The Permanent Mission of France in New York held a side event on improvised explosive devices (IEDs) on 7 October 2016 during 71st Session of the General Assembly First Committee. Four experts discussed the important details of IEDs and what needs to be done to regulate the illegal use of them. They were: Mr. Iain Overton of Action on Armed Violence, Mr. Daniel Prins, Chief, Conventional Arms Branch, UNODA, Ambassador Mahmoud Saikal of Afghanistan, and a representative from the 1267/1988 Monitoring Team.
Mr. Overton discussed the six parts of a five year study conducted by Action on Armed Violence which included an overview of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), different types of IEDs, and their negative impact on humanitarian assistance. Mr. Overton also discussed the international, regional, and bilateral initiatives that aim to counter-IEDs and the impact these improvised weapons are having on international security.
Mr. Daniel Prins, Chief, Conventional Arms Branch, UNODA explained the United Nations Secretary-General’s report on IEDs, which delves into the growth and impact of improvised explosive device (IED) attacks, production and delivery, and addressing the IED issue. Mr. Prins explained that the development and use of IEDs continue to increase. Major dimensions of IED use are covered by international law with violations committed in almost all cases by non-state actors. He noted the importance of international coordination to be strengthened in order prevent precursor materials from being utilized in the development of IEDs.
Ambassador Saikal from Afghanistan discussed how IEDs are a global problem that kills thousands of civilians every year. Noting that IEDs not only cause physical injuries and leave psychological effects, they spread fear and disruption across communities. IED use affects the political, social, and economical systems of a country moving from the macro to the micro. The Ambassador focused also on the impact that IEDs are having in Afghanistan and called for greater for a greater counter-terrorism response.
Drafted by Kathryn Smart