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(March 9) - Independent observers have documented numerous cluster munition attacks over the past weeks in Ukraine. Cluster munitions, no matter how they are deployed, are among the most harmful weapons to civilians because in addition to their immediate effects, they often remain unexploded, sometimes for decades, and can detonate with deadly results years after a conflict ends. The indiscriminate use of cluster munitions that is taking place in Ukraine is banned under international humanitarian law.
We join the International Campaign To Ban Landmines and Cluster Munition Coalition in strongly condemning the use of cluster munitions by Russian forces in Ukraine and call for the immediate end to the use of these banned weapons by the Russian Federation.
U.S. officials have specifically mentioned these weapons in their justified criticism of Russian behavior. So too have a growing number of countries.
Now, we call on the United States to demand the immediate halt to all use of cluster munitions in Ukraine and anywhere else.
There exists an international agreement to forever ban the use of cluster munitions: the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Unfortunately, Russia is not a party to this treaty, nor is the United States and Ukraine. The failure of the United States to join the international agreement banning cluster munitions weakens the impact of United States’ criticism about Russia’s use of these weapons.
Therefore, we also call upon the Biden Administration to rapidly submit the Convention on Cluster Munitions to the United States Senate for advice and consent to accede to the treaty. The time for the United States government to act is now.