Hosts: Austria, Costa Rica, International Committee of the Red Cross, Ireland, Mexico, Norway, Austrian Red Cross, Norwegian Red Cross
Short title: Civilian harm caused by explosive weapons in populated areas
Where: room 1
The use of explosive weapons in populated areas creates a grave humanitarian problem causing death and injuries to tens of thousands of civilians. The destruction of housing and vital infrastructure is a major driver for displacement. The UN Secretary-General has called on all parties to conflicts to avoid using explosive weapons with wide-area effects in populated areas. International efforts to address this issue are growing.
In 2013, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement called upon States “to avoid using explosive weapons with a wide impact area in densely populated areas” (Resolution 7 of the Council of Delegates). This echoed a similar call made by the ICRC in its 2011 report to the 31st International Conference (International Humanitarian Law and the challenges of contemporary armed conflicts), renewed in its 2015 report of the same title.
The side event seeks to build on this momentum to raise awareness of the immediate and longer-term impacts of the use of explosive weapons in populated areas and to enhance the dialogue among humanitarian actors, States and other relevant actors on this topic. The side event will illustrate and analyse the severe consequences caused by the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. In addition, it will address legal aspects of their use and aim to explore possible avenues to contain and reduce the devastating civilian harm caused by those weapons and invite participants to share views and ideas in this regard.