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Switzerland

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  • Committed to action

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

“Furthermore, the issue of the use by state and non-state actors of certain conventional weapons and explosive ordnances in areas containing concentrations of civilians or civilian objects is a source of concern to the international community. Anchoring this issue on the agenda of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) will allow its treatment in an inclusive setting and to deepen discussions with the goal of full implementation of IHL.”

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

“We think it appropriate to continue to follow the issue of explosive weapons, especially with a view to better implementing international humanitarian law. The use of certain explosive weapons in densely populated areas is clearly a major source of suffering for civilians in situations of armed conflict. A more in-depth study could, for example, reveal the extent to which greater protection could limit these impacts.”

As part of the Human Security Network:

Statement during February 2014 Security Council Open Debate on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict on behalf of the Human Security Network (Austria, Chile, Costa Rica, Greece, Ireland, Jordan, Mali, Norway, Panama, Switzerland, Thailand, Slovenia & South Africa as an observer) delivered by Slovenia:

“The Network reiterates its call on all parties to an armed conflict to refrain from using explosive weapons with a wide impact area in populated areas. It stresses the importance of establishing mechanisms to track civilian casualties so as to understand the impact of military operations on civilian populations and adjust such action. An important step was taken in April 2013 with the adoption of the Arms Trade Treaty and that agreement’s prohibition of transfers of arms or items covered by it if the transferring State knows, at the time of authorization, that the arms or items will be used to commit serious crimes. We remain especially concerned about the use of explosive weapons, in particular improvised explosive devices, and stress the need to enhance compliance with international humanitarian law.”

Statement during the August 2013 Security Council Open Debate on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict on behalf of the Human Security Network (Austria, Chile, Costa Rica, Greece, Ireland, Jordan, Mali, Norway, Panama, Switzerland, Thailand, Slovenia & South Africa as an observer) delivered by Chile:

“Let me also stress the Network’s strong concern over use of explosive weapons in populated areas which causes severe harm to individuals and communities. These weapons are indiscriminate within their zones of detonation and therefore can pose unacceptable risks to civilians. We call for all relevant actors to refrain from using such weapons in densely populated areas. We believe that more systematic data collection would be important in this respect.”

On behalf of the Group of Friends on Protection of Civilians:

Statement during the June 2012 Security Council Open Debate on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict on behalf of the Group of Friends on Protection of Civilians (Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland, UK and Uruguay):

“The Group of Friends was also briefed on the humanitarian impact of the use of explosive weapons in densely populated areas, which was identified as an issue by the Secretary-General. We call for compliance with IHL in the use of all weapons, to ensure and strengthen IHL training for those who operate them and compliance with IHL with respect to targeting.”

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