On October 1st and 2nd, hundreds of States and international organizations are gathering in Austria for the Vienna Conference on Protecting Civilians in Urban Warfare. At the historic Conference, they will discuss the drafting process on an international political declaration to end human suffering caused by the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.
Humanity & Inclusion, co-founder of the International Network of Explosive Weapons (INEW), has been campaigning for more than five years against bombing in populated areas. Alma Taslidžan Al-Osta, HI's Disarmament and Protection of Civilians Advocacy Manager, explains more.
90+ States will attend
Over the past few weeks, our teams have reached out directly to States to convince them about the importance of the Conference and oblige them to attend, hence the urgency. More than 90 states have registered so far which shows that there is a strong mobilization under the leadership of Austrian government.
Strong support from ICRC and UN
Last week, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, and the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Peter Maurer, launched a joint appeal. They highlighted the devastating impact of explosive weapons on the lives of civilians and called on States to commit to finding political solutions to this major humanitarian issue. It had a positive effect.
Humanity & Inclusion will speak
During the Conference, our team will speak on gender, psychological harm, and assistance to victims. We will speak about the findings from out latest victim assistance report, “The Waiting List: Addressing the immediate and long-term needs of victims of explosive weapons in Syria,” which illustrates the immediate and long-term needs of victims of explosive weapons in Syria.
Support from political representatives
We continue to mobilize governments at the national level, because the Conference is the beginning of the process. More than 95 parliamentarians from 7 states have already expressed their support to our action (via INEW).
Photo caption: Destruction of a city in Syria.