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Statement on the Outcome of the CCW Group of Government Experts Meeting

Ronald Bettauer, Deputy Legal Advisor, U.S. Department of State, U.S. Head of Delegation
U.S. Mission to the United Nations in Geneva
Geneva, Switzerland
June 22, 2007

We are gratified by the consensus reached today in the Group of Governmental Experts that urgent action should be taken to address the humanitarian concerns raised by cluster munitions.

We are prepared to join a decision by CCW States Parties when they meet in November to initiate a negotiation on cluster munitions.

In this way, the international community as a whole can work towards a result within the framework of the Convention on Conventional Weapons and take important steps to protect civilians while taking into account security requirements.

In November, the US stated its belief that existing international humanitarian law combined with the implementation of the provisions of CCW Protocol V on Explosive Remnants of War addressed the main humanitarian concerns raised by the use of cluster munitions.

Since that time, due to the importance of this issue, concerns raised by other countries, and our own concerns about the humanitarian implications of these weapons, the US undertook a further internal review. It was determined that the United States should support the initiation of a negotiation on cluster munitions within the framework of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons. The United States has taken no position as to the outcome of the negotiations.



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