Failure to Sign Cluster Convention a Disappointment

Despite destroying several thousand bomblets last year, the government still has not signed the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions, according to a new report.

The bombs are known for their mid-air dispersal of smaller bombs, or submunitions, but often fail to explode on impact, rendering them a deadly threat years after they are fired.

The annual Cluster Munitions Monitor, released Wednesday by the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, says 3,751 submunitions were destroyed in Cambodia’s clearance program in 2013.

“Despite participating as observers in meetings of the convention, several countries where cluster munitions were once used such as Cambodia…continue to disappoint survivors of the weapons by failing to heed calls to join the ban convention,” the report says.

Sister Denise Coghlan, a founding member of the Cambodia Campaign to Ban Landmines, said by email that the campaign Wednesday sent letters to parliamentarians urging them to sign the convention.

“Yesterday, the campaign…gave a letter to each member of the National Assembly asking them to ban cluster munitions and invite some of them to a meeting on October 9 to learn about the issue more,” she said, adding that Cambodia would likely send a delegation to the fifth meeting of states to the convention in Costa Rica next month.

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