Ministry of Defence, which wanted to retain two types of cluster munitions in the British armoury, against Downing Street and the Foreign Office, which want to honour Gordon Brown’s pledge last year “to work internationally for a ban” on those weapons that cause unacceptable harm to civilians.
“The types of cluster munitions we intend to retain are legitimate weapons with significant military value which, as a result of mitigating features, is not outweighed by humanitarian factors.”
Defence Secretary Des Browne
However, after hearing evidence from those maimed by the weapons in statement from Downing Street Gordon Brown said:
I am delighted that the negotiations in Dublin have come to a successful conclusion and congratulate the Irish Government and all those involved.
I am confident that this agreement is in line with British interests and values, and makes the world a safer place.
The main producers and users of cluster bombs, the United States, Israel, China, Russia, India and Pakistan, have said they would not support the convention. So, it is unclear what effect it will have once it comes into power.