Armed Forces: Cluster Bombs

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 11:12 am on 12 October 2006.

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Photo of Lord Triesman Lord Triesman Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) 11:12, 12 October 2006

My Lords, I am not in a position to say how effective the operation to clear the weapons is, but I know that we attempt to deploy them in very strictly managed terms that comply fully with international humanitarian law obligations. For those reasons, I hope that we would try to clear up unexploded munitions on the same humanitarian basis.

I, too, have seen the range of figures. Of course, the figures that are produced on some occasions are when there is controlled use and it is possible to look at the immediate aftermath. Most of the conditions in Basra or the Lebanon are not such controlled conditions. In addition, there are different kinds of cluster bomb, and I understand that they have different failure rates. We must take all these matters into account in making sure that we protect our troops properly, as I have urged that we should, and comply fully with humanitarian requirements.