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Explosives

Question for Ministry of Defence

UIN 239286, tabled on 1 April 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, for what reasons the UK did not sign the October 2018 United Nations General Assembly Joint Statement on Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas.

Answered on

9 April 2019

The use of lethal force in populated areas, as elsewhere, is governed by relevant international law - in particular, International Humanitarian Law (IHL). Our targeting policy and practice is entirely consistent with our obligations under UK and international law and we will continue to operate in accordance with its principles. The UK declined to sign the October 2018 United Nations First Committee Joint Statement on Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas because its call for a binding political declaration risks undermining the primacy of IHL and imposing impracticable standards and expectations on military commanders.