International momentum to address the use of explosive weapon in populated areas has built over the past decade. Over 80 states (see the map above, and a full list below), several multilateral organisations, and consecutive UN Secretary-Generals and other high-level UN officials, have expressed concern, against the backdrop of stark examples of humanitarian harm.
INEW urges immediate action to address this pressing issue, and supports a package of actions at the national and international level to address this pattern of harm, including:
- Development of operational policies and procedures to stop the use of explosive weapons with wide area effects in populated areas
- Gathering and making available relevant data
- Building a community of practice, including through regular meetings to discuss the issue and progress towards reducing humanitarian harm.
- Providing assistance to victims, survivors and affected communities
- Enabling humanitarian and protection measures
- Development of stronger international standards, including certain prohibitions and restrictions on the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.
A political declaration setting out such concrete actions for States would draw attention to this distinct issue, provide specific policy and operational recommendations that can shift behaviour, and be a tool for driving forward change by encompassing a series of action-oriented commitments on a variety of issues.