RICR No. 856

A new protocol on explosive remnants of war: The history and negotiation of Protocol V to the 1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons

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On 28 November 2003, the States Parties to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) adopted a new protocol on explosive remnants of war. This new instrument of international humanitarian law, the fifth protocol to the CCW, is an important addition to the efforts to reduce the death, injury and suffering caused by the explosive munitions that remain after the end of an armed conflict. Protocol V establishes new rules that require the parties to a conflict to clear explosive remnants of war, to take measures to protect civilians from the effects of these weapons and to assist the efforts of international and non-governmental organizations working in these areas. If widely adhered to and fully implemented, it has the potential to significantly reduce the civilian casualties that regularly occur after the end of hostilities and to minimize the long-term socio-economic consequences that explosive remnants of war inflict on war-affected countries. It complements the work of the international community to reduce the suffering caused by anti-personnel landmines.

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