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Conference adopts Declaration on protecting civilians from Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas

Declaration strengthens the protection of civilians from the humanitarian consequences arising from the use of explosive weapons in populated areas

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney T.D. will host a high-level international conference in Dublin Castle today (Friday). The conference will adopt the Political Declaration on strengthening the protection of civilians from the humanitarian consequences arising from the use of explosive weapons in populated areas (EWIPA).

Minister Coveney said:

“Today’s formal adoption of the Political Declaration is a major milestone for Irish foreign policy.

Ireland has a strong humanitarian disarmament tradition. This Political Declaration builds on our legacy and is an important instrument designed to reduce the harm caused to civilians by EWIPA. The devastating humanitarian and development consequences of the use of explosive weapons in populated areas cannot be overstated - 90% of casualties from EWIPA are not soldiers, but civilians.

“For civilians in cities at war, explosive weapons threaten death, injury and disability. The Declaration also acknowledges that the harm caused goes far beyond this. Damage to vital civilian infrastructure compounds the effects of EWIPA.

“Today’s Political Declaration sets out actions to be taken in military operations to strengthen the protection of civilians. Its implementation will change how militaries operate in populated areas, including a commitment around restricting or refraining from the use of explosive weapons, when their use may be expected to cause harm to civilians or civilian objects.”

Follow the conference online here:


Press Office

18 November 2022

This Declaration is the result of three years of an Ireland-lead multilateral process involving UN Member States, the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and civil-society organizations, including the International Network on Explosive Weapons (INEW). The declaration was endorsed by over 80 countries.

The 80 states endorsing the Declaration are: Albania  Andorra  Argentina Australia  Austria Belgium  Brazil  Bulgaria  Cabo Verde  Cambodia  Canada  Central African Republic Chile Colombia Comoros  Costa Rica  Cote d’Ivoire  Croatia  Cyprus  Czech Republic  Denmark  Dominican Republic  Ecuador El Salvador Finland  France Georgia Germany  Greece  Guatemala Guyana Holy See  Hungary Iceland Indonesia Ireland Italy  Japan  Kenya Kiribati Kuwait  Laos  Liechtenstein Luxembourg Madagascar  Malawi  Malaysia  Malta  Mexico Maldives Monaco  Morocco  Netherlands  New Zealand  Norway  Palau  Palestine  Peru Philippines  Portugal  Republic of Korea  Republic of Moldova Romania Saint Vincent and the Grenadines  San Marino  Senegal Serbia  Sierra Leone  Slovakia Slovenia  Somalia  Spain St Kitts and Nevis Sweden  Switzerland  Togo Türkiye  United Kingdom  United States  Uruguay  

The Conference in Dublin included the participation of: UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu; the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross Ms Mirjana Spoljaric Egger; and representatives from UN Member States, International Organisations, Civil Society and survivors of explosive weapons use.

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