Mosul, Iraq. Destroyed buildings around the old city of Mosul, on the western side of the city. | © T. Nicholson / HI
In the field of the protection of civilians, in a context of the rise of actors who openly challenge international law, obtaining new commitments from States represents a real advocacy challenge for NGOs. Anne Héry, Director of Advocacy and Institutional Relations, discusses the challenges of implementing the Political Declaration on Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas for the blog Défis humanitaires.
Focusing efforts on a specific issue by relying on a small group of convinced States: this is the strategy that led to 83 States adopting a new Political Declaration on explosive weapons in populated areas. Admittedly, the new text is non-binding, but it commits the signatories, and it deals with the main threat to civilians in contemporary conflicts.
Beyond the changes it calls for in military practices, this instrument also represents a lever for improving the humanitarian response in this type of context. As long as the humanitarian actors seize it...