Argentina has taken an active role in denouncing the use of explosive weapons in populated areas (EWIPA) and in working towards a political declaration on the matter.
Argentina first acknowledged the harm of the use of EWIPA in a statement during the 2015 UN Security Council Open Debate on Children and Armed Conflict, in which it recognised the catastrophic impact of the use of EWIPA on civilians, particularly children.
The Community of Latin American and Caribbean states (CELAC), of which Argentina is a member, drew attention to the harm of weapons such as cluster munitions and antipersonnel mines on civilian populations in a statement to the UN General Assembly First Commission in October 2018. The statement emphasised that the use of these weapons is in clear violation with international humanitarian law (IHL) and called on all states to take immediate measures to ameliorate the humanitarian harms which they cause.
Along with 22 other Latin American and Caribbean states, Argentina participated in the Santiago Regional Meeting on Protecting Civilians from the Use of Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas in 2018. The meeting produced the Santiago Communiqué in which the participating states agreed to take further action on the issue, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Encourage collection of data and information to increase awareness and enhance knowledge about the impact of explosive weapons on civilians in populated areas;
- Avoid the use of explosive weapons with wide area effects in populated areas;
- Act to enhance compliance with international humanitarian and human rights law to ensure the protection of civilians and civilian objects, including school and hospitals during armed conflict and to contribute to alleviating humanitarian harm resulting from the effects of explosive weapons in populated areas
- Develop effective measures to prevent attacks in contravention of applicable international law against hospitals and schools and protected persons in relation to them;
- Fully support the process that will lead to the negotiation and adoption of an international political declaration on the use of explosive weapons in populated areas;
- Promote bilateral and regional cooperation through sharing experiences, good practices and expertise on reducing the harm caused by explosive weapons to civilians;
- Constructively engage in discussions and initiatives at international level that could effectively provide greater protection to civilians in armed conflicts;
- Foster deeper and further engagement from the Latin American and Caribbean states and facilitate increased involvement as a group of states;
- Continue and strengthen cooperation and partnerships with international organizations and civil society organisations to draw upon their relevant expertise and support;
- Channel contributions to the draft international political declaration on the matter, as well as engage in advocacy, at national, regional and international levels.
In October 2018, Argentina was one of 50 states to endorse the joint statement on the use of EWIPA at the UN General Assembly First Committee, calling attention to the devastating and long-lasting humanitarian impacts of the use of EWIPA and urging states to reverse the trend of high levels of civilian harm. Argentina also endorsed the Ireland-led joint statement during the the United Nations General Assembly First Committee in 2019. The statement encouraged states to participate in international efforts to address the impacts of the use of EWIPA on civilians, including by working towards the creation of an international political declaration on this issue.
In December 2018, Argentina delivered a statement condemning the alarming prevalence of harm to civilians and civilian infrastructure in the Annual Meeting of High Contracting Parties to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons.
Argentina confirmed its commitment to the political declaration process set out in the Santiago Communiqué in a statement during the May 2019 UN Security Council Open Debate on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict. It has since been an active participant in the negotiation process for the declaration. In the first informal consultations on the declaration in November 2019, Argentina delivered a joint statement with seven other Latin American and Caribbean states, which delineated the following as key elements of a political declaration on EWIPA:
- “Acknowledgement that the use of explosive weapons of wide area effects in populated areas is likely to have significant humanitarian consequences, seriously compromising the protection of civilians.
- Commit states to avoid the use of explosive weapons with wide area effects and disproportionate impact on civilians in populated areas, and to develop operational policies and procedures in this regard.
- Promote greater compliance with international humanitarian and human rights law, in particular through full compliance with the principles of humanity, proportionality, distinction and precautions in attack; Commit states to enable humanitarian access that is secure and sustainable.
- Recognize the rights of victims and affected communities, providing them with adequate assistance.
- Identify, develop and exchange best practices in relation to weapon-target matching, targeting procedures, planning and training; including the difficulty in directing inaccurate weapons against specific objectives in populated areas and take into account foreseeable indirect “reverberating” effects on essential urban services in the proportionality assessment.
- Encourage collection of disaggregated data (sex and age) and information to increase awareness and enhance knowledge about the impact of explosive weapons on civilians in populated areas, thus describing the different impacts on a factual-based approach.
- Promote bilateral and regional cooperation through sharing experiences, good practices and expertise on reducing the harm caused by explosive weapons to civilians, building a community of good practices.
- Strengthen cooperation and partnerships with international organizations and civil society organizations to draw upon their relevant expertise and support.”
 UN Security Council (2015). ‘UN Security Council Open Debate on Children and Armed Conflict Video Recording’. https://media.un.org/en/asset/k1p/k1psgdzh19.
 CELAC (2018). ‘UNGA73 First Committee Statement’. https://reachingcriticalwill.org/images/documents/Disarmament-fora/1com/1com18/statements/10Oct_CELAC.pdf.
 INEW (2018). ‘Santiago Communiqué’. https://www.inew.org/communique-from-regional-meeting-on-protecting-civilians-from-the-use-of-explosive-weapons-in-populated-areas-santiago-chile/.
 Permanent Mission of Ireland to the United Nations (2018). ‘Joint Statement on Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas (EWIPA)’. https://reachingcriticalwill.org/images/documents/Disarmament-fora/1com/1com18/statements/25Oct_EWIPA.pdf.
 INEW (2019). ‘Seventy-one states call for action on impact of explosive weapons in joint statement to UN General Assembly’. https://www.inew.org/seventy-one-states-call-for-action-on-impact-of-explosive-weapons-in-joint-statement-to-un-general-assembly/.
 Permanent Mission of Ireland to the United Nations (2019). ‘UNGA74 First Committee Joint Statement on Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas (EWIPA’. https://article36.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/UNGA74-joint-statement-on-explosive-weapons-in-populated-areas.pdf.
 Latin American and Caribbean states (2018). ‘Joint sSatement to the First Informal Consultations’. https://www.dfa.ie/media/dfa/ourrolepolicies/peaceandsecurity/ewipa/Joint-Statement-of-LATAM-and-Caribbean-States-Written-Submission—18-November-2019.pdf.