ALERT – The Vienna Conference on “Protecting Civilians in Urban Warfare” starts today!

Posted by: on Oct 1, 2019 | No Comments

On the eve of the Conference “Protecting Civilians in Urban Warfare”, Humanity & Inclusion (HI)’s representatives were in Vienna, on September 30, to finalize preparations. Hence, they had the opportunity to meet with the national delegations before the opening of discussions, and with other members of the NGOS network INEW (International Network on Explosive Weapons).

The first objective of this conference is to set the grounds of an international political declaration against the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. It is the first step of a diplomatic process which should result in spring 2020 in Dublin.

This conference represents a major political turning point: 130 States are registered in order to participate to the discussions which will take place between today and tomorrow. This meeting on the bombing in urban areas is the first one with such an important global scale! Vienna will welcome more than 500 participants: mostly state representations, but also civil society’s members from different continents (Africa, South America, etc.).

Therefore, much is at stake as the objective of these two days will be to evaluate the political support expressed by delegations on the principle of a political declaration on the use of EWIPA. The level of involvement of  states will be an interesting indicator and will give us the opportunity to evaluate the importance that States, even the most recalcitrant, give to this process.

Monument to the Unknown civilian, at the opening of the Vienna Conference on Protecting Civilians in Urban Warfare, October 1st 2019

Monument to the Unknown civilian, at the opening of the Vienna Conference on Protecting Civilians in Urban Warfare, October 1st 2019

Yesterday afternoon, the Monument of the Unknown Civilian finally arrived to Vienna. The delegations of the different States present during these two days are invited to visit the monument at noon today, in honour of the civilian victims of contemporary conflicts. Simultaneously, the campaigners from the NGOs involved in INEW (of which HI is one of the co-founders) met to finalize the last key messages that will be developed by civil society during this high-level diplomatic meeting.

In that respect, these two exciting days of discussions represent a culmination after five years of mobilization from HI and its partners.