Mali has acknowledged the harm caused by explosive weapons in populated areas (EWIPA) and is involved in the process to develop a political declaration on the matter.
Mali is a member of the Human Security Network, which issued a statement during the August 2013 UN Security Council Open Debate on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, expressing its concerns with the use of such weapons, stressing that they can pose unacceptable risk to civilians and that more systematic data collection is necessary. The Network also made a statement during the February 2014 UN Security Council Open Debate on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, when it called on all parties to conflict to refrain from using explosive weapons with a wide impact area in populated areas.
Mali is also a member of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, which aligned with the World Humanitarian Summit Core Commitments to “Uphold the Norms that Safeguard Humanity” in May 2016, including the commitment to “refrain from using explosive weapons with wide-area effects in populated areas owing to their likelihood of causing immediate effects; [collecting] and [sharing] good practices on minimizing impacts on civilians when using explosive weapons in populated areas; [and identifying] targets and indicators to monitor progress in reducing the humanitarian impacts of explosive weapons in populated areas.”
In 2017, Mali endorsed the communiqué arising from the Maputo Regional Meeting on Protecting Civilians from the Use of Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas. The Maputo Communiqué discussed the harms of EWIPA, the role of African states in working against it, and the need to create a political declaration on the matter. The 19 African states present agreed to work independently and cooperatively to do 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;
- 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 the international level that could effectively provide greater protection to civilians in armed conflicts;
- Foster deeper and further engagement from African states and facilitate increased involvement as a group of states;
- Continue and strengthen cooperation and partnerships with international organisations 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.”
Mali participated in the 2020 consultations for a political declaration on the use of EWIPA. It advocated for the respect for international humanitarian law (IHL) by allowing for safe evacuation of civilians and necessary precautions to avoid or minimise damage to infrastructure. Mali also stressed the need for states to prevent explosive weapons from reaching non-state actors’ hands and to prevent them from using these weapons, especially in populated areas.
 Human Security Network (2013). ‘Statement to the August 2013 UN Security Council Open Debate on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict. http://www.peacewomen.org/sites/default/files/chile_poc_august_2013_debate__0.pdf.
 Human Secuirty Network (2014). Statement to the February 2014 UN Security Council Open Debate on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict. http://www.peacewomen.org/sites/default/files/statement_-_slovenia__human_security_network__0.pdf.
 (2016). ‘Agenda for Humanity: Annex to the Report of the Secretary-General for the World Humanitarian Summit’. https://agendaforhumanity.org/sites/default/files/AgendaforHumanity.pdf.
 INEW (2017). ‘Communiqué from Maputo Regional Conference on the Protection of Civilians from the Use of Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas. https://www.inew.org/maputo-regional-conference-on-the-protection-of-civlians-from-the-use-of-explosive-weapons-in-populated-areas/.
 Ray Acheson, Reaching Critical Will (2020). ‘Impacts, not Intentionality: The Imperative of Focusing on the Effects of Explosive Weapons in a Political Declaration’. https://reachingcriticalwill.org/news/latest-news/14658-impacts-not-intentionality-the-imperative-of-focusing-on-the-effects-of-explosive-weapons-in-a-political-declaration.