Thursday, February 21, 2008


Australia under fire at munitions meet

‘Australia has once again been criticised by groups at an international conference on cluster bombs, after proposing some of the weapons be allowed to be used for training and testing purposes.

The Australian delegation told the conference in New Zealand’s capital Wellington on Thursday that a treaty to ban cluster munitions should include some exceptions.

“Training is essential for Australia to make a contribution to humanitarian operations,” a representative of the Australian delegation told the meeting.

The proposal was supported by seven other countries, who are among a group of nations accused of frustrating the process at Wellington. [..]

John Rodsted from the key pressure group the Cluster Munition Coalition, which represents numerous non-governmental groups, told AAP that Australia’s position was illogical.

“Australia doesn’t have a stockpile, but they are arguing that they need to retain a stockpile, which means they would have to acquire a stockpile,” he said.’

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