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Statement during the May 2017 UN Security Council Open Debate on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict:

“Similarly, given the devastating consequences of the use of explosives in densely populated areas, because of the difficulty of fully predicting and controlling their effects in the area around a detonation point — and therefore on people living there — we support efforts to adopt a political declaration on the issue. It is necessary and urgent to agree on a comprehensive response, since the consequences of the use of explosives in densely populated areas are experienced over the long term. We must prevent explosive weapons from destroying entire infrastructures, including hospitals and health centres.”

Aligned with World Humanitarian Summit Core Commitments to ‘Uphold the Norms that Safeguard Humanity’, May 2016, including:

“Commit to promote and enhance the protection of civilians and civilian objects, especially in the conduct of hostilities, for instance by working to prevent civilian harm resulting from the use of wide-area explosive weapons in populated areas, and by sparing civilian infrastructure from military use in the conduct of military operations.”

Joint Commitment 123002 to the World Humanitarian Summit led by Austria, with Costa Rica, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Mexico, Mozambique, Spain, and Zambia, May 2016:

“Austria pledges to continue to engage in raising international awareness about the challenge for the protection of civilians in armed conflict posed by the use of explosive weapons with wide area effects in populated areas. It commits to support the collection of data on the direct civilian harm and the reverberating effects on civilians and civilian objects resulting from the use of explosive weapons with wide area effects in populated areas, and to contribute to the collection and exchange of information on good practices and lessons learned in minimizing impacts on civilians when using such weapons in populated areas. It further pledges to continue to look for effective measures to strengthen the respect for international humanitarian law in this regard, among them an international political declaration on the issue.”

Statement by Austria to the World Humanitarian Summit Roundtable on Upholding the Norms that Safeguard Humanity, May 2016:

“Given the horrendous and often long-lasting consequences for civilians as a result of the use of explosive weapons with wide area effects in populated areas Austria will raise international awareness, support the collection of data on direct civilian harm and the exchange of good practices and lessons as well as look for effective measures to strengthen the respect for international humanitarian law, including an international political declaration. So far this pledge is supported by Costa Rica, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Mexico, Mozambique and Spain.”

Statement during UN General Assembly First Committee Debate on Conventional Weapons, October 2015:

“Deseo llamar la atencion sobre las consecuencias humanitarias del uso de armas explosivas en zonas pobladas, que requiere de una accion decidida de la comunidad internacional a fin de contribuir a la mejoria de las condiciones en que viven 38 millones de personas desplazadas internamente para tener acceso a la ayuda humanitaria y 13 millones de personas que han buscado refugio en el extranjero, a lo que se suma la destruccion masiva de viviendas, escuelas, hospitales e infraestructura dificultando todavia mas el acceso a esos servicios, ademas de un aumento de victimas mortales, principalmente niños y ancianos.

El gran número de victimas civiles se debe a la falta de respeto a principios del Derecho lnternacional Humanitario por parte de beligerantes en un conflicto, llevando las hostilidades a areas pobladas, y tipo de armamento que se usa con efectos indiscriminado con terribles consecuencias y amplio impacto entre civiles.”

Statement during the January 2015 Security Council Open Debate on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict:

“Civilians remain the primary victims in situations of armed conflict, in large part because of the use of weapons in densely populated areas. Not solely collateral damage, civilians are increasingly targets groups or factions involved in conflict.”

Statement during the November 2010 Security Council Open Debate on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict:

Mexico

Mexico delivering a statement to the January 2015 UNSC protection of civilians debate

“We are especially concerned with two specific aspects, given their impact on civilian populations — first, the denial of humanitarian assistance, and second, the use of explosives in densely populated zones. Regarding the use of explosives, the fact that there is no specific ban on the use of certain weapons does not mean that those weapons are permitted. We must condemn the use of explosives in areas where civilian populations are concentrated because of their indiscriminate effects and the attendant risks.”

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