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New Zealand

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  • Committed to action

Statement during the General Debate of the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly First Committee, 2017:

“There is an increasing and compelling body of evidence highlighting that the downstream consequences of the use of Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas can result in civilian death and injury far outweighing even the immediate civilian casualties caused by such an attack. In keeping with our pledge at the World Humanitarian Summit last year, New Zealand remains committed to addressing this issue, including through a Political Declaration.”

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

“The use of indiscriminate explosive weapons in populated areas is a distressing illustration of the disrespect for international humanitarian law demonstrated by some parties to armed conflict. Explosive weapons in populated areas have destroyed hospitals, schools, places of worship and vital infrastructure. Millions of civilians have been displaced and those who remain struggle to access essential services, including medical care. The consequences can be catastrophic and will be felt long into the future.”

Statement during UN General Assembly First Committee Debate on Conventional Weapons, October 2016:

“Finally, Mr Chair, I wish to register NewZealand’s support for the development of a political declaration as part of an international effort to address the immediate and long-term harm being caused to civilians by the use of explosive weapons with wide-area effects in densely populated areas. We look forward to working with all interested parties to ensure that such a declaration is meaningful and effective, and that it complements the important civilian protections promised – but, regrettably, often violated – under international humanitarian law.”

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

“There are other specific contexts in which the standards of IHL for the protection of civilians must be fully applied and protected. Austria hosted useful discussions in Vienna just last month focused on the harm which civilians face in many conflicts from explosive weapons used in densely populated areas. We must explore ways, as the UNSG has said, to address this issue and minimise this harm.”

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.”

Statement during the February 2013 Security Council Open Debate on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict:

“Far too often, those rules are not applied. Let us be blunt — breaches of those rules through the targeting of civilians, the use of high explosive weapons without regard to likely civilian casualties and attacks on medical personnel or facilities are all war crimes.”

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