The Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW)
The Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects as amended on 21 December 2001(CCW) is usually referred to as the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons. It is also known as the Inhumane Weapons Convention.
The purpose of the Convention is to ban or restrict the use of specific types of weapons that are considered to cause unnecessary or unjustifiable suffering to combatants or to affect civilians indiscriminately.
The structure of the CCW – a chapeau Convention and annexed Protocols – was adopted in this manner to ensure future flexibility. The Convention itself contains only general provisions. All prohibitions or restrictions on the use of specific weapons or weapon systems are the object of the Protocols annexed to the Convention.
The Protocols are as follows:
- Protocol I on Non-Detectable Fragments was adopted on 10 October 1980 and opened for signature for one year from 10 April 1981. It has 106 States Parties.
- Protocol II on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Mines, Booby Traps and Other Devices was adopted on 10 October 1980 and opened for signature for one year from 10 April 1981. It has 92 States Parties. The Protocol as amended on 3 May 1996 entered into force on 3 December 1998 and currently has 92 States Parties.
- Protocol III on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Incendiary Weapons was adopted on 10 October 1980 and opened for signature for one year from 10 April 1981. It has 102 States Parties.
- Protocol IV on Blinding Laser Weapons as negotiated and adopted on 13 October 1995 during the First Review Conference of the States parties to the Convention and entered into force on 30 July 1998.
- Protocol V on Explosive Remnants of War was adopted on 28 November 2003 by the Meeting of the States Parties to the Convention. The Protocol, which is the first multilaterally negotiated instrument to deal with the problem of unexploded and abandoned ordnance, is intended to eradicate the daily threat that such legacies of war pose to populations in need for development and to humanitarian aid workers operating in the field to help them. Since its adoption, 55 States have thus far notified the Secretary-General of the United Nations, as depositary of the Convention, of their consent to be bound by Protocol V. Pursuant to Article 5 Paragraph 3 of the Convention, Protocol V entered into force on 12 November 2006.
Nowadays, the new Protocol VI on Cluster Munitions is being negotiated, for the time being without any remarquable results.
The Czech Presidency of the Council of the EU
The Czech Presidency cooperates with the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) in terms of the EU Joint Action in implementing the Convention’s Plan of Action on Promoting the Universality of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons and its annexed Protocols.
During the week from 20 to 24 April 2009, the Meetings of Experts to the Amended Protocol II and to Procol V were held in Geneva.
Under the Czech Presidency, two Meetings of the Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) concerning the new Protocol VI have already taken place in Geneva.
At each session of the CCW GGE, the Czech Republic on behalf of the EU has delivered the Opening and Closing Statement.