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Cluster bomb convention signed

Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey has signed an international treaty in Oslo banning the use of cluster bombs.

In a statement, the foreign ministry described the Convention on Cluster Munitions as an important milestone in the history of international humanitarian law.

The convention was approved in May by 111 states but not by the world's largest military powers - the United States, China and Russia.

Each signatory has agreed to destroy their stocks of cluster bombs within eight years after the entry into force of the treaty.

The Swiss cabinet is expected to ask parliament to ratify the convention next year. When it comes into force, Switzerland will be obliged to amend its Federal Act on War Material.


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