UNIDIR Participates in EWIPA Conference in Oslo

30 April 2024
UNIDIR Participates in EWIPA Conference in Oslo
© 2024, Ludvig Gundersen

Every day, the use of explosive weapons in populated areas devastates communities, tearing apart lives and infrastructure. From 22 to 24 April, the international community came together in Oslo to take stock of the implementation of the Political Declaration on Strengthening the Protection of Civilians from the Humanitarian Consequences Arising from the Use of Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas (EWIPA). Hosted by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the first international follow-up conference to the adoption of the EWIPA Declaration brought together senior State officials and experts from ministries of defense and foreign affairs, armed forces as well as international and regional organizations, civil society, private sector, and academia.

“The use of explosive weapons in populated areas cause devastating losses—destroying lives, livelihoods, and infrastructure worldwide. We reaffirm today our commitment to support the implementation of the EWIPA Declaration, focusing on urgent actions needed to shield civilians from the horrors of armed conflicts. We must translate promises into meaningful actions to alleviate suffering and safeguard communities globally.” Said Robin Geiss, UNIDIR Director during a panel he moderated on the direct and indirect effects arising from the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. The panel addressed among other things how gaining a comprehensive understanding of these severe and widespread patterns of civilian harm through enhanced data collection and sharing can support an effective and meaningful implementation of the EWIPA Declaration.

For many years, UNIDIR has been working closely with States and a wide range of partners from international and civil society organizations to improve the understanding of these harms and help inform policies and practices to strengthen the protection of civilians. 

To learn more about the direct and indirect or reverberating effects of the use of EWIPA on civilians, including their gendered nature, you can consult UNIDIR’s Menus of Indicators, as well as our new factsheet on gendered impacts. For recommendations on how to advance the implementation of relevant commitments of the EWIPA Declaration in the period ahead, check also the working paper submitted by UNIDIR and the Explosive Weapons Monitor.