INEW co-hosted a side event on Protecting Civilians from the Use of Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas at the UN Headquarters in New York, Conference Room D, 1.13pm-2.30pm on 24th May.
The event was co-convened with the Permanent Missions of Austria, Chile, Costa Rica, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway and the Philippines.
The panel covered the widespread direct and long-term humanitarian harm from the use of explosive weapons with wide area effects in populated areas. It also touched upon regional commitments such as the Santiago Communiqué and the Maputo Communiqué. Panelists also discussed the development of new international standards and the Secretary General’s call for a political declaration. In addition, the Deputy Permanent Representative of Austria briefed on the upcoming international “Conference on Protecting Civilians in Urban Warfare” scheduled to take place in Vienna on 1 and 2 October 2019.
In the Q&A Session States and civil society representatives discussed, amongst other things, what they would see as critical elements for a political declaration highlighting elements such as capacity building, respect for IHL, victims-assistance and a call for concrete commitments.
Ms. Alma Taslidžan Al-Osta (Humanity and Inclusion) spoke on the humanitarian impact of explosive weapons, including results of her own visits to and research in war zones.
Mr. Cesar Jaramillo (Project Ploughshares & SEHLAC) spoke about the regional work and commitments in Latin America & the Caribbean, as well as the broader political response INEW is seeking to the issue of EWIPA.
Mr. Aurelien Buffler (UN OCHA) spoke on OCHA’s experience of this issue as well as the UN Secretary-General’s call on states to engage in a political process to address the harms explosive weapons cause to civilians.
Mr. Philipp Charwath (Deputy Permanent Representative of Austria) briefed on the upcoming “Conference on Protecting Civilians in Urban Warfare”.