Costa Rica is hosting a conference on cluster bombs Tuesday in a bid to make the region the first area free of such weapons.
At the opening of the conference, Vice Minister of the Presidency Jose Torres said that Costa Rica had joined the fight against the use of such weapons, applying laws to bar their use.
Cluster bombs or cluster munitions are air-dropped or ground-launched munitions that spray 10 to 400 mini-bombs.
"This nation calls for a ban on the production, use and sale of such weapons and backs the notion of Latin America being the first region free of these weapons," Torres said.
Speaking at the same meeting, Jose Manuel Hermida, working for Costa Rica's United Nations Development Program, said "such weapons have serious effects on food security, causing hygiene problems, displacing communities, exacerbating poverty and limiting both local and national reconstruction and development capacity."
Some 98 percent of cluster bomb victims are civilians, including many children.
Steve Goose, the executive director of Human Rights Watch, said he was optimistic that Latin America would act as a united force "to create a new 2008 treaty banning the manufacture of cluster bombs."
The non-governmental organization Handicap International said 400 million people in 25 nations which are in "defacto mine fields" are at risks from cluster bombs.