GENOA, Italy, MAY 18, 2008 ( Benedict XVI has expressed hope that a Dublin conference beginning Monday will ban cluster bombs.

After reciting the Angelus today in Piazza Matteotti, during his two-day pastoral visit to Savona and Genoa, the Pope expressed the hope that "through the responsibility of all the participants, a strong and credible international instrument will be created" at the Dublin Diplomatic Conference on Cluster Munitions.

The meeting, to be held through May 30, will gather representatives from some 100 countries to negotiate a new instrument of international humanitarian law banning cluster munitions, which are blamed for indiscriminately killing and maiming civilians in conflict zones.

"In fact it is necessary to remedy the errors of the past and to avoid their repetition in the future," added the Holy Father. "I accompany the victims of cluster munitions and their families with my prayers as well as the participants in the conference, offering my best wishes of success."

The United States will not be attending the event.


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