If the U.S. is sincere in its desire to hold Saudi Arabia accountable, it can and should existing U.S. law and its signatory status on the Arms Trade Treaty to encourage better behavior.
How should the United States exercise responsibility in arms deals with Saudi Arabia and other states that fail to adequately guard against civilian casualties in conflict?
Reports from Ukraine, Yemen, and other countries with civil conflicts prompted parties to the 2010 global ban on deadly explosives to condemn their use.
Reports of cluster munitions use in the conflict in Yemen remain under investigation, according to the U.S. State Department.
Watchdog groups say governments in Damascus and Kiev are using indiscriminate explosives against rebels and that most of the victims are civilians.
Unable to bridge their differences over a cluster munitions protocol, states-parties to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) did not adopt the controversial provision and ended their Nov. 14-25 review conference badly divided over it.
It should come as no surprise that participants in the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) failed to agree on a draft protocol on cluster munitions during a recent meeting in Geneva (“Cluster Bomb Protocol’s Status Uncertain,” October 2011).
The Australian Senate’s decision on legislation for ratification of the Convention on Cluster Munitions is expected soon. Nongovernmental organizations say the bill falls short of the treaty’s requirements.