Ukraine

Ex-James Bond actor Daniel Craig calls for end of 'barbaric' cluster bombs used in Ukraine

Former James Bond actor Daniel Craig has called on members of the United Nations to help eliminate the use of cluster bombs in conflict, specifically referencing the use of the weapons in Ukraine.

The actor and UN Ambassador, who holds the honorary rank of Commander in the Royal Navy in a title that matched his on-screen 007 rank, was speaking at the Meeting of States Parties of the Convention on Cluster Munitions in Geneva, Switzerland, where he welcomed the "dedicated effort at curtailing the use of these abhorrent munitions".

"It is essential to maintain focus on why we fought for this convention: to provide a legal framework to protect innocent civilians caught in conflict and to prevent future suffering," he said.

A cluster bomb is a weapon containing multiple explosive munitions inside.

After being fired, the weapon will open up mid-air and release submunitions - which can vary from tens to hundreds.

The weapons are controversial as they can cover an area the size of multiple football pitches, with anyone inside the strike area likely to be killed or seriously injured.

They also do not discriminate and often do not completely detonate, leaving dud submunitions left scattered around an area which continues to pose a risk to civilians.

Watch: Royal Navy's undersea minehunter drone training for Ukraine.

The conference aims to bring the international community together with civil society organisations in an effort to rid the world of the weapons.

It also aims to educate communities on the dangers associated with their use and support survivors and their families.

In his address, Craig added: "Cluster bombs are, to say the least, inaccurate, indiscriminate and unreliable.

"Civilians all too often pay the price when these brutal weapons are used.

"Bomblets are designed intentionally not to all explode.

"They lie in place long after they have been dropped. They look like toys. They kill children. 

"Unbelievably we are still seeing use of cluster munitions today, most recently in Ukraine.

"Countries that still use and produce cluster munitions need to stop doing so, they are barbaric weapons used mainly on civilian populations to spread fear of anxiety."

He continued: "I call on the States Parties at this meeting to assist countries struggling with contamination; to support clearance work; to advocate for the universalization of this Convention."

The actor was made an honorary commander in the Royal Navy in September 2021 in a role that aims to strengthen the Navy's ties with the communities it serves.