This week, from March 3-5, Ireland is hosting virtual consultations with states to finalize a Political Declaration addressing explosive weapons in populated areas (EWIPA). The text agreed upon at the end of the week will then open for signatures at a high-level diplomatic conference later in 2021.
“States must do more to protect civilians who bear the brunt of harm when fighting takes place in urban areas,” said Sahr Muhammedally, Director of MENA & South Asia at CIVIC. “It’s time for action. States should avoid the use of explosive weapons with wide area effect, implement good practices and policies to mitigate civilian harm, and commit to better preparedness of forces to protect civilians in urban areas.”
CIVIC undertakes research on the impact of urban warfare, conducts assessments on capabilities of forces, and provides technical assistance and trainings to armed forces on good practices to mitigate civilian harm. We join dozens of NGOs in the International Network on Explosive Weapons (INEW) in calling for a strong agreement to come out of this week’s consultations.
See CIVIC’s statement delivered by Sahr Muhammedally during the consultations. CIVIC also has submitted comments for consideration by Ireland to strengthen the declaration to effectively protect civilians.