“Women Now for Development welcomes the draft political declaration circulated by the Government of Ireland on the use of explosive weapons in populated areas (EWIPA) and sees it as an encouraging step.
In coordination with our partner, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), we developed a response to deal with the shortcomings of the proposed declaration.
The main challenge with the current text is that it suggests that the use of EWIPA will continue. The political declaration must promote a presumption against the use of explosive weapons with wide area effects in populated areas.
Any policies or practices it suggests must work to end such use. The declaration should also be more precise and robust in terms of description of the human suffering caused by the use of EWIPA. As written, it suggests that bombing in towns and cities can cause some harm to civilians.
In reality, the patterns of violence, which are well documented by civil society and humanitarian agencies, show that the use of explosive weapons leads to devastating and long-lasting physical, social, psychological, environmental, and economic harm.