Photo (c) Sean Sutton, Mines Advisory Group
On Wednesday, 13 August 2008, members of the Cluster Munition Coalition are holding events around the world to mark the second anniversary of the cluster bombing of South Lebanon. In Wellington, campaigners are holding a candelit vigil starting at 5.00pm at the Cenotaph by Parliament. In Auckland, a candlelit commemoration will start at 7.00pm at Peace Place and will be followed by a public talk by two visiting Pacific disarmament campaigners. More information on both events follows – please come!
Cluster munitions have been used by the United States and others since the 1970s, killing and maiming civilians in thirty-one countries including Afghanistan, Iraq, Laos, and Serbia. The use of cluster munitions was brought fully to international attention in July and August 2006, when the Israeli Defence Force fired an estimated 4 million cluster submunitions into south Lebanon littering homes, gardens, fields, and public spaces – including a hospital – with up to one million unexploded submunitions. By their nature, these dangerous, volatile explosive devices cannot distinguish between combatants and non-combatants, and they continue to threaten lives and render land inaccessible. By January 2008, cluster munition ‘duds’ had caused at least 192 civilian casualties and killed or maimed 29 de-miners trying to deactivate them.
Ban Cluster Bombs
The massive use of cluster bombs in Lebanon prompted an unprecedented multilateral response to prohibit this deadly weapon. The Oslo Process, a series of diplomatic meetings initiated at the start of 2007, raised awareness and built support for the creation of a new international treaty to ban cluster munitions and assist those affected by the weapon. The Convention on Cluster Munitions was successfully negotiated in Dublin, Ireland in May 2008. It will be opened for signature at the end of this year on 3 December, the International Day for People with Disabilities.
Campaigners are holding candlelit vigils in different parts of the world on 13 August to commemorate the second anniversary of the cluster bombing of south Lebanon – the theme of the vigils is ensuring that this tragedy is not forgotten and that cluster bombs are never used again.
TIME: 5.00pm-6.00pm, 13 August
LOCATION: The Cenotaph (corner Lambton Quay and Bowen Street)
EVENT: Candlelit Vigil – ‘Remember Lebanon: Ban Cluster Bombs’
CONTACT: Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (Wellington)
TIME: 7.00pm-8.00pm, 13 August (share a meal beforehand at 6.30pm)
LOCATION: Peace Place, 22 Emily Place, Auckland Central
EVENT: Candlelit commemoration ‘Remember Lebanon: Ban Cluster Bombs’ followed by a talk by Ema Tagicakibau (Fiji) and Andonia Piau-Lynch (Vanuatu) on ‘Pacific demilitarisation, disarmament and human security’
CONTACT: Peace Movement Aotearoa and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (Tamaki Makaurau)
Spread the Word & Learn More
Flyer – Talk by Pacific Campaigners (Auckland, 13 August)
Fact Sheet – Pacific Support for the Cluster Munition Ban (ANZCMC)
Report – Cluster Munitions in Lebanon (Human Rights Watch)