Conventional arms


Besides weapons of mass destruction, the issue of conventional weapons also requires international attention. Indeed, the uncontrolled proliferation of conventional weapons and weapons with indiscriminate and non-proportionate use, with all its related human and security incidences, puts a far too heavy burden on societies. Organized crime, terrorism, civilian victims of anti-personnel mines or of cluster munitions or yet the issue of child soldiers are only a few examples of the many issues related to the proliferation and indiscriminate use of conventional weapons.

The Convention on prohibitions or restrictions on the use of certain conventional weapons which may be deemed to be excessively injurious or to have indiscriminate effects, also  known as the “Convention on certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) or “Convention on Inhuman Weapons”, was adopted in 1980 and entered into force in 1983.

It intends to prohibit or restrict the use of a number of weapons because of their disproportionate and indiscriminate effects. It is a framework-agreement enouncing general principles. The annexed protocols define the dispositions on particular weapon types.

  • Protocol I restricts the use of weapons with non-detectable fragments;
  • Protocol II prohibits or restricts the use of landmines, traps and other devices;
  • Protocol III prohibits or restricts the use of incendiary weapons;
  • Protocol IV restricts blinding laser weapons
  • Protocol V tackles the issue of explosive remnants of war

This Convention and its protocols are the origin of other initiatives in the domain of conventional weapons such as the Convention on Anti-Personnel Mines (See below).

The growing use of artificial intelligence and of robot technology in weapon systems is the subject of deliberations in the framework of the “Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons”.