COMING UP – A Conference to engage African States in the process towards a political declaration on the use of explosive weapons in populated areas | November 25, 2017

On 27 – 28 November 2017, Handicap International will organize a two-day conference on Protecting Civilians from the Use of Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas in Maputo, Mozambique, bringing together the African civil society, international organisations and state delegations. As co-founder of the International Network on Explosive Weapons (INEW), Handicap International is committed to prevent […]

On 27 – 28 November 2017, Handicap International will organize a two-day conference on Protecting Civilians from the Use of Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas in Maputo, Mozambique, bringing together the African civil society, international organisations and state delegations.

As co-founder of the International Network on Explosive Weapons (INEW), Handicap International is committed to prevent human suffering caused by the use of explosive weapons in populated areas, and raises awareness among States to provide greater protection to civilians in armed conflict through the development of stronger international standards and the strengthening of national policies and practices.

As many African countries are currently victims of explosive violence, or have been seriously affected in the past, we believe they have a strong legitimacy to share experiences and policies, and to contribute to the diplomatic dynamics to cope with the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. Through its agenda of the Peace and Security Council, the African Union encourages the implementation of convention and treaties on arms control and disarmament, follow-up the respect of international humanitarian law and support humanitarian actions in situations of armed conflict. In light of the findings of the World Bank, Africa’s urban population will double over the next 25 years. Therefore this campaign is a major opportunity to prevent further harm to civilians, in a time when armed conflicts are increasingly fought in population centres.

Hosted by the State of Mozambique, the conference is a new step to broaden the support on the issue, by engaging African States and calling them to support the elaboration of an international political declaration on explosive weapons. It will gather representatives of African countries and continental institutions, and members of the civil society. Together, they will reflect on how the involvement of African States will be pivotal in achieving a political declaration to restrict this pattern of violence.

The conference is based on a workshop that took part in early September in Geneva, with representatives of the African civil society. You can read the feedbacks on the workshop of two African campaigners, from Ethiopia and Mozambique here.


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