From 3-5 March 2021, the government of Ireland hosted (virtually) the third round of consultations as part of an intergovernmental process to develop an international political declaration aimed at addressing civilian harm from the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.
The March consultations provided an opportunity for states, international organisations and civil society to provide their views and detailed text suggestions on the revised draft declaration shared by Ireland in advance of the consultations. This is in addition to written submissions from participants in the process.
Over the course of the three days there was active engagement from states and organisations with detailed text suggestions. INEW and its members participated extensively in the consultations, delivering statements on the title and preamble, the legal section, and the operative and other commitments, and also published in advance a detailed commentary on the latest draft of the declaration. INEW also issued a press release ahead of the resumption of negotiations.
Following the consultations, INEW developed a supplementary written submission to the process that responds to particular lines of argument heard from some delegations who seek a political declaration that simply reaffirms the law and that insufficiently acknowledges the widespread, severe and ongoing harm caused to civilians. INEW strongly rejected such an approach, which risks undermining the humanitarian value and purpose of a future political declaration and the opportunity this initiative presents in agreeing practical measures that would make a meaningful contribution in preventing civilian harm and suffering.
INEW member WILPF has produced an in-depth analysis of the consultations which gives further detail of discussions including specific state positions, and has also gathered all civil society statements to the meetings. INEW also broadcast a series of short videos providing commentary on the proceedings, available below.
- On the resumption of the process and what our network wants to see in a political declaration
- On the need to accurately and honestly reflect in the text the gravity & severity of the use of explosive weapons in populated areas
- On Day 1’s proceedings, what states focused on and what we hope Day 2 will bring
- On how the political declaration relates to International Humanitarian Law
- On why we need more clarity and boldness in Section 3 of the political declaration
- On Day 2’s proceedings and state comments on the legal and operational sections of the draft text
- On why we need to commit to data collection and victim assistance
- And a summary of how the three days of consultations went & what’s next