Goto main content

The international agreement on bombing in populated areas is finalised

Explosive weapons
International

States have agreed on a final version of an international agreement on explosive weapons in populated areas.

Conference for the final presentation of the text of the international agreement on explosive weapons in populated areas.

Conference for the final presentation of the text of the international agreement on explosive weapons in populated areas. | © HI

On Friday 17 June, states agreed the final text of the ‘Stop Bombing Civilians’ declaration, with many already pledging to endorse it.

Many states expected to sign

AIR Team of HI Around 50 states met in Geneva on June 17 to finalise the text of a political declaration on the use of explosive weapons in populated areas, thus ending a diplomatic process that took almost three years to complete. An overwhelming majority of states agreed the final text of this declaration.

Many states, including Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Norway, Switzerland, South Korean, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States, have already expressed their intention to endorse the declaration when it opens for signature at the upcoming signing conference in Dublin or indicated that they are working towards this decision.
A few states, such as Canada and Turkey, expressed their disagreement with the text. Others, such as China and Israel, tried to dilute it with further comments. But Ireland, which had led the whole negotiation process, refused any further changes

What the declaration will change

The declaration commits states to imposing limits on the use of explosive weapons in populated areas to prevent harm to civilians. It further commits states to assisting victims and addressing the long-term impacts of damage and destruction to civilian infrastructure.

Next step

The next step is the signing conference, due to take place in Dublin, Ireland, before the end of the year. Irish ambassador Michael Gaffey, who has led the three-year diplomatic process, announced a high-level ministerial signing conference this autumn in Dublin.

Implementation

Once signed, states will need to work to implement the agreement without delay, developing policies at the national level that will change practices on the ground. Humanity & Inclusion (HI) and its partners in the International Network on Explosive Weapons (INEW) will be actively monitoring this process. With the Explosive Weapons Monitor co-created by HI in 2022, we will monitor military policies and practices to ensure better protection of civilians from explosive weapons. We want to make sure that this international agreement will bring about real changes for people affected by war

Date published: 29/06/22

COUNTRIES

Where we work

Read more

Children play in bomb craters: Daily life in the ruins of Mosul
© F. Vergnes/HI
Explosive weapons

Children play in bomb craters: Daily life in the ruins of Mosul

George Graham, Chief Executive of Humanity & Inclusion UK
George Graham, Chief Executive of Humanity & Inclusion UK, reports on his experience in Iraq, where HI teams are working to support communities as they recover from the impact of decades of conflict.

Mine clearance enabling economic recovery and development in Senegal
© J-J. Bernard / HI
Explosive weapons

Mine clearance enabling economic recovery and development in Senegal

Humanity & Inclusion has launched new mine clearance operations in Casamance in Senegal to enable communities to regain access to their villages, schools and medical centres.

“I am raising and amplifying the voices of the people on the ground”
© Jean-François Roland / HI
Explosive weapons Rights

“I am raising and amplifying the voices of the people on the ground”

Yasmine Daelman, 28 years old, works as an advocacy and humanitarian policy advisor with Humanity & Inclusion in Yemen.

FOLLOW US