19 September 2011
Green Party MP Caroline Lucas today found cluster munitions openly being promoted by both the Pakistan Government and Pakistan companies at the Defence System and Equipment International Exhibition (DSEi) being held in London, in breach of UK law.
At the same time as such products are being promoted in London, States are participating in the "Second Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions" in Lebanon, to decide on further action to be taken to eliminate cluster munitions.
Despite explicit acknowledgments on the DSEi website that the sale of "All cluster and non-unitary munitions (containing 10 or more submunitions)" are prohibited, brochures obtained from Pakistan Government companies clearly list cluster munitions including a 155mm artillery ammunition containing 88 submunitions.
The brochures were obtained from the Pakistan Government's Pakistan Ordnance Factories stand, listing the 155mm base bleed DPICM (an artillery ammuniton containing submunitons) and from the Defence Export Promotion Organization of Pakistan, listing the 155mm M483A1 artillery ammunition which contains 88 submunitons, and the 'Programmable SubMunition Dispenser - 1'.
Caroline said: "I'm shocked that the British Government seems unable or unwilling to police arms sales happening here on its own soil.
"This is the second breach this week of the UK export control act 2002, and who knows how many others are happening.
"Since the Government has demonstrated that it is unable to control arms sales in this country, this exhibition should be shut down.
"Any country which is found to be breaching UK law in this manner should expect to be fully held to account."
The Green Party of England and Wales is pleased that firm action was taken with regard to illegal promotion of cluster munitions.
Any company or Government that promotes illegal weaponry in breach of the UK export control act 2002 should expect to have their stands closed down at DSEi - or any other arms exhibition held on British soil.
The image 'Demonstrators at the May 2008 Dublin Diplomatic Conference on Cluster Munitions that produced the Convention on Cluster Munitions' is courtesy of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Stop_cluster_bombs_march.jpg
A brochure obtained from the Pakistan Ordnance Factory lists the 155mm BB DPICM [This is an artillery ammunitoin containing 45 submunitions]
A brochure obtained from Pakistan's Defence Export Promotion Organization (DEPO, Stand S7-265) entitled "Public and private sector companies and their commercial products" lists the following:
Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF) [page 9]: 155mm HOW HE ICM M483A1 [This is a cluster munition containing 88 submunitions ]
Armament Research & Development Establishment (ARDE) [page 5]: e. Integrated systems 3) Programmable Sub Munition Dispenser - 1
A brochure obtained from International Custom Product Inc., (ICP Inc.), titled "Parachute Group"