost 100 countries signed a treaty outlawing the manufacture or use of the munitions following successful negotiations between delegations in Dublin in May.

The Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) is a global network of over 250 civil society groups working in 70 countries to end the harm caused by the weapons. The Tipperary Peace Convention said it was "pleased to honor the work of the Coalition and its campaign against cluster bombs, which is certain to save thousands and thousands of civilian lives for decades to come".

Previous recipients of the Tipperary Peace Award include former world leaders Nelson Mandela, Mikhail Gorbachev, Bill Clinton and assassinated Pakistani premier Benazir Bhutto.

Tipperary Convention spokesman Martin Quinn said cluster bombs pose the biggest threat to civilians since land mines.

"Cluster bombs have killed and injured thousands of civilians during the last 40 years and continue to do so today," he added.

"They cause widespread harm on impact and are also responsible for killing and injuring civilians long after a conflict has ended. One third of all recorded cluster munitions casualties are children.

"They caused more civilian casualties in Iraq in 2003 and Kosovo in 1999 than any other weapon system, and they stand out as the weapon that poses the gravest dangers to civilians since anti-personnel mines."

An international convention banning cluster bombs was adopted by 107 states at a diplomatic conference in Dublin in May and signed by 94 countries in Oslo last month. The Tipperary Peace Convention urged all nations to immediately sign and ratify the Convention.

The award will be presented at a ceremony in Co Tipperary on May 1.

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