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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 (with protocols)

The High Contracting Parties,

Recalling that every State has the duty, in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations, to refrain in its international relations from the threat or use of force against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in any other man­ner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations,

Further recalling the general principle of the protection of the civilian population against the effects of hostilities,

Basing themselves on the principle of international law that the right of the parties to an armed conflict to choose methods or means of warfare is not unlimited, and on the principle that prohibits the employment in armed conflicts of weapons, projectiles and material and methods of warfare of a nature to cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering,

Also recalling that it is prohibited to employ methods or means of warfare which are intended, or may be expected, to cause wide­spread, long-term and severe damage to the natural environment,

Confirming their determination that in cases not covered by this Convention and its annexed Protocols or by other international agreements, the civilian population and the combatants shall at all times remain under the protection and authority of the principles of international law derived from established custom, from the princi­ples of humanity and from the dictates of public conscience,

Desiring to contribute to international detente, the ending of the arms race and the building of confidence among States, and hence

to the realization of the aspiration of all peoples to live in peace,

Recognizing the importance of pursuing every effort which may contribute to progress towards general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control,

Reaffirming the need to continue the codification and progres­sive development of the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict,

Wishing to prohibit or restrict further the use of certain conven­tional weapons and believing that the positive results achieved in this area may facilitate the main talks on disarmament with a view to putting an end to the production, stockpiling and proliferation of such weapons,

Emphasizing the desirability that all States become parties to this Convention and its annexed Protocols, especially the militarily sig­nificant States,

Bearing in mind that the General Assembly of the United Nations and the United Nations Disarmament Commission may decide to examine the question of a possible broadening of the scope of the prohibitions and restrictions contained in this Convention and its annexed Protocols,

Further bearing in mind that the Committee on Disarmament may decide to consider the question of adopting further measures to prohibit or restrict the use of certain conventional weapons,

Have agreed as follows: Article 1

Scope of application

(amended 21 December 2001)

1. This Convention and its annexed Protocols shall apply in the sit­uations referred to in Article 2 common to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 for the Protection of War Victims, including any situation described in paragraph 4 of Article 1 of Additional Protocol I to these Conventions.

2.   This Convention and its annexed Protocols shall also apply, in addition to situations referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article, to situations referred to in Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949. This Convention and its annexed Protocols shall not apply to situations of internal distur­bances and tensions, such as riots, isolated and sporadic acts of violence, and other acts of a similar nature, as not being armed conflicts.

3.   In case of armed conflicts not of an international character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties, each party to the conflict shall be bound to apply the prohibitions and restrictions of this Convention and its annexed Protocols.

4.   Nothing in this Convention or its annexed Protocols shall be invoked for the purpose of affecting the sovereignty of a State or the responsibility of the Government, by all legitimate means, to maintain or re-establish law and order in the State or to defend the national unity and territorial integrity of the State.

5.   Nothing in this Convention or its annexed Protocols shall be invoked as a justification for intervening, directly or indirectly, for any reason whatever, in the armed conflict or in the internal or external affairs of the High Contracting Party in the territory of which that conflict occurs.

6.   The application of the provisions of this Convention and its annexed Protocols to parties to a conflict which are not High Contracting Parties that have accepted this Convention or its annexed Protocols, shall not change their legal status or the legal status of a disputed territory, either explicitly or implicitly.

7.   The provisions of paragraphs 2-6 of this Article shall not preju­dice additional Protocols adopted after 1 January 2002, which may apply, exclude or modify the scope of their application in relation to this Article.

Article 2

Relations with other international agreements

Nothing in this Convention or its annexed Protocols shall be interpreted as detracting from other obligations imposed upon the High Contracting Parties by international humanitarian law applic­able in armed conflict.

Article 3

Signature

This Convention shall be open for signature by all States at United Nations Headquarters in New York for a period of twelve months from 10 April 1981.

Article 4

Ratification, acceptance, approval or accession

1.   This Convention is subject to ratification, acceptance or approval by the Signatories. Any State which has not signed this Convention may accede to it.

2.   The instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or acces­sion shall be deposited with the Depositary.

3.   Expressions of consent to be bound by any of the Protocols annexed to this Convention shall be optional for each State, pro­vided that at the time of the deposit of its instrument of ratifica­tion, acceptance or approval of this Convention or of accession thereto, that State shall notify the Depositary of its consent to be bound by any two or more of these Protocols.

4.   At any time after the deposit of its instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval of this Convention or of accession there­to, a State may notify the Depositary of its consent to be bound by any annexed Protocol by which it is not already bound.

5. Any Protocol by which a High Contracting Party is bound shall for that Party form an integral part of this Convention.

Article 5

Entry into force

1.   This Convention shall enter into force six months after the date of deposit of the twentieth instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.

2.   For any State which deposits its instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession after the date of the deposit of the twentieth instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, this Convention shall enter into force six months after the date on which that State has deposited its instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.

3.   Each of the Protocols annexed to this Convention shall enter into force six months after the date by which twenty States have noti­fied their consent to be bound by it in accordance with para­graph 3 or 4 of Article 4 of this Convention.

4.   For any State which notifies its consent to be bound by a Protocol annexed to this Convention after the date by which twenty States have notified their consent to be bound by it, the Protocol shall enter into force six months after the date on which that State has notified its consent so to be bound.

Article 6

Dissemination

The High Contracting Parties undertake, in time of peace as in time of armed conflict, to disseminate this Convention and those of its annexed Protocols by which they are bound as widely as possi­ble in their respective countries and, in particular, to include the study thereof in their programmes of military instruction, so that those instruments may become known to their armed forces.

Article 7

Treaty relations upon entry into force of this Convention

1.   When one of the parties to a conflict is not bound by an annexed Protocol, the parties bound by this Convention and that annexed Protocol shall remain bound by them in their mutual relations.

2.   Any High Contracting Party shall be bound by this Convention and any Protocol annexed thereto which is in force for it, in any situation contemplated by Article 1, in relation to any State which is not a party to this Convention or bound by the relevant annexed Protocol, if the latter accepts and applies this Convention or the relevant Protocol, and so notifies the Depositary.

3.   The Depositary shall immediately inform the High Contracting Parties concerned of any notification received under paragraph 2 of this Article.

4.   This Convention, and the annexed Protocols by which a High Contracting Party is bound, shall apply with respect to an armed conflict against that High Contracting Party of the type referred to in Article 1, paragraph 4, of Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 for the Protection of War Victims:

(a) where the High Contracting Party is also a party to Additional Protocol I and an authority referred to in Article 96, para­graph 3, of that Protocol has undertaken to apply the Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocol I in accordance with Article 96, paragraph 3, of the said Protocol, and undertakes to apply this Convention and the relevant annexed Protocols in relation to that conflict; or

(b) where the High Contracting Party is not a party to Additional Protocol I and an authority of the type referred to in sub-para­graph (a) above accepts and applies the obligations of the Geneva Conventions and of this Convention and the relevant annexed Protocols in relation to that conflict. Such an

acceptance and application shall have in relation to that con­flict the following effects:

(i)   the Geneva Conventions and this Convention and its rele­vant annexed Protocols are brought into force for the par­ties to the conflict with immediate effect;

(ii)  the said authority assumes the same rights and obliga­tions as those which have been assumed by a High Contracting Party to the Geneva Conventions, this Convention and its relevant annexed Protocols; and

(iii)the            Geneva Conventions, this Convention and its relevant annexed Protocols are equally binding upon all parties to the conflict.

The High Contracting Party and the authority may also agree to accept and apply the obligations of Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions on a reciprocal basis.

Article 8

Review and amendments

1. (a) At any time after the entry into force of this Convention any High Contracting Party may propose amendments to this Convention or any annexed Protocol by which it is bound. Any proposal for an amendment shall be communicated to the Depositary, who shall notify it to all the High Contracting Parties and shall seek their views on whether a conference should be convened to consider the proposal. If a majority, that shall not be less than eighteen of the High Contracting Parties so agree, he shall promptly convene a conference to which all High Contracting Parties shall be invited. States not parties to this Convention shall be invited to the conference as observers.

(b) Such a conference may agree upon amendments which shall be adopted and shall enter into force in the same manner as this Convention and the annexed Protocols, provided that

amendments to this Convention may be adopted only by the High Contracting Parties and that amendments to a specific annexed Protocol may be adopted only by the High Contracting Parties which are bound by that Protocol.

2.   (a) At any time after the entry into force of this Convention any

High Contracting Party may propose additional protocols relating to other categories of conventional weapons not cov­ered by the existing annexed Protocols. Any such proposal for an additional protocol shall be communicated to the Depositary, who shall notify it to all the High Contracting Parties in accordance with sub-paragraph 1 (a) of this Article. If a majority, that shall not be less than eighteen of the High Contracting Parties so agree, the Depositary shall promptly convene a conference to which all States shall be invited.

(b) Such a conference may agree, with the full participation of all States represented at the conference, upon additional proto­cols which shall be adopted in the same manner as this Convention, shall be annexed thereto and shall enter into force as provided in paragraphs 3 and 4 of Article 5 of this Convention.

3.   (a) If, after a period of ten years following the entry into force of

this Convention, no conference has been convened in accor­dance with sub-paragraph 1 (a) or 2 (a) of this Article, any High Contracting Party may request the Depositary to convene a conference to which all High Contracting Parties shall be invit­ed to review the scope and operation of this Convention and the Protocols annexed thereto and to consider any proposal for amendments of this Convention or of the existing Protocols. States not parties to this Convention shall be invit­ed as observers to the conference. The conference may agree upon amendments which shall be adopted and enter into force in accordance with sub-paragraph 1 (b) above.

(b) At such conference consideration may also be given to any proposal for additional protocols relating to other categories of conventional weapons not covered by the existing

annexed Protocols. All States represented at the conference may participate fully in such consideration. Any additional protocols shall be adopted in the same manner as this Convention, shall be annexed thereto and shall enter into force as provided in paragraphs 3 and 4 of Article 5 of this Convention.

(c) Such a conference may consider whether provision should be made for the convening of a further conference at the request of any High Contracting Party if, after a similar period to that referred to in sub-paragraph 3 (a) of this Article, no conference has been convened in accordance with sub-paragraph 1 (a) or 2 (a) of this Article.

Article 9

Denunciation

1.  Any High Contracting Party may denounce this Convention or any of its annexed Protocols by so notifying the Depositary.

2.   Any such denunciation shall only take effect one year after receipt by the Depositary of the notification of denunciation. If, however, on the expiry of that year the denouncing High Contracting Party is engaged in one of the situations referred to in Article 1, the Party shall continue to be bound by the obliga­tions of this Convention and of the relevant annexed Protocols until the end of the armed conflict or occupation and, in any case, until the termination of operations connected with the final release, repatriation or re-establishment of the persons protect­ed by the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict, and in the case of any annexed Protocol containing provisions concerning situations in which peace-keeping, observation or similar functions are performed by United Nations forces or mis­sions in the area concerned, until the termination of those func­tions.

3. Any denunciation of this Convention shall be considered as also applying to all annexed Protocols by which the denouncing High Contracting Party is bound.

4. Any denunciation shall have effect only in respect of the denouncing High Contracting Party.

5. Any denunciation shall not affect the obligations already incurred, by reason of an armed conflict, under this Convention and its annexed Protocols by such denouncing High Contracting Party in respect of any act committed before this denunciation becomes effective.

Article 10

Depositary

1.   The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall be the Depositary of this Convention and of its annexed Protocols.

2.   In addition to his usual functions, the Depositary shall inform all States of:

(a) signatures affixed to this Convention under Article 3;

(b) deposits of instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval of or accession to this Convention deposited under Article 4;

(c)  notifications of consent to be bound by annexed Protocols under Article 4;

(d) the dates of entry into force of this Convention and of each of its annexed Protocols under Article 5; and

(e) notifications of denunciation received under Article 9, and their effective date.

Article 11

Authentic texts

The original of this Convention with the annexed Protocols, of which the Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish texts are equally authentic, shall be deposited with the Depositary, who shall transmit certified true copies thereof to all States.

Protocol on

Non-Detectable Fragments

(Protocol I)

It is prohibited to use any weapon the primary effect of which is to injure by fragments which in the human body escape detection by X-rays.

Protocol on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Mines, Booby-Traps and Other Devices as amended on 3 May 1996

(Protocol II as amended on 3 May 1996) Article 1

Scope of application

1.   This Protocol relates to the use on land of the mines, booby-traps and other devices, defined herein, including mines laid to interdict beaches, waterway crossings or river crossings, but does not apply to the use of anti-ship mines at sea or in inland waterways.

2.   This Protocol shall apply, in addition to situations referred to in Article 1 of this Convention, to situations referred to in Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949. This Protocol shall not apply to situations of internal disturbances and tensions, such as riots, isolated and sporadic acts of violence and other acts of a similar nature, as not being armed conflicts.

3.   In case of armed conflicts not of an international character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties, each party to the conflict shall be bound to apply the prohibitions and restrictions of this Protocol.

4.   Nothing in this Protocol shall be invoked for the purpose of affecting the sovereignty of a State or the responsibility of the Government, by all legitimate means, to maintain or re-establish law and order in the State or to defend the national unity and ter­ritorial integrity of the State.

5.   Nothing in this Protocol shall be invoked as a justification for intervening, directly or indirectly, for any reason whatever, in the armed conflict or in the internal or external affairs of the High Contracting Party in the territory of which that conflict occurs.

6. The application of the provisions of this Protocol to parties to a conflict, which are not High Contracting Parties that have accepted this Protocol, shall not change their legal status or the legal status of a disputed territory, either explicitly or implicitly.

Article 2

Definitions

For the purpose of this Protocol:

1.   “Mine” means a munition placed under, on or near the ground or other surface area and designed to be exploded by the pres­ence, proximity or contact of a person or vehicle.

2.   “Remotely-delivered mine” means a mine not directly emplaced but delivered by artillery, missile, rocket, mortar, or similar means, or dropped from an aircraft. Mines delivered from a land- based system from less than 500 metres are not considered to be “remotely delivered”, provided that they are used in accor­dance with Article 5 and other relevant Articles of this Protocol.

3.   “Anti-personnel mine” means a mine primarily designed to be exploded by the presence, proximity or contact of a person and that will incapacitate, injure or kill one or more persons.

4.   “Booby-trap” means any device or material which is designed, constructed or adapted to kill or injure, and which functions unexpectedly when a person disturbs or approaches an appar­ently harmless object or performs an apparently safe act.

5.   “Other devices” means manually-emplaced munitions and devices including improvised explosive devices designed to kill, injure or damage and which are actuated manually, by remote control or automatically after a lapse of time.

6.   “Military objective” means, so far as objects are concerned, any object which by its nature, location, purpose or use makes an effective contribution to military action and whose total or partial

destruction, capture or neutralization, in the circumstances ruling at the time, offers a definite military advantage.

7.   “Civilian objects” are all objects which are not military objectives as defined in paragraph 6 of this Article.

8.   “Minefield” is a defined area in which mines have been emplaced and “mined area” is an area which is dangerous due to the pre­sence of mines. “Phoney minefield” means an area free of mines that simulates a minefield. The term “minefield” includes phoney minefields.

9.   “Recording” means a physical, administrative and technical oper­ation designed to obtain, for the purpose of registration in official records, all available information facilitating the location of mine­fields, mined areas, mines, booby-traps and other devices.

10.”Self-destruction mechanism” means an incorporated or exter­nally attached automatically-functioning mechanism which secures the destruction of the munition into which it is incorpo­rated or to which it is attached.

11. “Self-neutralization mechanism” means an incorporated auto­matically-functioning mechanism which renders inoperable the munition into which it is incorporated.

12. “Self-deactivating” means automatically rendering a munition inoperable by means of the irreversible exhaustion of a compo­nent, for example, a battery, that is essential to the operation of the munition.

13. “Remote control” means control by commands from a distance.

14. “Anti-handling device” means a device intended to protect a mine and which is part of, linked to, attached to or placed under the mine and which activates when an attempt is made to tam­per with the mine.

15. “Transfer” involves, in addition to the physical movement of mines into or from national territory, the transfer of title to and

control over the mines, but does not involve the transfer of terri­tory containing emplaced mines.

Article 3

General restrictions on the use of mines, booby-traps and other devices

1.   This Article applies to:

(a)       mines;

(b)       booby-traps; and

(c)       other devices.

2.   Each High Contracting Party or party to a conflict is, in accor­dance with the provisions of this Protocol, responsible for all mines, booby-traps, and other devices employed by it and undertakes to clear, remove, destroy or maintain them as speci­fied in Article 10 of this Protocol.

3.   It is prohibited in all circumstances to use any mine, booby-trap or other device which is designed or of a nature to cause super­fluous injury or unnecessary suffering.

4.   Weapons to which this Article applies shall strictly comply with the standards and limitations specified in the Technical Annex with respect to each particular category.

5.   It is prohibited to use mines, booby-traps or other devices which employ a mechanism or device specifically designed to detonate the munition by the presence of commonly available mine detec­tors as a result of their magnetic or other non-contact influence during normal use in detection operations.

6.   It is prohibited to use a self-deactivating mine equipped with an anti-handling device that is designed in such a manner that the anti-handling device is capable of functioning after the mine has ceased to be capable of functioning.

7.   It is prohibited in all circumstances to direct weapons to which this Article applies, either in offence, defence or by way of reprisals, against the civilian population as such or against indi­vidual civilians or civilian objects.

8.  The indiscriminate use of weapons to which this Article applies is prohibited. Indiscriminate use is any placement of such weapons:

(a) which is not on, or directed against, a military objective. In case of doubt as to whether an object which is normally ded­icated to civilian purposes, such as a place of worship, a house or other dwelling or a school, is being used to make an effective contribution to military action, it shall be presumed not to be so used; or

(b) which employs a method or means of delivery which cannot be directed at a specific military objective; or

(c)  which may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects, or a combi­nation thereof, which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated.

9.   Several clearly separated and distinct military objectives located in a city, town, village or other area containing a similar concen­tration of civilians or civilian objects are not to be treated as a single military objective.

10. All feasible precautions shall be taken to protect civilians from the effects of weapons to which this Article applies. Feasible pre­cautions are those precautions which are practicable or practi­cally possible taking into account all circumstances ruling at the time, including humanitarian and military considerations. These circumstances include, but are not limited to:

(a) the short- and long-term effect of mines upon the local civil­ian population for the duration of the minefield;

(b) possible measures to protect civilians (for example, fencing, signs, warning and monitoring);

(c)  the availability and feasibility of using alternatives; and

(d) the short- and long-term military requirements for a minefield.

11. Effective advance warning shall be given of any emplacement of mines, booby-traps and other devices which may affect the civil­ian population, unless circumstances do not permit.

Article 4

Restrictions on the use of anti-personnel mines

It is prohibited to use anti-personnel mines which are not

detectable, as specified in paragraph 2 of the Technical Annex.

Article 5

Restrictions on the use of anti-personnel mines other than remotely-delivered mines

1.   This Article applies to anti-personnel mines other than remotely- delivered mines.

2.   It is prohibited to use weapons to which this Article applies which are not in compliance with the provisions on self-destruc­tion and self-deactivation in the Technical Annex, unless:

(a) such weapons are placed within a perimeter-marked area which is monitored by military personnel and protected by fencing or other means, to ensure the effective exclusion of civilians from the area. The marking must be of a distinct and durable character and must at least be visible to a person who is about to enter the perimeter-marked area; and

(b) such weapons are cleared before the area is abandoned, unless the area is turned over to the forces of another State which accept responsibility for the maintenance of the pro­tections required by this Article and the subsequent clear­ance of those weapons.

3.   A party to a conflict is relieved from further compliance with the provisions of sub-paragraphs 2 (a) and 2 (b) of this Article only if such compliance is not feasible due to forcible loss of control of

the area as a result of enemy military action, including situations where direct enemy military action makes it impossible to com­ply. If that party regains control of the area, it shall resume com­pliance with the provisions of sub-paragraphs 2 (a) and 2 (b) of this Article.

4.   If the forces of a party to a conflict gain control of an area in which weapons to which this Article applies have been laid, such forces shall, to the maximum extent feasible, maintain and, if necessary, establish the protections required by this Article until such weapons have been cleared.

5.   All feasible measures shall be taken to prevent the unauthorized removal, defacement, destruction or concealment of any device, system or material used to establish the perimeter of a perime­ter-marked area.

6.   Weapons to which this Article applies which propel fragments in a horizontal arc of less than 90 degrees and which are placed on or above the ground may be used without the measures provid­ed for in sub-paragraph 2 (a) of this Article for a maximum peri­od of 72 hours, if:

(a) they are located in immediate proximity to the military unit that emplaced them; and

(b) the area is monitored by military personnel to ensure the effective exclusion of civilians.

Article 6

Restrictions on the use of remotely-delivered mines

1.   It is prohibited to use remotely-delivered mines unless they are recorded in accordance with sub-paragraph 1 (b) of the Technical Annex.

2.   It is prohibited to use remotely-delivered anti-personnel mines which are not in compliance with the provisions on self-destruc­tion and self-deactivation in the Technical Annex.

3.   It is prohibited to use remotely-delivered mines other than anti­personnel mines, unless, to the extent feasible, they are equipped with an effective self-destruction or self-neutralization mechanism and have a back-up self-deactivation feature, which is designed so that the mine will no longer function as a mine when the mine no longer serves the military purpose for which it was placed in position.

4.   Effective advance warning shall be given of any delivery or drop­ping of remotely-delivered mines which may affect the civilian population, unless circumstances do not permit.

Article 7

Prohibitions on the use of booby-traps and other devices

1. Without prejudice to the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict relating to treachery and perfidy, it is prohibited in all circumstances to use booby-traps and other devices which are in any way attached to or associated with:

(a) internationally recognized protective emblems, signs or signals;

(b) sick, wounded or dead persons;

(c)  burial or cremation sites or graves;

(d) medical facilities, medical equipment, medical supplies or medical transportation;

(e) children’s toys or other portable objects or products special­ly designed for the feeding, health, hygiene, clothing or edu­cation of children;

(f)   food or drink;

(g) kitchen utensils or appliances except in military establish­ments, military locations or military supply depots;

(h) objects clearly of a religious nature;

(i)   historic monuments, works of art or places of worship which constitute the cultural or spiritual heritage of peoples; or

(j) animals or their carcasses.

2.   It is prohibited to use booby-traps or other devices in the form of apparently harmless portable objects which are specifically designed and constructed to contain explosive material.

3.   Without prejudice to the provisions of Article 3, it is prohibited to use weapons to which this Article applies in any city, town, vil­lage or other area containing a similar concentration of civilians in which combat between ground forces is not taking place or does not appear to be imminent, unless either:

(a) they are placed on or in the close vicinity of a military objec­tive; or

(b) measures are taken to protect civilians from their effects, for example, the posting of warning sentries, the issuing of warnings or the provision of fences.

Article 8

Transfers

1. In order to promote the purposes of this Protocol, each High Contracting Party:

(a) undertakes not to transfer any mine the use of which is pro­hibited by this Protocol;

(b) undertakes not to transfer any mine to any recipient other than a State or a State agency authorized to receive such transfers;

(c)  undertakes to exercise restraint in the transfer of any mine the use of which is restricted by this Protocol. In particular, each High Contracting Party undertakes not to transfer any anti-personnel mines to States which are not bound by this Protocol, unless the recipient State agrees to apply this Protocol; and

(d) undertakes to ensure that any transfer in accordance with this Article takes place in full compliance, by both the trans­ferring and the recipient State, with the relevant provisions of

this Protocol and the applicable norms of international humanitarian law.

2.   In the event that a High Contracting Party declares that it will defer compliance with specific provisions on the use of certain mines, as provided for in the Technical Annex, sub-paragraph 1 (a) of this Article shall however apply to such mines.

3.   All High Contracting Parties, pending the entry into force of this Protocol, will refrain from any actions which would be inconsis­tent with sub-paragraph 1 (a) of this Article.

Article 9

Recording and use of information on minefields, mined areas, mines, booby-traps and other devices

1.  All information concerning minefields, mined areas, mines, booby-traps and other devices shall be recorded in accordance with the provisions of the Technical Annex.

2.   All such records shall be retained by the parties to a conflict, who shall, without delay after the cessation of active hostilities, take all necessary and appropriate measures, including the use of such information, to protect civilians from the effects of mine­fields, mined areas, mines, booby-traps and other devices in areas under their control.

At the same time, they shall also make available to the other party or parties to the conflict and to the Secretary-General of the United Nations all such information in their possession con­cerning minefields, mined areas, mines, booby-traps and other devices laid by them in areas no longer under their control; pro­vided, however, subject to reciprocity, where the forces of a party to a conflict are in the territory of an adverse party, either party may withhold such information from the Secretary-General and the other party, to the extent that security interests require such withholding, until neither party is in the territory of the other. In

the latter case, the information withheld shall be disclosed as soon as those security interests permit. Wherever possible, the parties to the conflict shall seek, by mutual agreement, to pro­vide for the release of such information at the earliest possible time in a manner consistent with the security interests of each party.

3. This Article is without prejudice to the provisions of Articles 10 and 12 of this Protocol.

Article 10

Removal of minefields, mined areas, mines, booby-traps and other devices and international cooperation

1.   Without delay after the cessation of active hostilities, all mine­fields, mined areas, mines, booby-traps and other devices shall be cleared, removed, destroyed or maintained in accordance with Article 3 and paragraph 2 of Article 5 of this Protocol.

2.   High Contracting Parties and parties to a conflict bear such responsibility with respect to minefields, mined areas, mines, booby-traps and other devices in areas under their control.

3.   With respect to minefields, mined areas, mines, booby-traps and other devices laid by a party in areas over which it no longer exercises control, such party shall provide to the party in control of the area pursuant to paragraph 2 of this Article, to the extent permitted by such party, technical and material assistance nec­essary to fulfil such responsibility.

4.   At all times necessary, the parties shall endeavour to reach agreement, both among themselves and, where appropriate, with other States and with international organizations, on the provision of technical and material assistance, including, in appropriate circumstances, the undertaking of joint operations necessary to fulfil such responsibilities.

Article 11

Technological cooperation and assistance

1.   Each High Contracting Party undertakes to facilitate and shall have the right to participate in the fullest possible exchange of equipment, material and scientific and technological information concerning the implementation of this Protocol and means of mine clearance. In particular, High Contracting Parties shall not impose undue restrictions on the provision of mine clearance equipment and related technological information for humanitari­an purposes.

2.  Each High Contracting Party undertakes to provide information to the database on mine clearance established within the United Nations System, especially information concerning various means and technologies of mine clearance, and lists of experts, expert agencies or national points of contact on mine clearance.

3.  Each High Contracting Party in a position to do so shall provide assistance for mine clearance through the United Nations System, other international bodies or on a bilateral basis, or con­tribute to the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Assistance in Mine Clearance.

4.   Requests by High Contracting Parties for assistance, substanti­ated by relevant information, may be submitted to the United Nations, to other appropriate bodies or to other States. These requests may be submitted to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who shall transmit them to all High Contracting Parties and to relevant international organizations.

5.  In the case of requests to the United Nations, the Secretary- General of the United Nations, within the resources available to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, may take appro­priate steps to assess the situation and, in cooperation with the requesting High Contracting Party, determine the appropriate provision of assistance in mine clearance or implementation of the Protocol. The Secretary-General may also report to High Contracting Parties on any such assessment as well as on the type and scope of assistance required.

6.   Without prejudice to their constitutional and other legal provi­sions, the High Contracting Parties undertake to cooperate and transfer technology to facilitate the implementation of the rele­vant prohibitions and restrictions set out in this Protocol.

7.   Each High Contracting Party has the right to seek and receive technical assistance, where appropriate, from another High Contracting Party on specific relevant technology, other than weapons technology, as necessary and feasible, with a view to reducing any period of deferral for which provision is made in the Technical Annex.

Article 12

Protection from the effects of minefields, mined areas, mines, booby-traps and other devices

1. Application

(a) With the exception of the forces and missions referred to in sub-paragraph 2 (a) (i) of this Article, this Article applies only to missions which are performing functions in an area with the consent of the High Contracting Party on whose territory the functions are performed.

(b) The application of the provisions of this Article to parties to a conflict which are not High Contracting Parties shall not change their legal status or the legal status of a disputed ter­ritory, either explicitly or implicitly.

(c)  The provisions of this Article are without prejudice to existing international humanitarian law, or other international instru­ments as applicable, or decisions by the Security Council of the United Nations, which provide for a higher level of pro­tection to personnel functioning in accordance with this Article.

2. Peace-keeping and certain other forces and missions (a) This paragraph applies to:

(i)   any United Nations force or mission performing peace­keeping, observation or similar functions in any area in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations;

(ii)  any mission established pursuant to Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations and performing its functions in the area of a conflict.

(b) Each High Contracting Party or party to a conflict, if so requested by the head of a force or mission to which this paragraph applies, shall:

(i)   so far as it is able, take such measures as are necessary to protect the force or mission from the effects of mines, booby-traps and other devices in any area under its control;

(ii)  if necessary in order effectively to protect such personnel, remove or render harmless, so far as it is able, all mines, booby-traps and other devices in that area; and

(iii) inform the head of the force or mission of the location of all known mine-fields, mined areas, mines, booby-traps and other devices in the area in which the force or mission is performing its functions and, so far as is feasible, make available to the head of the force or mission all information in its possession concerning such minefields, mined areas, mines, booby-traps and other devices.

3. Humanitarian and fact-finding missions of the United Nations

System

(a) This paragraph applies to any humanitarian or fact-finding mission of the United Nations System.

(b) Each High Contracting Party or party to a conflict, if so requested by the head of a mission to which this paragraph applies, shall:

(i)   provide the personnel of the mission with the protections set out in sub-paragraph 2 (b) (i) of this Article; and

(ii)  if access to or through any place under its control is nec­essary for the performance of the mission’s functions and in order to provide the personnel of the mission with safe passage to or through that place:

(aa) unless on-going hostilities prevent, inform the head of the mission of a safe route to that place if such infor­mation is available; or

(bb) if information identifying a safe route is not provided in accordance with sub-paragraph (aa), so far as is neces­sary and feasible, clear a lane through minefields.

4.   Missions of the International Committee of the Red Cross

(a) This paragraph applies to any mission of the International Committee of the Red Cross performing functions with the consent of the host State or States as provided for by the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and, where applica­ble, their Additional Protocols.

(b) Each High Contracting Party or party to a conflict, if so requested by the head of a mission to which this paragraph applies, shall:

(i)   provide the personnel of the mission with the protections set out in sub-paragraph 2 (b) (i) of this Article; and

(ii)  take the measures set out in sub-paragraph 3 (b) (ii) of this Article.

5.   Other humanitarian missions and missions of enquiry

(a) Insofar as paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 above do not apply to them, this paragraph applies to the following missions when they are performing functions in the area of a conflict or to assist the victims of a conflict:

(i)   any humanitarian mission of a national Red Cross or Red Crescent Society or of their International Federation;

(ii)  any mission of an impartial humanitarian organization, including any impartial humanitarian demining mission; and

(iii) any mission of enquiry established pursuant to the provi­sions of the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and, where applicable, their Additional Protocols.

(b) Each High Contracting Party or party to a conflict, if so requested by the head of a mission to which this paragraph applies, shall, so far as is feasible:

(i)   provide the personnel of the mission with the protections set out in sub-paragraph 2 (b) (i) of this Article; and

(ii)  take the measures set out in sub-paragraph 3 (b) (ii) of this Article.

6.   Confidentiality

All information provided in confidence pursuant to this Article shall be treated by the recipient in strict confidence and shall not be released outside the force or mission concerned without the express authorization of the provider of the information.

7.   Respect for laws and regulations

Without prejudice to such privileges and immunities as they may enjoy or to the requirements of their duties, personnel participat­ing in the forces and missions referred to in this Article shall:

(a)       respect the laws and regulations of the host State; and

(b) refrain from any action or activity incompatible with the impartial and international nature of their duties.

Article 13

Consultations of High Contracting Parties

1.   The High Contracting Parties undertake to consult and cooper­ate with each other on all issues related to the operation of this Protocol. For this purpose, a conference of High Contracting Parties shall be held annually.

2.   Participation in the annual conferences shall be determined by their agreed Rules of Procedure.

3.   The work of the conference shall include:

(a) review of the operation and status of this Protocol;

(b) consideration of matters arising from reports by High Contracting Parties according to paragraph 4 of this Article;

(c)  preparation for review conferences; and

(d) consideration of the development of technologies to protect civilians against indiscriminate effects of mines.

4.   The High Contracting Parties shall provide annual reports to the Depositary, who shall circulate them to all High Contracting Parties in advance of the Conference, on any of the following matters:

(a) dissemination of information on this Protocol to their armed forces and to the civilian population;

(b) mine clearance and rehabilitation programmes;

(c)  steps taken to meet technical requirements of this Protocol and any other relevant information pertaining thereto;

(d) legislation related to this Protocol;

(e) measures taken on international technical information exchange, on international cooperation on mine clearance, and on technical cooperation and assistance; and

(f)   other relevant matters.

5.   The cost of the Conference of High Contracting Parties shall be borne by the High Contracting Parties and States not parties participating in the work of the Conference, in accordance with the United Nations scale of assessment adjusted appropriately.

Article 14

Compliance

1.   Each High Contracting Party shall take all appropriate steps, including legislative and other measures, to prevent and sup­press violations of this Protocol by persons or on territory under its jurisdiction or control.

2.  The measures envisaged in paragraph 1 of this Article include appropriate measures to ensure the imposition of penal sanc­tions against persons who, in relation to an armed conflict and contrary to the provisions of this Protocol, wilfully kill or cause serious injury to civilians and to bring such persons to justice.

3.   Each High Contracting Party shall also require that its armed forces issue relevant military instructions and operating proce­dures and that armed forces personnel receive training com­mensurate with their duties and responsibilities to comply with the provisions of this Protocol.

4.   The High Contracting Parties undertake to consult each other and to cooperate with each other bilaterally, through the Secretary-General of the United Nations or through other appro­priate international procedures, to resolve any problems that may arise with regard to the interpretation and application of the provisions of this Protocol.

Technical Annex

1. Recording

(a) Recording of the location of mines other than remotely-deliv­ered mines, minefields, mined areas, booby-traps and other devices shall be carried out in accordance with the following provisions:

(i)   the location of the minefields, mined areas and areas of booby-traps and other devices shall be specified accurate­ly by relation to the coordinates of at least two reference points and the estimated dimensions of the area containing these weapons in relation to those reference points;

(ii)  maps, diagrams or other records shall be made in such a way as to indicate the location of minefields, mined areas, booby-traps and other devices in relation to reference points, and these records shall also indicate their perime­ters and extent; and

(iii)for            purposes of detection and clearance of mines, booby- traps and other devices, maps, diagrams or other records shall contain complete information on the type, number, emplacing method, type of fuse and life time, date and time of laying, anti-handling devices (if any) and other rel­evant information on all these weapons laid. Whenever feasible the minefield record shall show the exact location

of every mine, except in row minefields where the row location is sufficient. The precise location and operating mechanism of each booby-trap laid shall be individually recorded.

(b) The estimated location and area of remotely-delivered mines shall be specified by coordinates of reference points (nor­mally corner points) and shall be ascertained and when fea­sible marked on the ground at the earliest opportunity. The total number and types of mines laid, the date and time of laying and the self-destruction time periods shall also be recorded.

(c)  Copies of records shall be held at a level of command suffi­cient to guarantee their safety as far as possible.

(d) The use of mines produced after the entry into force of this Protocol is prohibited unless they are marked in English or in the respective national language or languages with the fol­lowing information:

(i)             name of the country of origin;

(ii)            month and year of production; and

(iii)           serial number or lot number.

The marking should be visible, legible, durable and resistant to environmental effects, as far as possible.

2. Specifications on detectability

(a) With respect to anti-personnel mines produced after 1 Janu­ary 1997, such mines shall incorporate in their construction a material or device that enables the mine to be detected by commonly-available technical mine detection equipment and provides a response signal equivalent to a signal from 8 grammes or more of iron in a single coherent mass.

(b) With respect to anti-personnel mines produced before 1 January 1997, such mines shall either incorporate in their construction, or have attached prior to their emplacement, in a manner not easily removable, a material or device that enables the mine to be detected by commonly-available

technical mine detection equipment and provides a response signal equivalent to a signal from 8 grammes or more of iron in a single coherent mass.

(c) In the event that a High Contracting Party determines that it cannot immediately comply with sub-paragraph (b), it may declare at the time of its notification of consent to be bound by this Protocol that it will defer compliance with sub-para­graph (b) for a period not to exceed 9 years from the entry into force of this Protocol. In the meantime it shall, to the extent feasible, minimize the use of anti-personnel mines that do not so comply.

3. Specifications on self-destruction and self-deactivation

(a) All remotely-delivered anti-personnel mines shall be designed and constructed so that no more than 10% of acti­vated mines will fail to self-destruct within 30 days after emplacement, and each mine shall have a back-up self- deactivation feature designed and constructed so that, in combination with the self-destruction mechanism, no more than one in one thousand activated mines will function as a mine 120 days after emplacement.

(b) All non-remotely delivered anti-personnel mines, used out­side marked areas, as defined in Article 5 of this Protocol, shall comply with the requirements for self-destruction and self-deactivation stated in sub-paragraph (a).

(c)  In the event that a High Contracting Party determines that it cannot immediately comply with sub-paragraphs (a) and/or (b), it may declare at the time of its notification of consent to be bound by this Protocol, that it will, with respect to mines produced prior to the entry into force of this Protocol defer compliance with sub-paragraphs (a) and/or (b) for a period not to exceed 9 years from the entry into force of this Protocol.

During this period of deferral, the High Contracting Party shall:

(i)   undertake to minimize, to the extent feasible, the use of anti-personnel mines that do not so comply; and

(ii)  with respect to remotely-delivered anti-personnel mines, comply with either the requirements for self-destruction or the requirements for self-deactivation and, with respect to other anti-personnel mines comply with at least the requirements for self-deactivation.

4. International signs for minefields and mined areas

Signs similar to the example attached and as specified below shall be utilized in the marking of minefields and mined areas to ensure their visibility and recognition by the civilian population:

(a) size and shape: a triangle or square no smaller than 28 cen­timetres (11 inches) by 20 centimetres (7.9 inches) for a triangle, and 15 centimetres (6 inches) per side for a square;

(b) colour: red or orange with a yellow reflecting border;

(c)  symbol: the symbol illustrated in the Attachment, or an alter­native readily recognizable in the area in which the sign is to be displayed as identifying a dangerous area;

(d) language: the sign should contain the word “mines” in one of the six official languages of the Convention (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish) and the language or languages prevalent in that area;

(e) spacing: signs should be placed around the minefield or mined area at a distance sufficient to ensure their visibility at any point by a civilian approaching the area.

Attachment

WARNING SIGN FOR AREAS CONTAINING MINES

Protocol on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Incendiary Weapons

(Protocol III)

Article 1

Definitions

For the purpose of this Protocol:

1.   “Incendiary weapon” means any weapon or munition which is primarily designed to set fire to objects or to cause burn injury to persons through the action of flame, heat, or combination there­of, produced by a chemical reaction of a substance delivered on the target.

(a) Incendiary weapons can take the form of, for example, flame throwers, fougasses, shells, rockets, grenades, mines, bombs and other containers of incendiary substances.

(b) Incendiary weapons do not include:

(i)   munitions which may have incidental incendiary effects, such as illuminants, tracers, smoke or signalling systems;

(ii)  munitions designed to combine penetration, blast or frag­mentation effects with an additional incendiary effect, such as armour-piercing projectiles, fragmentation shells, explosive bombs and similar combined-effects munitions in which the incendiary effect is not specifically designed to cause burn injury to persons, but to be used against military objectives, such as armoured vehicles, aircraft and installations or facilities.

2.   “Concentration of civilians” means any concentration of civilians, be it permanent or temporary, such as in inhabited parts of cities, or inhabited towns or villages, or as in camps or columns of refugees or evacuees, or groups of nomads.

3.   “Military objective” means, so far as objects are concerned, any object which by its nature, location, purpose or use makes an effective contribution to military action and whose total or partial destruction, capture or neutralization, in the circumstances ruling at the time, offers a definite military advantage.

4.   “Civilian objects” are all objects which are not military objectives as defined in paragraph 3.

5.   “Feasible precautions” are those precautions which are practic­able or practically possible taking into account all circumstances ruling at the time, including humanitarian and military considera­tions.

Article 2

Protection of civilians and civilian objects

1.   It is prohibited in all circumstances to make the civilian popula­tion as such, individual civilians or civilian objects the object of attack by incendiary weapons.

2.   It is prohibited in all circumstances to make any military objec­tive located within a concentration of civilians the object of attack by air-delivered incendiary weapons.

3.   It is further prohibited to make any military objective located within a concentration of civilians the object of attack by means of incendiary weapons other than air-delivered incendiary weapons, except when such military objective is clearly separat­ed from the concentration of civilians and all feasible precautions are taken with a view to limiting the incendiary effects to the mil­itary objective and to avoiding, and in any event to minimizing, incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians and damage to civilian objects.

4.   It is prohibited to make forests or other kinds of plant cover the object of attack by incendiary weapons except when such natural elements are used to cover, conceal or camouflage combatants or other military objectives, or are themselves military objectives.

Protocol on

Blinding Laser Weapons

(Protocol IV) Article 1

It is prohibited to employ laser weapons specifically designed, as their sole combat function or as one of their combat functions, to cause permanent blindness to unenhanced vision, that is to the naked eye or to the eye with corrective eyesight devices. The High Contracting Parties shall not transfer such weapons to any State or non-State entity.

Article 2

In the employment of laser systems, the High Contracting Parties shall take all feasible precautions to avoid the incidence of perma­nent blindness to unenhanced vision. Such precautions shall include training of their armed forces and other practical measures.

Article 3

Blinding as an incidental or collateral effect of the legitimate mil­itary employment of laser systems, including laser systems used against optical equipment, is not covered by the prohibition of this Protocol.

Article 4

For the purpose of this protocol “permanent blindness” means irreversible and uncorrectable loss of vision which is seriously dis­abling with no prospect of recovery. Serious disability is equivalent to visual acuity of less than 20/200 Snellen measured using both eyes.

Protocol on Explosive Remnants of War

(Protocol V)

The High Contracting Parties,

Recognizing the serious post-conflict humanitarian problems caused by explosive remnants of war,

Conscious of the need to conclude a Protocol on post-conflict remedial measures of a generic nature in order to minimize the risks and effects of explosive remnants of war,

And willing to address generic preventive measures, through vol­untary best practices specified in the Technical Annex for improving the reliability of munitions, and therefore minimizing the occurrence of explosive remnants of war,

Have agreed as follows: Article 1

General provision and scope of application

1.   In conformity with the Charter of the United Nations and of the rules of the international law of armed conflict applicable to them, High Contracting Parties agree to comply with the obli­gations specified in this Protocol, both individually and in co­operation with other High Contracting Parties, to minimize the risks and effects of explosive remnants of war in post-conflict situations.

2.   This Protocol shall apply to explosive remnants of war on the land territory including internal waters of High Contracting Parties.

3.   This Protocol shall apply to situations resulting from conflicts referred to in Article 1, paragraphs 1 to 6, of the Convention, as amended on 21 December 2001.

4. Articles 3, 4, 5 and 8 of this Protocol apply to explosive remnants of war other than existing explosive remnants of war as defined in Article 2, paragraph 5 of this Protocol.

Article 2

Definitions

For the purpose of this Protocol,

1.   Explosive ordnance means conventional munitions containing explosives, with the exception of mines, booby-traps and other devices as defined in Protocol II of this Convention as amended on 3 May 1996.

2.   Unexploded ordnance means explosive ordnance that has been primed, fused, armed, or otherwise prepared for use and used in an armed conflict. It may have been fired, dropped, launched or projected and should have exploded but failed to do so.

3.   Abandoned explosive ordnance means explosive ordnance that has not been used during an armed conflict, that has been left behind or dumped by a party to an armed conflict, and which is no longer under control of the party that left it behind or dumped it. Abandoned explosive ordnance may or may not have been primed, fused, armed or otherwise prepared for use.

4.   Explosive remnants of war means unexploded ordnance and abandoned explosive ordnance.

5.   Existing explosive remnants of war means unexploded ordnance and abandoned explosive ordnance that existed prior to the entry into force of this Protocol for the High Contracting Party on whose territory it exists.

Article 3

Clearance, removal or destruction of explosive remnants of war

1.   Each High Contracting Party and party to an armed conflict shall bear the responsibilities set out in this Article with respect to all explosive remnants of war in territory under its control. In cases where a user of explosive ordnance which has become explosive remnants of war, does not exercise control of the territory, the user shall, after the cessation of active hostilities, provide where feasible, inter alia technical, financial, material or human resources assistance, bilaterally or through a mutually agreed third party, including inter alia through the United Nations system or other relevant organizations, to facilitate the marking and clearance, removal or destruction of such explosive remnants of war.

2.   After the cessation of active hostilities and as soon as feasible, each High Contracting Party and party to an armed conflict shall mark and clear, remove or destroy explosive remnants of war in affected territories under its control. Areas affected by explosive remnants of war which are assessed pursuant to paragraph 3 of this Article as posing a serious humanitarian risk shall be accorded priority status for clearance, removal or destruction.

3.   After the cessation of active hostilities and as soon as feasible, each High Contracting Party and party to an armed conflict shall take the following measures in affected territories under its con­trol, to reduce the risks posed by explosive remnants of war:

(a) survey and assess the threat posed by explosive remnants of war;

(b) assess and prioritize needs and practicability in terms of marking and clearance, removal or destruction;

(c)  mark and clear, remove or destroy explosive remnants of war;

(d) take steps to mobilize resources to carry out these activities.

4.   In conducting the above activities High Contracting Parties and parties to an armed conflict shall take into account inter­national standards, including the International Mine Action Standards.

5.   High Contracting Parties shall co-operate, where appropriate, both among themselves and with other states, relevant regional and international organizations and non-governmental organiza­tions on the provision of inter alia technical, financial, material and human resources assistance including, in appropriate cir­cumstances, the undertaking of joint operations necessary to ful­fil the provisions of this Article.

Article 4

Recording, retaining and transmission of information

1.   High Contracting Parties and parties to an armed conflict shall to the maximum extent possible and as far as practicable record and retain information on the use of explosive ordnance or abandonment of explosive ordnance, to facilitate the rapid mark­ing and clearance, removal or destruction of explosive remnants of war, risk education and the provision of relevant information to the party in control of the territory and to civilian populations in that territory.

2.   High Contracting Parties and parties to an armed conflict which have used or abandoned explosive ordnance which may have become explosive remnants of war shall, without delay after the cessation of active hostilities and as far as practicable, subject to these parties’ legitimate security interests, make available such information to the party or parties in control of the affected area, bilaterally or through a mutually agreed third party includ­ing inter alia the United Nations or, upon request, to other rele­vant organizations which the party providing the information is satisfied that they are or will be undertaking risk education and the marking and clearance, removal or destruction of explosive remnants of war in the affected area.

3. In recording, retaining and transmitting such information, the High Contracting Parties should have regard to Part 1 of the Technical Annex.

Article 5

Other precautions for the protection of the civilian population, individual civilians and civilian objects from the risks and effects of explosive remnants of war

1. High Contracting Parties and parties to an armed conflict shall take all feasible precautions in the territory under their control affected by explosive remnants of war to protect the civilian pop­ulation, individual civilians and civilian objects from the risks and effects of explosive remnants of war. Feasible precautions are those precautions which are practicable or practicably possible, taking into account all circumstances ruling at the time, including humanitarian and military considerations. These precautions may include warnings, risk education to the civilian population, mark­ing, fencing and monitoring of territory affected by explosive rem­nants of war, as set out in Part 2 of the Technical Annex.

Article 6

Provisions for the protection of humanitarian missions and organizations from the effects of explosive remnants of war

1. Each High Contracting Party and party to an armed conflict shall:

(a) Protect, as far as feasible, from the effects of explosive rem­nants of war, humanitarian missions and organizations that are or will be operating in the area under the control of the High Contracting Party or party to an armed conflict and with that party’s consent.

(b) Upon request by such a humanitarian mission or organiza­tion, provide, as far as feasible, information on the location of

all explosive remnants of war that it is aware of in territory where the requesting humanitarian mission or organization will operate or is operating.

2. The provisions of this Article are without prejudice to existing International Humanitarian Law or other international instru­ments as applicable or decisions by the Security Council of the United Nations which provide for a higher level of protection.

Article 7

Assistance with respect to existing explosive remnants of war

1.   Each High Contracting Party has the right to seek and receive assistance, where appropriate, from other High Contracting Parties, from states non-party and relevant international organi­zations and institutions in dealing with the problems posed by existing explosive remnants of war.

2.   Each High Contracting Party in a position to do so shall pro­vide assistance in dealing with the problems posed by existing explosive remnants of war, as necessary and feasible. In so doing, High Contracting Parties shall also take into account the humanitarian objectives of this Protocol, as well as inter­national standards including the International Mine Action Standards.

Article 8

Co-operation and assistance

1. Each High Contracting Party in a position to do so shall provide assistance for the marking and clearance, removal or destruction of explosive remnants of war, and for risk education to civilian populations and related activities inter alia through the United Nations system, other relevant international, regional or national organizations or institutions, the International Committee of the Red Cross, National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and

their International Federation, non-governmental organizations, or on a bilateral basis.

2.   Each High Contracting Party in a position to do so shall provide assistance for the care and rehabilitation and social and eco­nomic reintegration of victims of explosive remnants of war. Such assistance may be provided inter alia through the United Nations system, relevant international, regional or national organizations or institutions, the International Committee of the Red Cross, National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and their International Federation, non-governmental organizations, or on a bilateral basis.

3.   Each High Contracting Party in a position to do so shall con­tribute to trust funds within the United Nations system, as well as other relevant trust funds, to facilitate the provision of assistance under this Protocol.

4.   Each High Contracting Party shall have the right to participate in the fullest possible exchange of equipment, material and scien­tific and technological information other than weapons related technology, necessary for the implementation of this Protocol. High Contracting Parties undertake to facilitate such exchanges in accordance with national legislation and shall not impose undue restrictions on the provision of clearance equipment and related technological information for humanitarian purposes.

5.   Each High Contracting Party undertakes to provide information to the relevant databases on mine action established within the United Nations system, especially information concerning var­ious means and technologies of clearance of explosive remnants of war, lists of experts, expert agencies or national points of con­tact on clearance of explosive remnants of war and, on a volun­tary basis, technical information on relevant types of explosive ordnance.

6.   High Contracting Parties may submit requests for assistance substantiated by relevant information to the United Nations, to other appropriate bodies or to other states. These requests may

be submitted to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who shall transmit them to all High Contracting Parties and to relevant international organizations and non-governmental organizations.

7. In the case of requests to the United Nations, the Secretary- General of the United Nations, within the resources available to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, may take approp­riate steps to assess the situation and in co-operation with the requesting High Contracting Party and other High Contracting Parties with responsibility as set out in Article 3 above, recom­mend the appropriate provision of assistance. The Secretary- General may also report to High Contracting Parties on any such assessment as well as on the type and scope of assistance required, including possible contributions from the trust funds established within the United Nations system.

Article 9

Generic preventive measures

1.   Bearing in mind the different situations and capacities, each High Contracting Party is encouraged to take generic preventive measures aimed at minimizing the occurrence of explosive rem­nants of war, including, but not limited to, those referred to in Part 3 of the Technical Annex.

2.   Each High Contracting Party may, on a voluntary basis, exchange information related to efforts to promote and establish best practices in respect of paragraph 1 of this Article.

Article 10

Consultations of High Contracting Parties

1. The High Contracting Parties undertake to consult and co­operate with each other on all issues related to the operation of this Protocol. For this purpose, a Conference of High Contracting Parties shall be held as agreed to by a majority, but no less than eighteen High Contracting Parties.

2.   The work of the conferences of High Contracting Parties shall include:

(a) review of the status and operation of this Protocol;

(b) consideration of matters pertaining to national implementa­tion of this Protocol, including national reporting or updating on an annual basis.

(c)  preparation for review conferences.

3.   The costs of the Conference of High Contracting Parties shall be borne by the High Contracting Parties and States not parties participating in the Conference, in accordance with the United Nations scale of assessment adjusted appropriately.

Article 11

Compliance

1.   Each High Contracting Party shall require that its armed forces and relevant agencies or departments issue appropriate instructions and operating procedures and that its personnel receive training consistent with the relevant provisions of this Protocol.

2.   The High Contracting Parties undertake to consult each other and to co-operate with each other bilaterally, through the Secretary-General of the United Nations or through other appro­priate international procedures, to resolve any problems that may arise with regard to the interpretation and application of the provisions of this Protocol.

Technical Annex

This Technical Annex contains suggested best practice for achieving the objectives contained in Articles 4, 5 and 9 of this Protocol. This Technical Annex will be implemented by High Contracting Parties on a voluntary basis.

1. Recording, storage and release of information for Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) and Abandoned Explosive Ordnance (AXO)

(a) Recording of information: regarding explosive ordnance which may have become UXO, a State should endeavour to record the following information as accurately as possible:

(i)               the location of areas targeted using explosive ordnance;

(ii)  the approximate number of explosive ordnance used in the areas under (i);

(iii) the type and nature of explosive ordnance used in areas under (i);

(iv)             the general location of known and probable UXO;

where a State has been obliged to abandon explosive ord­nance in the course of operations, it should endeavour to leave AXO in a safe and secure manner and record informa­tion on this ordnance as follows:

(v)              the location of AXO;

(vi)             the approximate amount of AXO at each specific site;

(vii)            the types of AXO at each specific site.

(b) Storage of information: where a State has recorded informa­tion in accordance with paragraph (a), it should be stored in such a manner as to allow for its retrieval and subsequent release in accordance with paragraph (c).

(c)  Release of information: information recorded and stored by a State in accordance with paragraphs (a) and (b) should, tak­ing into account the security interests and other obligations

of the State providing the information, be released in accor­dance with the following provisions:

(i) Content:

On UXO the released information should contain details

on:

(1) the general location of known and probable UXO;

(2) the types and approximate number of explosive ord­nance used in the targeted areas;

(3) the method of identifying the explosive ordnance including colour, size and shape and other relevant markings;

(4) the method for safe disposal of the explosive ord­nance.

On AXO the released information should contain details on:

(5) the location of the AXO;

(6) the approximate number of AXO at each specific site;

(7) the types of AXO at each specific site;

(8) the method of identifying the AXO, including colour, size and shape;

(9) information on type and methods of packing for AXO;

(10)       state of readiness;

(11)       the location and nature of any booby-traps known to be present in the area of AXO.

(ii) Recipient: the information should be released to the party or parties in control of the affected territory and to those persons or institutions that the releasing State is satisfied are, or will be, involved in UXO or AXO clearance in the affected area, in the education of the civilian population on the risks of UXO or AXO.

(iii) Mechanism: a State should, where feasible, make use of those mechanisms established internationally or locally for the release of information, such as through UNMAS, IMSMA, and other expert agencies, as considered appropriate by the releasing State.

(iv) Timing: the information should be released as soon as possible, taking into account such matters as any on­going military and humanitarian operations in the affect­ed areas, the availability and reliability of information and relevant security issues.

2. Warnings, risk education, marking, fencing and monitoring

Key terms

(a) Warnings are the punctual provision of cautionary informa­tion to the civilian population, intended to minimize risks caused by explosive remnants of war in affected territories.

(b) Risk education to the civilian population should consist of risk education programmes to facilitate information exchange between affected communities, government authorities and humanitarian organizations so that affected communities are informed about the threat from explosive remnants of war. Risk education programmes are usually a long-term activity.

Best practice elements of warnings and risk education

(c)  All programmes of warnings and risk education should, where possible, take into account prevailing national and international standards, including the International Mine Action Standards.

(d) Warnings and risk education should be provided to the affected civilian population which comprises civilians living in or around areas containing explosive remnants of war and civilians who transit such areas.

(e) Warnings should be given, as soon as possible, depending on the context and the information available. A risk education programme should replace a warnings programme as soon as possible. Warnings and risk education always should be provided to the affected communities at the earliest possible time.

(f)  Parties to a conflict should employ third parties such as international organizations and non-governmental organiza­tions when they do not have the resources and skills to deliver efficient risk education.

(g) Parties to a conflict should, if possible, provide additional resources for warnings and risk education. Such items might include: provision of logistical support, production of risk education materials, financial support and general carto­graphic information.

Marking, fencing, and monitoring of an explosive

remnants of war affected area

(h) When possible, at any time during the course of a conflict and thereafter, where explosive remnants of war exist the parties to a conflict should, at the earliest possible time and to the maximum extent possible, ensure that areas contain­ing explosive remnants of war are marked, fenced and mon­itored so as to ensure the effective exclusion of civilians, in accordance with the following provisions.

(i)  Warning signs based on methods of marking recognized by the affected community should be utilized in the mark­ing of suspected hazardous areas. Signs and other haz­ardous area boundary markers should as far as possible be visible, legible, durable and resistant to environmental effects and should clearly identify which side of the marked boundary is considered to be within the explosive rem­nants of war affected area and which side is considered to be safe.

(j) An appropriate structure should be put in place with respon­sibility for the monitoring and maintenance of permanent and temporary marking systems, integrated with national and local risk education programmes.

3. Generic preventive measures

States producing or procuring explosive ordnance should to the extent possible and as appropriate endeavour to ensure that the following measures are implemented and respected during the life-cycle of explosive ordnance.

(a)       Munitions manufacturing management

(i)   Production processes should be designed to achieve the greatest reliability of munitions.

(ii)  Production processes should be subject to certified qual­ity control measures.

(iii) During the production of explosive ordnance, certified quality assurance standards that are internationally rec­ognized should be applied.

(iv) Acceptance testing should be conducted through live-fire testing over a range of conditions or through other vali­dated procedures.

(v)  High reliability standards should be required in the course of explosive ordnance transactions and transfers.

(b)       Munitions management

In order to ensure the best possible long-term reliability of explosive ordnance, States are encouraged to apply best prac­tice norms and operating procedures with respect to its storage, transport, field storage, and handling in accordance with the fol­lowing guidance.

(i) Explosive ordnance, where necessary, should be stored in secure facilities or appropriate containers that protect

the explosive ordnance and its components in a con­trolled atmosphere, if necessary.

(ii)  A State should transport explosive ordnance to and from production facilities, storage facilities and the field in a manner that minimizes damage to the explosive ord­nance.

(iii) Appropriate containers and controlled environments, where necessary, should be used by a State when stockpiling and transporting explosive ordnance.

(iv) The risk of explosions in stockpiles should be minimized by the use of appropriate stockpile arrangements.

(v)  States should apply appropriate explosive ordnance log­ging, tracking and testing procedures, which should include information on the date of manufacture of each number, lot or batch of explosive ordnance, and informa­tion on where the explosive ordnance has been, under what conditions it has been stored, and to what environ­mental factors it has been exposed.

(vi) Periodically, stockpiled explosive ordnance should undergo, where appropriate, live-firing testing to ensure that munitions function as desired.

(vii)       Sub-assemblies of stockpiled explosive ordnance should, where appropriate, undergo laboratory testing to ensure that munitions function as desired.

(viii)      Where necessary, appropriate action, including adjust­ment to the expected shelf-life of ordnance, should be taken as a result of information acquired by logging, tracking and testing procedures, in order to maintain the reliability of stockpiled explosive ordnance.

(c) Training

The proper training of all personnel involved in the handling, transporting and use of explosive ordnance is an important fac­tor in seeking to ensure its reliable operation as intended. States should therefore adopt and maintain suitable training pro­grammes to ensure that personnel are properly trained with regard to the munitions with which they will be required to deal.

(d) Transfer

A State planning to transfer explosive ordnance to another State that did not previously possess that type of explosive ordnance should endeavour to ensure that the receiving State has the capability to store, maintain and use that explosive ordnance correctly.

(e) Future production

A State should examine ways and means of improving the relia­bility of explosive ordnance that it intends to produce or procure, with a view to achieving the highest possible reliability.

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