St. Petersburg Declaration: Victory of humanity in war

29 November 2018

150 years ago, the St. Petersburg Declaration was signed. The most influential States of the time agreed to ban bullets which explode upon touching a human body, causing extreme injuries and suffering. For the very first time in history the use of inhumane weapon was officially renounced.

The Declaration also stated important principles of humanity in times of war. This later became key for the development of the international humanitarian law as we know it today.

The St. Petersburg Declaration set out three fundamental principles that are still valid today: the principle of distinction, the principle of proportionality, the prohibition of unnecessary suffering. It also proclaimed that at some point military necessity must yield to requirements of humanity.

Read the full text of the St. Petersburg Declaration.