Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Recent Letter - Cluster Munitions

This was published in the March 4 Telegraph Journal.

Little mention of cluster munitions

There is little or no mention in the Canadian news of the recent Conference on Cluster Munitions that took place in Wellington, New Zealand (Feb. 18-22). Only CBC's "Overnight" show mentioned the conference as part of its Dutch Public Radio summary. In total, 82 nations including Canada signed a draft treaty to ban cluster munitions, as reported by Human Rights Watch. As the nation that led the charge to ban landmines around the world we should be proud of this recent accomplishment.

Still, we should note that Canada tried to weaken the draft treaty because of interoperability issues with the United States whose military uses cluster munitions in places like Afghanistan. The United States, China, Israel, India, Pakistan, and Russia were not party to the draft treaty.

I hope that when the treaty is signed in Dublin in May, the Canadian delegation can sign the document with confidence that defines a new-found Canadian independence in foreign relations. I also hope that there is more news coverage of the signing.


NDP candidate for Fundy Royal

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