Unsuspecting pedestrians in New Zealand were met with a startling sight: protesters laying on the ground surrounded by colorful depictions of cluster bombs. Real victims of cluster bombs were testifying at the treaty. Among them was this teenager from Afghanistan. He told delegates how he lost both his legs at the age of 10 when he picked up a live canister at a family picnic in a public park near his home. Many of the professionals hired to clear the bombs have also fallen victim to them. This engineer was maimed while clearing cluster bombs dropped during NATO's campaign in Serbia in the 1990s. a year ago in Oslo 46 countries pledged to work for a newly binding treaty to prohibit the use, production and transfer of these weapons, to help victims and assist in the clearing of them. A year later this new treaty has the blueprint of that. However the main producers including the US, Russia and China were not represented here and other countries like the US and France are unlikely to commit to a ban as well. Without their backing critics say the process cannot be effective. But this analysis says they could be wrong, as proved by a treaty against landmines from a decade ago. In addition to bringing the ban on cluster bombs one step closer, this treaty has enhanced New Zealand's reputation as a country willing to push forward peacekeeping causes. This analysis says New Zealand is like a Norway-lite. However this analysis of Human Rights Watch says NZ has proven to be an honest broker.
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