Explosive Remnants of War

Geneva, 21-24 May 2002

Concluded in 1980, the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) or Inhumane Weapons Convention comprises four protocols, which ban or restrict the use of various types of weapons that are considered to cause unnecessary or unjustifiable suffering or to have other humanitarian consequences. The weapons currently covered include certain types of landmines and booby-traps, incendiary weapons, weapons leaving undetectable fragments in the body, and blinding laser weapons. Currently, 88 States are party to the Convention.

For several years, reports from United Nations demining and assistance programmes in countries heavily infected with landmines showed that other types of unexploded ordnance or explosive remnants of war (ERW), besides anti-personnel landmines, were a significant source of human injury and death. Like landmines, these war remnants cause suffering once conflict is ended and hinder post-conflict development efforts. Under the auspices of the Inhumane Weapons Convention, a group of governmental experts was established to examine ways to field possible initiatives in this area.

The first session began its consideration of two subjects: ERW and mines other than anti-personnel landmines, such as anti-tank mines. Additional sessions of the Group will convene in July/August 2002, and from 210 December 2002. A meeting of the States parties is planned for 1213 December this year, inter alia, to receive a report on the meetings at that time.