Delyn MP David Hanson has welcomed an important Bill that will ban the use, production and stockpiling of cluster munitions.
The Cluster Munitions (Prohibitions) Bill will implement international obligations under the Convention on Cluster Munitions, paving the way for UK ratification. It also builds on the UK’s continued leadership on arms control, from landmines to the Arms Trade Treaty.
David Hanson said:
“With this legislation, the Labour Government is taking the lead in making the world a safer and more secure place.
“Cluster munitions cause immense suffering to civilians caught in conflict zones, and when they fail to explode also leave a deadly post-conflict legacy for future generations.”
The Bill will:
Create offences to enforce Article 1 of the Convention, which prohibits States Parties from using, developing, producing and stockpiling cluster munitions.
Create defences for certain permitted purposes set out in the Convention.
These include the retention or acquisition of cluster munitions for training in disposal techniques; their transfer for the purposes of destruction; and, in the case of military personnel or UK nationals, for certain conduct during the course of military cooperation and operations with non-States Parties.
Assign necessary ancillary provisions to enforce the offences. This includes conferring power to enter premises, and to destroy and remove cluster munitions.
The bill will ban direct financing of cluster munitions production. The Government announced to Parliament in a WMS on December 7 that it will work with the financial sector, NGOs and other interested parties to promote a voluntary code of conduct to prevent indirect financing of cluster munitions.