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Informal experts meeting on explosive weapons gathers in Oslo

This week in Oslo, experts from selected governments, international organizations, and civil society are meeting to discuss the use of explosive weapons in populated areas and at how to provide greater protection to civilians. Several members of the International Network on Explosive Weapons have been invited to attend, including WILPF. INEW’s call is for immediate action to prevent human suffering from the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.

Issues that will be discussed at the meeting include:

  • The humanitarian impact of the use of explosive weapons in populated areas;
  • Types of explosive weapons and their impact, with a focus on explosive weapons with wide area effects;
  • Populated areas and the challenges posed by fighting in populated areas;
  • Protection provided to civilians during conflict under international humanitarian law;
  • Policy and other steps taken on this issue to date and additional policy measures that can be taken to better protect civilians from the effects of explosive weapons;
  • Practical and operational measures that can help to better protect civilians from the impact of explosive weapons in populated areas.

By holding this meeting, it is hoped that states will establish a distinct track of work on military use of explosive weapons with wide area effects. This issue would benefit from broader ownership amongst states and a recognition by states that the use of explosive weapons with wide area effects should be avoided in populated areas.

INEW supports further expert meetings taking place in 2014 and 2015 to discuss adequate responses to this problem, including working towards establishing a political instrument to stop the use of explosive weapons with wide area effects in populated areas in order to reduce civilian suffering. Important first steps to addressing this issue includes compiling and analyzing examples of existing policy and practice amongst states on the use of explosive weapons with wide area effects.

For more information, please see the International Network on Explosive Weapons.