INEW has published key comments on the draft political declaration text (dated 17 March 2020), highlighting the most significant changes that INEW would like to see in the next version in order to provide stronger humanitarian protections.
These include a commitment to avoid the use of explosive weapons with wide area effects in populated areas (3.3), and a corresponding preamble section which describes how ‘wide area effects’ are created and emphasises the direct relationship between wide area effects and the risk of harm to civilians. INEW also advocates for clearer descriptions of the human suffering and humanitarian impacts from the use of explosive weapons in populated areas (preamble), and stronger humanitarian provisions to address these through collecting and sharing data on the impact and weapon use (4.2) and providing victim assistance (4.4).
Commenting on the overall text, INEW notes that it would benefit from more ‘human’ language and lay terms to describe the civilian harm and enable a broad audience to understand the problem, and a shorter text with less duplication in its commitments which would help to promote the key operative actions to address this problem.
For the full commentary see: INEW paper on draft political declaration
Image: Firefighters try to extinguish fire at the community hall where Saudi-led warplanes struck a funeral in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, October 9, 2016. © REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah