The Netherlands is due to sign a declaration in Ireland on Friday that it will not use or limit the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. With this, the Netherlands commits to protecting civilians in conflict areas from bombing as much as possible. More than 70 of her other countries will also sign the declaration in Dublin.
The peace organization PAX sees the signing as a milestone as it is the first to recognize civilians suffering from explosive weapons. The organization worked on the Declaration with its founder, Ireland. Peace groups say weapons such as bombs and grenades are extremely dangerous as they cause many casualties at once. PAX’s Roos Boer said:
According to PAX, civilians have been deliberately targeted in conflict areas such as Ukraine, Syria and the Gaza Strip in violation of international laws of war. According to peace groups, nine of his 10 bombing victims are civilians. Attacks also have a significant impact on critical facilities such as power grids, hospitals, and roads. As a result, the impact on local residents will be felt for years to come.
Peace organizations hope that the Netherlands and other countries will devise concrete proposals to protect civilians from such attacks. I hope “The fact that so many countries are recognizing the problem of explosive weapons and signing the declaration gives us hope, but it is only the beginning of change for civilians in conflict zones.” Bohr said.
In addition to committing not to use explosive weapons in populated areas during conflict, States will share information on the consequences of such attacks. The United States, Germany, Italy, Japan and Turkey have also signed. The Dutch Ambassador in Dublin, Adriaan Palm, will sign on behalf of the Netherlands.