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President ratifies Convention on Cluster Munitions

PRESIDENT Andrej Kiska on July 15 signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM), which had earlier been passed by the parliament earlier. The convention bans the use of cluster munitions that cause grave injuries, and does do not differentiate between civilians and armed forces.

President Andrej Kiska. (Source: Tibor Somogyi)

Cluster munitions, or one its parts, a cluster bomb, is the type of explosive weapon which scatters sub-munitions (small sharp parts) over a huge area.

By ratifying the convention, Slovakia takes over not just the legal, but also human and moral obligation to soften the tragic impacts of wars and armed conflicts – especially on innocent civilians, Martin Lipták of president’s office told the TASR newswire.

The convention was passed on July 26, voted for by 128 MPs. Its individual paragraphs – banning, developing, producing, stocking or transferring the cluster munitions to other persons or companies – will be binding for Slovakia starting January 1. The convention does not concern mines, however. The stockpile has to be destroyed within eight years; but this deadline can be prolonged to 16 years.

Slovak armed forces have totally 764 cluster bombs and missiles which include further sub-munitions. The expenses of destroying them are estimated at €5.5 million to be spent in 2016-2023.

The convention has become effective on August 1, 2010; but Slovakia was not among the original signatories. As of January 2, 2015 totally 116 countries, including those which own, produce and use cluster munitions, have pledged to stick to the convention. A total of 89 countries have completed the ratification process.

Topic: Military

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