Petition 80617

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Ban Cluster Bombs (80617-C1-R9999)

Add a new resolution to the Book of Resolutions as follows:  
“Then justice will dwell in the wilderness, the righteousness abide in the fruitful field. And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and result of righteousness, quietness and trust for ever. My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.” (Isaiah 32:16-18).  
A cluster bomb, or cluster munition, consists of a container filled with lots of smaller bombs (submunitions). These containers are dropped from aircraft or fired from the ground. Breaking open midair, the container releases the submunitions – saturating an area the size of several football fields. Anyone within that area, be they military or civilian, is likely to be severely injured or killed.  
Cluster bombs kill and injure as they indiscriminately scatter explosives over a wide area. Many of the bombs fail to work properly leaving huge quantities on the ground. Like landmines, they remain a lethal threat to anyone in the area. These weapons kill and injure people trying to rebuild their lives after a conflict. They stop people from being able to use their land and the threat remains for decades Unexploded submunitions can be very sensitive to movement and must be destroyed where they are found, making them especially challenging for clearing operations. The small size and curious shapes of submunitions make them particularly appealing to children, who make up a large proportion of the casualties. Locations affected by cluster bombs include: Afghanistan, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Chad, Croatia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Kosovo, Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Montenegro, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Vietnam, and Western Sahara. Billions of submunitions are now stockpiled and ready to be used by more than 70 countries.  
The General Conference of The United Methodist Church:  
1. condemns the use of cluster bombs,  
2. urges governments to stop their use and production of cluster bombs and negotiate a new international treaty prohibiting clusters bombs.