European Inter-Parliamentarian Joint Statement
“Faced with the bombing of civilians, our governments must rise to the challenge”
On the 27th of May 2021, parliamentarians from different European countries participated in a European Inter-parliamentarian Conference on the future political declaration to protect civilians from the use of Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas (EWIPA).
In the last ten years (2011-2020), there have been 238,892 documented civilian deaths and injuries from explosive weapons in populated areas. When explosive weapons are used in populated areas, 90% of victims are civilians. This compares to 25% in other areas. Explosive weapons, leave cities devastated, cause severe psychological trauma, displacement and impoverishment of the population, destroy vital infrastructure and disrupt the social and economic fabric. Facing the alarming consequences of this military practice, a diplomatic process was officially launched a few years ago to negotiate and agree on a political declaration to protect civilians from the use of explosive weapons in populated areas ; this process is now entering the home straight.
This important conference was organized by Humanity & Inclusion in May, in cooperation with French and German parliamentarians and gathered 39 parliamentarians from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, United Kingdom. During the conference, an European Inter-parliamentarian Joint Statement was presented to ask European governments to:
support the development of an international political declaration to strengthen the protection of civilians from the use of explosive weapons in populated areas by avoiding their use, and to strengthen assistance to victims of such practices.”
At the end of the conference, 174 members of parliaments from four countries (France, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg) signed the statement. It remains open for further signatures.
With the final round of negotiations supposedly planned for autumn 2021, the political declaration to protect civilians from the use of EWIPA will be finalised in the months to come. This means the declaration could be opened to state signatories by the end of the year. Parliamentarians must engage with the process now.
The European Inter-parliamentarian Joint Statement
Download and read the statement in English, French and German:
- European Inter-Parliamentarian Joint Statement – EWIPA
- Déclaration interparlementaire européenne conjointe – EWIPA
- Europäisches interparlamentarisches Kommuniqué – EWIPA
List of endorsers of the Joint Statement
Updated 18 June 2021