111 Nations Formally Adopt Landmark Treaty Banning Cluster Bombs

Diplomats from 111 nations have formally adopted a landmark treaty banning cluster bombs.

Talks chairman Daithi O Ceallaigh of Ireland has closed the 12-day negotiations after diplomats from scores of nations delivered speeches embracing the landmark accord. It requires signatories not to use cluster bombs, to destroy existing stockpiles within eight years, and to fund programs that clear old battlefields of cluster-bomb duds.

Many speakers appealed to cluster bomb-making nations that boycotted the talks — particularly the United States — to accept its conclusions.

The treaty was formally adopted Friday. Supporting nations plan to sign it in the Norwegian capital Oslo in December. It would come into force in mid-2009.