On the second day of informal consultations on the draft political declaration the use of explosive weapons in populated areas, Mines Action Canada took the floor to share our views on Section 3 of the draft text.
Here is the statement:
Thank you Ambassador.
We support the comments from INEW on this section which will be delivered later.
Like our colleagues at Norwegian People’s Aid, we believe risk education should be added to paragraph 3.5. The Mine Ban Treaty, the Convention on Cluster Munitions and CCW Protocol V have all shown the need for and the value of risk education.
Because our purpose this week is to protect civilians, we note that there is no need to wait for the end of active hostilities to conduct risk education especially because explosive weapons use causes new contamination and during armed conflict civilians are often forced to undertake risky activities or travel to new areas with contamination due to displacement or infrastructure damage.
Finally, I would like to make a general comment. Yes it is important to take into account the views of states with operational experience and of civil society but it is crucial to include the experiences of states and communities living with the long term and extensive impact of explosive weapons use.