Process on explosive weapons use is set to restart

The intergovernmental process to develop a political declaration against the use of explosive weapons in populated areas is set to restart after COVID-19 related delays. The government of Ireland initiated the process in 2019, and while consultations were held in early 2020, subsequent talks had to be put on hold due to the pandemic. In January 2021, Ireland released a revised draft declaration, for which it will hold consultations online from 3-5 March 2021.

WILPF welcomes the revised draft and the restart of the process. We have provided comments on the revised draft, including in relation to its core commitment, which WILPF believes should be to stop or end the use of explosive weapons with wide area effects in populated areas. Other comments relate to the declaration's provisions on data collection and sharing, understanding of impacts of explosive weapon use - including the gendered impacts - and enhancing the international presumption against the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. Given the unconscionable levels of death and destruction currently caused by bombing of towns, cities, and villages, it is imperative that the declaration becomes a meaningful tool for strengthening civilian protection and preventing human suffering and environmental degradation. 

We will participate and provide documents and information from the consultations in March. For WILPF's other resources on explosive weapons, see our research and advocacy page with related publications and information.