Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW)
The Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May be Deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects (CCW) was adopted in 1980. Meetings of its states parties take place on the Convention's protocols and on specific issues states decide to take up.
Reaching Critical Will provides coverage of various CCW meetings:
- 2016 CCW Review Conference
- 2016 Preparatory Committee for the CCW Review Conference
- 2016 CCW meeting of experts on lethal autonomous weapon systems
- 2015 Meeting of High Contracting Parties
- 2015 meeting of experts on lethal autonomous weapons
- 2014 Meeting of High Contracting Parties
- 2014 meeting of experts on lethal autonomous weapons
- 2013 Meeting of High Contracting Parties
- 2011 Review Conference
- 2006 Review Conference
Conventional weapons, or weapons which are not derived from chemical, nuclear, or biological sources, are the most common type of weapon employed in armed conflict and are responsible for untold injuries, deaths, and human suffering. The Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May be Deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects, or the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), sometimes called the Inhumane Weapons Convention (IWC), seeks to remedy the use and effects of several types of these weapons. Adopted 10 October 1980, the Convention codifies two fundamental customary principles of international humanitarian law applicable in armed conflict: the prohibition on the use of weapons which have indiscriminate effects and the prohibition on weapons which are “of a nature to cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering.” The primary intention of the CCW is to protect civilians, as well as combatants, in situations of armed conflict, from excessive suffering not necessitated by a legitimate military objective. To achieve these aims, the CCW contains only general rules in order to allow for flexibility and longevity. It is designed to be expanded and updated to encompass new technological and methodological developments in warfare. The Convention is unusually structured in the form of a chapeau (or umbrella) convention with more specific provisions contained in annexed protocols.
The original Convention with three annexed protocols was open for signature for one year following 10 April 1981. A total of 50 States signed the Convention, which entered into force on 2 December 1983. Currently there are one hundred States Parties to the treaty, with six additional signatories that have not yet ratified the Convention. These six countries are Afghanistan, Egypt, Iceland, Nigeria, Sudan and Vietnam. The Convention is now closed for signature, although in accordance with Article 4(1), a State, which has not signed the Convention, may accede to it. Pursuant toArticle 10, the instrument of accession shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
The three original protocols annexed to the Convention regulate weapons producing fragments in the human body not detectable by X-ray (Protocol I), mines, booby-traps, and other devices (Protocol II), and incendiary weapons (Protocol III).The Convention is, as Kofi Annan said, "a living instrument that can be modernized to meet new security challenges." Protocol IV was adopted 13 October 1995 to prohibit the use of blinding laser weapons and Protocol V, adopted 28 November 2003, prohibits and regulates explosive remnants of war.