The Banning of Anti-Personnel Landmines: The Legal Contribution of the International Committee of the Red Cross

By Louis Maresca; Stuart Maslen | Go to book overview
Conference of Government Experts on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons, second session held in Lugano, 28 January to 26 February 1976.

The Diplomatic Conference created an ad hoc working group to examine the issue and the group was provided with the results of the expert meetings. In the end, however, the conference chose not to include additional prohibitions or restrictions. Instead, it called for the issue to be dealt with in the framework of the United Nations. The United Nations General Assembly endorsed this recommendation which led to the negotiation and adoption of 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.

Each of the three expert meetings convened by the ICRC between 1973 and 1976 produced a report outlining the types of weapons which might be considered to cause unnecessary suffering or have indiscriminate effects. These included small-calibre projectiles, blast and fragmentation weapons, time-delay weapons and incendiary weapons. The reports are closely interrelated so it is helpful to present them together. For the most part, only those sections pertaining to landmines, which were treated under the heading of 'Time Delay Weapons', are reproduced in the following pages. The paragraph numbers indicated are from the original reports. As only selected chapters are reproduced here, the numbering of paragraphs is not necessarily consecutive.


Weapons that may Cause Unnecessary
Suffering or Have Indiscriminate Effects

Report on the Work of the Experts
held in Geneva, Switzerland
26 February – 2 March and 12–15 June 1973

Extracts from the 1973 report produced by the ICRC are reproduced below. The report summarizes the work of the forty-three experts from various countries, international agencies and non-governmental organizations participating in the meeting. It gives a descriptive overview of the technical characteristics of mines, the general strategy behind their use and the medical characteristics of the injuries they cause. The report does not

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