The Great Debate UK

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

Bombs and tipping points: Pakistan and Northern Ireland

When Northern Ireland's Omagh bomb exploded, killing 29 people, I was in England, by cruel coincidence attending the wedding of a young man who had been badly injured in another attack in the town of Enniskillen more than a decade earlier.

I had just switched my phone on after leaving the church on a glorious, sunny Saturday afternoon when my news editor called. "There's been a bomb. It sounds bad. We're trying to get you on a flight."

Memories of Omagh returned this week when a massive car bomb ripped through a market in the Pakistani city of Peshawar, killing more than 100 people, many of them women and children.

Will the Taliban's bloody assault on Pakistan's cities deprive them of popular support and ultimately lead to their defeat?

Make no exceptions to ban on cluster munitions


bonnie docherty- Bonnie Docherty, a researcher in the Arms Division at Human Rights Watch, has conducted investigative field missions on cluster munition use in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Israel, and Georgia and was actively involved in the negotiations for the new Convention on Convention Munitions. The opinions expressed are her own. -

Six months after the new treaty banning cluster munitions opened for signature, half the world has formally expressed its support. So far, the Convention on Cluster Munitions has an impressive 98 signatories, 10 of which have ratified. Those figures are growing, and Albania, Niger, and Spain ratified this month. The convention will enter into force six months after the thirtieth state ratifies. Many observers predict that it will actually enter into force in 2010, a remarkably short turnaround for international law.