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First Committee 2019 update – week 1

In the opening couple of days of First Committee, the UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu, and Uruguay both raised the issue of explosive weapons in populated areas, and referenced the recent meeting on this theme which took place in Vienna on 1-2 October 2019. The Vienna Conference on the Protection of Civilians in Urban Warfare was hosted by the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and saw the participation of 133 states as well as international organisations and civil society and concluded with plans to start discussions for an international political declaration through a meeting in Geneva on 18 November 2018. [Photo credit: Philippe Kropf/OCHA]

In the opening couple of days of First Committee, the UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu, and Uruguay both raised the issue of explosive weapons in populated areas, and referenced the recent meeting on this theme which took place in Vienna on 1-2 October 2019. The Vienna Conference on the Protection of Civilians in Urban Warfare was hosted by the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and saw the participation of 133 states as well as international organisations and civil society and concluded with plans to start discussions for an international political declaration through a meeting in Geneva on 18 November 2018.

In her statement last week, the High Representative also referenced the latest joint appeal the from UN Secretary-General and the President of the ICRC on explosive weapons: Explosive weapons in cities: civilian devastation and suffering must stop (Bit.ly/EWIPAJointAppeal) issued last month. The appeal calls on states and parties to conflict to “avoid the use of explosive weapons with a wide impact area in populated areas”, encourages states to develop an international political declaration as well as appropriate limitations, common standards and operational policies relating to the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.

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