UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres Opposes the Use of Cluster Munition in Ukraine
On July 7, 2023, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres voiced his support for the Convention on Cluster Munitions and opposed the use of such weapons on the battlefield in Ukraine. Guterres’ position was relayed by Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General Farhan Haq, who was commenting on media reports concerning the United States government’s plan to provide cluster bombs to Ukraine.
“The Secretary General supports the Convention on Cluster Munitions which as you know, was adopted 15 years ago and he wants countries to abide by the terms of that convention. And so as a result, of course, he does not want there to be continued use of cluster munitions on the battlefield,” he stated.
The Washington Post previously reported that US President Joe Biden approved the deployment of cluster munitions to Ukraine. Per the newspaper, the move “follows months of internal administration debate over whether to supply the controversial munitions, which are banned by most countries in the world.” “The principal weapon under consideration, an M864 artillery shell first produced in 1987, is fired from the 155 mm howitzers the United States and other Western countries have provided Ukraine,” the Washington Post report added.
The Convention on Cluster Munitions was signed back in 2008. Currently, 111 countries have joined the convention, while an additional 12 nations have signed the document, but still haven’t ratified the document.
Cluster munitions, like any other form of military aid being sent to Ukraine, will do nothing to change the outcome on the battlefield against Russia. More military aid will lead to additional suffering for the Ukrainian military and its people. Moreover, such continued aid could lead Russia to pursue more maximalist aims that will result in the dismemberment of the modern Ukrainian state.
If the West is actually serious about peace, it will need to stop sending military aid to Ukraine and find a way to bring Russia and Ukraine to the negotiating table in order to expedite this conflict’s conclusion, once and for all.