The UK Government has passed a new law banning its armed forces from using cluster munitions.

The Cluster Munitions (Prohibitions) Act follows an international convention to prohibit the use, development, production and stockpiling of cluster munitions.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said that cluster munitions could cause immense suffering to civilians caught in conflict zones, and leave a deadly post-conflict legacy for future generations.

“We want a full global ban on cluster munitions, with all countries signing up to the international convention,” he said

A total of 104 countries have already signed up to the ban on cluster munitions. The US, Russia, China, Pakistan and Israel have, however, still not agreed to the ban.

The Cluster Munitions Prohibitions Act will ban direct financing of cluster munitions while the government will work with the financial sector, NGOs and other interested parties to promote a voluntary code of conduct to prevent indirect financing of cluster munitions.