A P P E N D I X IV

Third Review Conference of the High Contracting Parties to 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 Effects1


Geneva, 7 to 17 November 2006

Final Declaration

(As adopted with oral amendments at the final plenary meeting of the Conference on 17 November 2006)

The High Contracting Parties to 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, which met in Geneva from 7 to 17 November 2006, to review the scope and operation of the Convention and the Protocols annexed thereto and to consider any proposal for amendments of the Convention or of the existing Protocols, as well as proposals for additional protocols relating to other categories of conventional weapons not covered by the existing annexed Protocols,
Recalling the Declarations adopted by the First Review Conference in 1996 and the Second Review Conference in 2001,
Reaffirming their conviction that 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 is significantly reducing the suffering of civilians and combatants,
Recognising that most major armed conflicts are non-international in character, and that such conflicts have been brought within the scope of the Convention by the amendment of Article 1 of the Convention,
Emphasizing the importance of achieving universal adherence to the Convention and their determination to call upon all States that have not done so to become parties to the Convention and its annexed Protocols as soon as possible,
Welcoming the entry into force of the Amendment to Article 1 of the Convention on 18 May 2004, by which the scope of application of the Convention was extended to also cover conflicts of non-international character,
Emphasizing the importance of compliance with the provisions of the Convention and its annexed Protocols by all High Contracting Parties,
Welcoming the entry into force of the Protocol on Explosive Remnants of War (Protocol V) on 12 November 2006,
Recalling the obligation of all parties to a conflict to take all feasible precautions in the use of mines other than anti-personnel mines/anti-vehicle mines (MOTAPM/AVM) with a view to avoiding incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians and damage to civilian objects,
Affirming their strong determination to protect civilians from the effects of MOTAPM/AVM, according to Article 6, paragraph 3 of Amended Protocol II,
Deeply concerned at the humanitarian and development problems caused by the presence of explosive remnants of war, which constitute a danger to the civilian population as well as an obstacle to reconstruction, restoration of normal social conditions and economic development and in this context reaffirming the need to reinforce international cooperation and assistance with this respect,
Noting the foreseeable effects of explosive remnants of war on civilian populations as a factor to be considered in applying the international humanitarian law rules on proportionality in attack and precautions in attack,
Acknowledging the work accomplished by the Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) in discussing ways and means to address the issue of explosive remnants of war,
Recognising the crucial role of the International Committee of the Red Cross and encouraging it to continue to work to facilitate further ratifications and accessions to the Convention and its annexed Protocols, to disseminate their contents and to lend its expertise to future Conferences and other meetings related to the Convention and its annexed Protocols,
Acknowledging the invaluable humanitarian efforts of non-governmental organisations in mitigating the humanitarian impact of armed conflicts and welcoming the expertise they have brought to the work of the Group of Governmental Experts and to the Review Conference itself,

SOLEMNLY DECLARE:

1. Their commitment to respect and comply, in accordance with the norms and principles of international law, with the objectives and provisions of the Convention and its annexed Protocols to which they are party as authoritative international instruments governing the use of certain conventional weapons which may be deemed to be excessively injurious or to have indiscriminate effects,
2. Their commitment to implement fully the Convention and its annexed Protocols to which they are party, and to keep the provisions of the Convention and its annexed Protocols under review in order to ensure their provisions remain relevant to modern conflicts,
3. Their determination to consult and cooperate with each other in order to facilitate the full implementation of the obligations contained in the Convention and its annexed Protocols to which they are party, thereby promoting compliance,
4. Their commitment to the full implementation of, and compliance with, the Convention and its annexed protocols, and in this respect, their satisfaction at the adoption of a compliance mechanism applicable to the Convention and its annexed Protocols,
5. Their satisfaction at the establishment of a Sponsorship Programme within the framework of the Convention, and invite donor States to identify themselves with a view to making the Sponsorship Programme operational, as soon as possible, and, if feasible, in time for the CCW-related activities in 2007,
6. Their satisfaction at the entry into force of the amendment to Article 1 of the Convention extending the application of the Convention and its annexed Protocols to armed conflicts of a non-international character,
7. Their desire that all States respect and ensure respect for the revised scope of application of the Convention to the fullest extent possible, and their determination to encourage all States which have not yet done so to ratify, accept, approve or accede to, as appropriate, the amendment to Article 1 as soon as possible,
8. Their determination to encourage all States to become parties, as soon as possible, to the Protocol on Non-Detectable Fragments (Protocol I), the Protocol on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Mines, Booby-Traps and Other Devices as amended on 3 May 1996 (Amended Protocol II), the Protocol on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Incendiary Weapons (Protocol III), and the Protocol on Blinding Laser Weapons (Protocol IV), and that all States respect and ensure respect for the substantive provisions of these Protocols,
9. Their satisfaction at the entry into force of the Protocol on Explosive Remnants of War (Protocol V), as well as their determination to encourage all States to become parties to Protocol V as soon as possible, and encourage all States to respect and ensure respect for the substantive provisions of Protocol V,
10. Their satisfaction at the adoption of the Plan of Action to promote universality of the Convention and its annexed Protocols,
11. Their continuing commitment to address as a matter of urgency the deleterious humanitarian effects of explosive remnants of war, through the effective and efficient implementation of Protocol V and reinforced international cooperation aimed at minimizing the risks and effects of unexploded and abandoned explosive ordnance,
12. That annual meetings of the High Contracting Parties will discuss further feasible precautions that may be taken to protect civilians from the effects of MOTAPM/AVM,
13. That High Contracting Parties will seek to build on the work of the GGE over the past five years in order to achieve consensus on appropriate measures to address the issue of MOTAPM/AVM, including their use,
14. Their commitment, without prejudice to the Protocol on Explosive Remnants of War, to continue to address the humanitarian problems caused by certain specific types of munitions in all their aspects, including cluster munitions, with a view to minimizing the humanitarian impact of these munitions,
15. Their decision to convene, as a matter of urgency, an intersessional meeting of governmental experts according to Decision 1 below,
16. Their continuing commitment to assist, to the extent feasible, humanitarian demining missions, operating with the consent of the host State and/or the relevant States parties to the conflict, in particular by providing all necessary information in their possession covering the location of all known minefields, mined areas, mines, explosive remnants of war, booby-traps and other devices in the area in which the mission is performing its functions,
17. Their determination to urge States which do not already do so to conduct reviews to determine whether any new weapon, means or methods of warfare would be prohibited under international humanitarian law or other rules of international law applicable to them. In this context, the Conference notes that the International Committee of the Red Cross has published in 2006 a guide to the legal review of new weapons, means and methods of warfare,
Recognise that the important principles and provisions contained in this Final Declaration can also serve as a basis for further strengthening the Convention and its annexed Protocols and express their determination to implement them,

AND TAKE THE FOLLOWING DECISIONS:

Decision 1

To convene, as a matter of urgency, an intersessional meeting of governmental experts:
To consider further the application and implementation of existing international humanitarian law to specific munitions that may cause explosive remnants of war, with particular focus on cluster munitions, including the factors affecting their reliability and their technical and design characteristics, with a view to minimizing the humanitarian impact of the use of these munitions.
This meeting of governmental experts will, inter alia, consider the results of the meeting of experts on cluster munitions to be held by the ICRC. The meeting of governmental experts will report to the next meeting of the High Contracting Parties.
The Meetings of Military and Technical Experts of the GGE shall continue their technical work and provide further advice, as required.

Decision 2

To dedicate up to two days to the issue of MOTAPM during the next Meeting of the High Contracting Parties in 2007.

Decision 3

To establish a Compliance mechanism applicable to the Convention, and, in accordance with paragraph 2 of the Decision, as contained in Annex B of the Final Declaration, to request the Secretary-General of the United Nations to convene a Meeting of the High Contracting Parties in 2007.

Decision 4

To recommend that the Secretary-General of the United Nations, as Depositary of the Convention and its annexed Protocols, and the President of the Third Review Conference, on behalf of the High Contracting Parties, exercise their authority to achieve the goal of universality of the Convention and its annexed Protocols. To this effect, the High Contracting Parties recall the request to the President of the Conference to report to the 61st session of the United Nations General Assembly on his endeavours.

Decision 5

To establish a Sponsorship Programme within the framework of the Convention, as contained in Annex D of the Final Declaration.

Decision 6

To organize the 2007 CCW-related activities as follows:
(i) Preparatory Committee for the first Conference of the High Contracting Parties to Protocol V on Explosive Remnants of War: on 18 June 2007;
(ii) Group of Governmental Experts, including continuation of the Meetings of Military and Technical Experts: from 19 to 22 June 2007;
(iii) First Conference of the High Contracting Parties to Protocol V on Explosive Remnants of War: on 5 November 2007;
(iv) Ninth Annual Conference of the High Contracting Parties to Amended Protocol II: on 6 November 2007; and
(v) Meeting of the High Contracting Parties to the Convention with up to one day on the issue of Compliance; up to two days on the issue of MOTAPM; and up to two days for a general meeting of the High Contracting Parties, including up to one day on the report of the GGE, under the overall responsibility of the Chairperson-designate of the Meeting of the High Contracting Parties: from 7 to 13 November 2007.
To nominate a representative of the Western European and Others Group as Chairperson-designate of the Meeting of the High Contracting Parties.
To appoint Ambassador Janis Karklin of Latvia as Chairperson of the GGE.

REVIEW:

Preambular paragraph 3

The Conference recalls the obligation to determine, in the study, development, acquisition or adoption of a new weapon, means and method of warfare, whether its employment would, in some or all circumstances, be prohibited under any rule of international law applicable to the High Contracting Parties.

Preambular paragraph 8

The Conference reaffirms the need to continue, as appropriate, the codification and progressive development of the rules of international law applicable to certain conventional weapons which may be excessively injurious or to have indiscriminate effects.

Preambular paragraph 10

The Conference underlines the need to achieve wider adherence to the Convention and its annexed Protocols. The Conference welcomes recent ratifications and accessions to the Convention and its annexed Protocols and urges the High Contracting Parties to accord high priority to their diplomatic efforts to encourage further adherence with a view to achieving universal adherence as soon as possible.

Article 1

The Conference notes the provisions of Article 1, as amended on 21 December 2001.
The Conference calls upon States which have not yet done so to ratify, accept, approve or accede to, as appropriate, the amendment to Article 1.

Article 2

The Conference reaffirms that nothing in the Convention or its annexed Protocols shall be interpreted as detracting from other obligations imposed upon the High Contracting Parties by international humanitarian law.

Article 3

The Conference notes the provisions of Article 3.

Article 4

The Conference notes that 100 States have ratified, accepted, acceded or succeeded to the Convention.
The Conference calls upon States which are not parties to this Convention to ratify, accept, approve or accede to, as appropriate, the Convention, thus contributing to the achievement of universal adherence to the Convention.
The Conference invites the High Contracting Parties to encourage further accessions to the Convention and its annexed Protocols.
The Conference, in this context, welcomes the adoption of the Plan of Action to Promote Universality of the Convention.

Article 5

The Conference notes the provisions of Article 5.
The Conference recalls in particular the provisions of paragraph 3 of this Article, which stipulates that each of the Protocols annexed to the Convention shall enter into force six months after the date by which twenty States have notified their consent to be bound by it. The Conference welcomes the entry into force on 12 November 2006 of the Protocol on Explosive Remnants of War (Protocol V).

Article 6

The Conference encourages international cooperation in the field of dissemination of the Convention and its annexed Protocols and recognizes the importance of multilateral collaboration relating to instruction, the exchange of experience at all levels, the exchange of instructors and the organization of joint seminars. The Conference underlines the importance of the High Contracting Parties' obligation to disseminate this Convention and its annexed Protocols and, in particular, to include the content in their programmes of military instruction at all levels.
The Conference, in this context, welcomes the establishment of a Sponsorship Programme within the framework of the Convention, aimed at, inter alia, strengthening the implementation of the Convention and its annexed Protocols, promoting the universal observance of the norms and principles enshrined therein, supporting the universalization of the Convention and its annexed Protocols, and enhancing the cooperation, the exchange of information and the consultations among the High Contracting Parties on issues related to the Convention and its annexed Protocols.
The Conference welcomes the establishment of a web page of the Convention and its annexed Protocols on the website of the United Nations and on the website of the Presidency and requests the Secretary-General of the United Nations to continue to make all documents related to the Convention, available on the UN website.

Article 7

The Conference notes the provisions of Article 7.
On Compliance, the Conference notes the work done and the decision taken by the Review Conference.

Article 8

The Conference notes the provisions of Article 8.
On Mines Other Than Anti-Personnel Mines, the Conference notes the work done and the decision taken by the Review Conference.
The Conference decides, consistent with Article 8, paragraph 3 (c), to convene a Meeting of the High Contracting Parties to be held from 7 to 13 November 2007, in conjunction with the Conferences of the High Contracting Parties to Amended Protocol II and to Protocol V.
The States Parties recall their agreement reached by the Second Review Conference in 2001 in reviewing Article 8 of the Convention.
On Explosive Remnants of War, the Conference notes the work done and the decision taken by the Review Conference.
In this regard, the Conference notes that, while not opposing its adoption by the Conference, one delegation did not join the consensus on the decision on Explosive Remnants of War, because the delegation considered that the text did not adequately address humanitarian concerns.

Article 9

The Conference notes with satisfaction that the provisions of this Article have not been invoked.

Article 10

The Conference notes the provisions of Article 10.

Article 11

The Conference notes the provisions of Article 11.
The Conference notes the corrections to the original text of Protocol V on Explosive Remnants of War (French, Russian and Spanish versions) and to the certified true copies effected by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, acting in his capacity as depositary.

Protocol on Non-Detectable Fragments (Protocol I)

The Conference notes the provisions of this Protocol.

Protocol on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Mines, Booby-Traps and Other Devices (Protocol II) and Technical Annex to the Protocol

The Conference notes the provisions of this Protocol.

Protocol on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Mines, Booby-Traps and Other Devices as amended on 3 May 1996 (Amended Protocol II) and Technical Annex to the Protocol

The Conference acknowledges that the High Contracting Parties strengthened Protocol II in a number of areas at the First Review Conference.
The Conference also notes with satisfaction that, in accordance with Article 13 of Amended Protocol II, eight Annual Conferences of High Contracting Parties have been held for the purpose of consultations and cooperation on all issues related to Amended Protocol II.
The Conference recommends that future Annual Conferences of the High Contracting Parties to Amended Protocol II coincide with any meetings of the High Contracting Parties to the Convention and Conferences of the High Contracting Parties to Protocol V.
The Conference takes note of the reporting obligations of the High Contracting Parties under Amended Protocol II, and calls on the High Contracting Parties to fulfil these obligations in a timely, consistent and complete manner.
The Conference recalls that the deferral period provided for in paragraphs 2 (c) and 3 (c) of the Technical Annex, which allows High Contracting Parties to defer compliance with the requirements of Article 4 on detectibility of anti-personnel mines and of Article 5 on self-destruction and self-deactivation of anti-personnel mines, will expire on 3 December 2007.
The Conference acknowledges the valuable work of relevant agencies and bodies of the United Nations; of the International Committee of the Red Cross pursuant to its mandate to assist war victims; of the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining; as well as of NGOs in a number of fields, in particular the care and rehabilitation of mine victims, implementation of mine-awareness programmes and mine clearance.

Protocol on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Incendiary Weapons (Protocol III)

The Conference notes the provisions of this Protocol.

Protocol on Blinding Laser Weapons (Protocol IV)

The Conference notes the provisions of this Protocol.

Protocol on Explosive Remnants of War (Protocol V) and Technical Annex to the Protocol

The Conference notes of the provisions of this Protocol and welcomes with satisfaction its entry into force.
The Conference encourages the High Contracting Parties to make all best endeavours to comply with suggested best practices, as specified in the Technical Annex, for achieving the objectives contained in Articles 4, 5 and 9 of the Protocol.
The Conference looks forward to the Conference of the High Contracting Parties that will be convened in 2007 pursuant to Article 10 of the Protocol on Explosive Remnants of War, according to the wish expressed by States which have decided to be bound by the Protocol.
The Conference acknowledges the valuable work of relevant agencies and bodies of the United Nations; of the International Committee of the Red Cross pursuant to its mandate to assist war victims; of the Geneva International Center for Humanitarian Demining; as well as of NGOs in a number of fields, in particular the care and rehabilitation of victims of explosive remnants of war, risk education, and clearance, removal or destruction of unexploded ordnance and abandoned explosive ordnance.
1CCW/CONF.III/11 (Part II).