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Notice given 17 September 2003

607  Leader of the Australian Democrats (Senator Bartlett) and Senator Stott Despoja: To move—That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) its previous motion calling on the Australian Government to support a moratorium on the production, transfer and use of cluster munitions and to guarantee that Australian forces will not use, or be involved in the use of, these cruel and indiscriminate weapons,

(ii) that the effect of such explosive remnants of war on communities is similar to that of anti-personnel landmines, in that they kill and injure indiscriminately and have significant negative impacts on social and economic reconstruction post-conflict,

(iii) that the recent conflict in Iraq has highlighted the negative impacts of explosive remnants of war, especially those that result from the use of cluster munitions with high failure rates, with UNICEF reporting on 17 July 2003 that more than 1 000 Iraqi children had been injured by explosive remnants of war, and

(iv) that Landmine Action, in its report, Explosive remnants of war: A global survey , found that at least 82 countries are affected by explosive remnants of war and that casualties were reported in 59 countries between January 2001 and June 2002; and

(b) calls on the Australian Government to support a Protocol to the ‘Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May be Deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects’ to cover explosive remnants of war and containing the following elements:

(i) that the parties to any conflict promptly clean up, or arrange for clearance of, all unexploded ordnance, bearing full responsibility for the munitions that they have generated where that can be determined,

(ii) include in agreements to terminate hostilities, peace negotiations and other relevant military technical agreements, provisions allocating responsibility, standards and procedures for signing off land as cleared of unexploded ordnance,

(iii) parties to the conflict are to inform demining and/or unexploded ordnance clearance agencies of where munitions strikes have occurred and to provide technical data on all munitions used, to enable the unexploded munitions to be rendered safe or destroyed,

(iv) parties to the conflict are to provide appropriate information, including pictures and warnings to civilians, about the dangers of unexploded ordnance, both during and after the conflict,

(v) a prohibition on the use of weapons with large amounts of submunitions in or near concentrations of civilians,

(vi) that all munitions have high quality fuses and detonation systems to ensure explosion on impact or self-destruction within seconds of impact, or that render munitions safe if they fail to detonate,

(vii) a moratorium on the manufacture, transfer and use of munitions with submunitions until such munitions can be demonstrated to have failure rates that are no higher than other munitions that do not cause large amounts of unexploded ordnance (which typically generate less than 1 per cent live duds), and

(viii) the compilation of a list of banned submunitions that have already been demonstrated to generate large humanitarian problems in places where they have been used and based on experience in the field, this list to include the BLU 26 (US), RBL 755 (UK), BLU 97 (US), Multiple Launch Rocket System M77 submunition (US), BL755 (UK), Mk 118 ‘Rockeye’ (US), M42 and M46 Dual Purpose Improved Conventional Munition (DPICM) submunitions (US) and the Mk 6/7 ‘Rockeye’ (US).