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  • State
  • Acknowledged harm
  • Committed to action

Egypt has acknowledged the harm caused by the use of explosive weapons in populated areas (EWIPA) and committed to take action on this issue. 


Egypt condemned the use of EWIPA in a statement during the UN Security Council Open Debate on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict in May 2019. The statement said that “conflicts are increasingly taking place in densely populated areas where explosive weapons with indiscriminate effects on civilians are used. All that requires a comprehensive approach that takes into account the specific characteristics of each conflict and prioritizes above all the protection of civilians, particularly women, children and the most vulnerable.”[1]

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, of which Egypt is a member state, aligned itself with the World Humanitarian Summit Core Commitments to “Uphold the Norms that Safeguard Humanity” in May 2016, including the commitment “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.”[2]

Political declaration

Egypt has also been an active participant in the process toward a political declaration on EWIPA use. In the first informal consultations on the declaration in November 2019, Egypt stressed that the political declaration should not aim to create new norms or “stigmatise” certain types of weapons. Egypt also stressed the importance for the declaration to include non-state actors.[3]

In 2020, Egypt reaffirmed these positions during the second round of consultations. It noted that new regulation is not needed to prevent the use of EWIPA, but that it is instead necessary to fully implement existing international humanitarian law (IHL). Egypt also called on the political declaration to differentiate between lawful and unlawful uses of EWIPA.[4]


[1] UN Security Council (2019). ‘UN Security Council Open Debate on Children in Armed Conflict Meeting Transcript.’

[2] INEW. ‘Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’.

[3] Reaching Critical Will (2019). ‘Towards a Political Declaration on the Use of Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas: States Need to Ensure that Expressed Commitments Translate into Real Impacts on the Ground’.

[4] Ray Acheson, Reaching Critical Will (2020). ‘Impacts, not Intentionality: The Imperative of Focusing on the Effects of Explosive Weapons in a Political Declaration’.

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