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Declaration :

In acceding to the Protocol on Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) annexed to 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 (CCW), adopted on November 28, 2003, at the meeting of the States Parties to the CCW, the Holy See, as it did on June 16, 1997 when it acceded to the Convention and its first four Protocols, "in keeping with its proper nature and with the particular condition of Vatican City State, intends to renew its encouragement to the International Community to continue on the path it has taken for the reduction of human suffering caused by armed conflict".

With the approval of the fifth Protocol, the CCW is confirmed as a "forward-looking living instrument"of international humanitarian law, intended to address the problems arising from modern armed conflicts and to improve its effectiveness for the protection of civilians and combatants in such situations. Although one could have wished for a greater incisiveness in the Protocol in responding tot he problems originating from the ERW, the adoption of this instrument represents an important multilateral tool for the control of arms for humanitarian reasons, capable of calling States to responsibility for eh ERW and for damages caused by them.

In keeping with it own commitment to encouraging the development and implementation of humanitarian law on the part of all States and in all circumstances, the Holy See is convinced that the Fifth Protocol signifies a concretely promoting the culture of life and of peace, based upon the dignity of the human person and the primacy of the rule of law, through a responsible, hones and consistent cooperation of all the members of the community of nations.

13.12.2005

13.12.2005