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Council of Delegates 2005: Resolution 2

18-11-2005 Resolution

Weapons and international humanitarian law

Council of Delegates of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, Seoul, Republic of Korea, 16-18 November 2005

The Council of Delegates,


welcoming the ICRC’s report on Weapons and International Humanitarian Law, stressing that the promotion of adequate controls on the development, use and proliferation of weapons is essential to protecting civilians from their indiscriminate use and effects and combatants from unnecessary suffering,

recalling the obligation of States to ensure the legality of their weapons under international law,

deeply concerned about the threats that civilians face during and after conflicts owing to the presence of landmines and explosive remnants of war, as well as the unregulated availability of small arms and light weapons; and acknowledging the obstacles these weapons pose to post-conflict reconstruction and development,

emphasizing the urgent need for an integrated, collaborative and preventive approach to minimizing the risk that advances in the life sciences may be used for hostile purposes,

highlighting the opportunities to advance the Movement’s objectives in this field provided by the Review Conferences in 2006 of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, the United Nations Programme of Action on Small Arms and the Biological Weapons Convention,

reaffirming the commitments undertaken in resolutions on weapons adopted by previous meetings of the Council of Delegates and those contained in General Objective 2 of the Agenda for Humanitarian Action adopted by the 28th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent,


1.    calls upon all components of the Movement to continue and, if possible, step up their efforts to implement the Movement Strategy on Landmines and Explosive Remnants of War, and in particular to strive to ensure that victims receive the long-term care and assistance they need, to urge mine-affected States party to the Convention on the Prohibition of Anti-Personnel Mines to meet their mine-clearance deadlines and to encourage all States to adhere to the Convention on the Prohibition of Anti-Personnel Mines and the Protocol on Explosive Remnants of War and to make available adequate resources to ensure their full implementation;

2.    urges all components of the Movement to raise awareness of the Third Review Conference of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons in late 2006, to encourage all States to participate in the Review Conference, and to use this event to promote adherence to the Convention and the amendment extending its scope of application to non-international armed conflicts and to its five Protocols;

3.    encourages all components of the Movement to promote national measures to address the humanitarian concerns resulting from the use of cluster munitions and other submunitions, in particular by encouraging States to prohibit the use of submunitions against military objectives located in or near civilian areas, to eliminate submunitions that are inaccurate or have high failure rates, and to refrain from transferring inaccurate or unreliable submunitions to others;

4.    requests all components of the Movement to use the Review Conference of the UN Programme of Action on Small Arms in July 2006 as an opportunity to encourage a more comprehensive approach to reducing the human suffering that results from the unregulated availability and misuse of small arms, in particular by encouraging States to make respect for humanitarian law one of the basic criteria on which arms transfer decisions are assessed, to develop common standards regulating international arms transfers and the activities of arms brokers, to promote respect for international humanitarian law and human rights law among arms bearers, to enhance armed-violence prevention efforts and to assist the victims;

5.    encourages all components of the Movement to raise awareness of the need for increased efforts by governments, scientists and industry to ensure that advances in the life sciences are not used for hostile purposes, and to urge governments to work towards a successful outcome of the Sixth Review Conference of the Biological Weapons Convention by solemnly reaffirming the Convention’s aims and by agreeing on concrete preventive measures;

6.    requests components of the Movement to encourage States that have not yet done so to establish formal review procedures to determine the legality of new weapons and means and methods of warfare, and to exchange information about these procedures with other States and with the ICRC, and notes the ICRC’s development of a Guide for this purpose;

7.    requests the ICRC to report to the 2007 Council of Delegates on the progress made in implementing these objectives.