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This Guide aims to assist States in establishing or improving procedures to determine the legality of new weapons, means and methods of warfare in accordance with Article 36 of Protocol I Additional to the 1949 Geneva Conventions.
It was prepared further to an expert meeting hosted by the ICRC in January 2001 and the Agenda for Humanitarian Action adopted by the States Parties to the Geneva Conventions at the 28th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent. The Agenda for Humanitarian Action commits States to ensure the legality of all new weapons, means and methods of warfare by subjecting them to rigorous and multidisciplinary review. Government experts from ten countries provided comments on previous drafts of this Guide.