Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Cluster Bombs To Be Banned?

So rare to find anything to rejoice about with this government, but here is a rare opportunity:

Britain is to take cluster bombs out of service, Prime Minister Gordon Brown has said.

The announcement came shortly before diplomats from 109 countries reached an agreement on an international ban on the use of the controversial weapons.

Mr Brown called it a "big step forward to make the world a safer place" and said he hoped more states would follow.

But some of the world's main producers and stockpilers - including the US, Russia and China - oppose the move.

The final draft of the new convention banning cluster bombs went before delegates in Dublin on Wednesday afternoon and the deal was reached much earlier than expected.

No real shocks about those who are opposed to such a move, but at least there is a glimmer of hope. The use of these weapons in Lebanon was a reminder of their indescriminate brutality. However, as RickB at Ten Percent points out, it's not all good news:

Gordon Brown has said the UK needs to increase its nuclear power capacity - raising the prospect of plants being built in new locations.

The prime minister said that with oil prices soaring, it was time to be "more ambitious" for nuclear plans.

No 10 sources said it was "open" as to whether new sites might be needed.

Ministers announced in January they backed new plants, but the focus was on replacing existing nuclear capacity as plants reached the end of their life.

And a review of possible sites published at the same time focused on 14 locations where there have been nuclear power plants before.

Of course, the fact that Gordon Brown's brother is Head of Media for EDF won't have any sway on awarding contracts, will it?