Pope Praises Ban On Cluster Munitions

Pope Benedict XVI praised the 108 nations that have adopted a treaty banning the stockpiling and use of cluster bombs and encouraged other nations to follow suit “for the defense of human dignity and human life.” Speaking on Aug. 1 at the papal summer villa in Castel Gandolfo, the day the Convention on Cluster Munitions went into effect, the pope said the weapons, which release hundreds of small “bomblets” over a wide area, “provoke unacceptable damage on civilians.” The pope expressed his personal concern for “the numerous victims who have suffered and continue to suffer” serious damage “because of these insidious weapons.” The pope said he hoped nations that did not adopt the treaty—including the United States, Russia and China—would nevertheless adhere to it and that the entire international community “would continue on this path with increasing energy…to establish a peaceful international order and to achieve the common good of all persons and all peoples.”

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