Countries extend treaty on conventional weapons to cover internal wars

24 December 2001

Concluding a ten-day negotiating session at the United Nations Office in Geneva, States parties to a treaty prohibiting certain conventional arms have agreed to extend the ban to cover internal as well as international conflicts.

This change, which came in recognition of the large number of intra-State conflicts giving rise to serious humanitarian problems, was agreed on at the conclusion on Friday of the Second Review Conference of the States 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.

Participants also decided to commission a group of governmental experts to examine ways of dealing with the issues of explosive remnants of war and anti-vehicle landmines. In addition, States parties were invited to consider matters related to small calibre weapons and ammunition.

Known as the Inhumane Weapons Convention, the treaty currently covers landmines and booby-traps, incendiary weapons, weapons leaving undetectable fragments in the body, and blinding laser weapons. The Convention, which entered into force in 1983, has 88 States Parties.


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