The International Network on Explosive Weapons (INEW) today published its comments on the latest draft of the political declaration.
The draft declaration text (29 January 2021) provides a good basis for further discussion, and holds the potential to be an effective tool for strengthening the protection of civilians from the use of explosive weapons in populated areas (EWIPA).
INEW’s detailed comments on the text and proposed changes to strengthen its provisions and humanitarian protection measures centre around the following three concerns:
- The use of explosive weapons in populated areas causes a well-documented pattern of harm in conflicts around the world, consistently causing high levels of civilian death and injury, psychological distress, and damage and destruction to buildings and infrastructure. As such, there needs to be a stronger and more accurate description and acknowledgement of the civilian harm and suffering that has resulted from the use of explosive weapons in populated areas and which continues to occur, in the preamble. The corresponding commitments also need to be strengthened to address these harms.
- The concept of explosive weapons with wide area effects is not sufficiently addressed or described in the text, its scope is too narrow, and the operative commitments to address wide area effects should be strengthened.
- The core value of the political declaration is to establish a tool that can drive effective actions to protect civilians from the use of explosive weapons in populated areas, and to establish an inclusive framework for implementation. This should be more effectively represented in the text.
The full paper is available here.