FINAL ACT OF THE UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE
ON PROHIBITIONS AND RESTRICTIONS ON THE USE
OF CERTAIN CONVENTIONAL WEAPONS WHICH
MAY BE DEEMED TO BE EXCESSIVELY INJURIOUS
OR TO HAVE INDISCRIMINATE EFFECTS
Signed at Geneva, 10 October 1980
INTRODUCTORY NOTE: The need for additional conventions prohibiting or limiting the use of certain methods and means of warfare was emphasized in the resolutions of the International Red Cross Conference of 1965 (No. 31) and of the International Conference on Human Rights of 1968 (No. 32) as well as in Resolution 2444 (XXIII) of the United Nations General Assembly of 1968 (No. 31). At the conferences of government experts convened by the International Committee of the Red Cross in 1971 and 1972 to prepare the Protocols additional to the Geneva Conventions and at the Diplomatic Conference of 1974–1977 the opinion prevailed that an agreement on conventional weapons should be attempted, leaving aside weapons of mass destruction. Encouraged by the Diplomatic Conference, the ICRC convened two conferences of government experts on the use of certain conventional weapons, which met at Lucerne in 1974 and at Lugano in 1976. The Diplomatic Conference, on 9 June 1977, adopted resolution 221 (IV) (No. 58), which recommended that a conference of governments be convened not later than 1979 with a view to reaching agreements on prohibitions or restrictions of the use of specific conventional weapons. The UN General Assembly endorsed this recommendation and the Conference took place in Geneva from 10 to 28 September 1979, and from 15 September to 10 October 1980. The Convention and the three original Protocols (No. 20) were adopted by consensus on 10 October 1980 and opened for signature on 10 April 1981.
For Protocols adopted in 1995 and 1996 see No. 20.
The Final Act has no force of law.
AUTHENTIC TEXTS: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish. The text below is reprinted from the United Nations Conference on Prohibitions or Restrictions of use of certain conventional weapons which may be deemed to be excessively injurious or to have indiscriminate effects, Geneva, 10–28 September 1979, 15 September-10 October 1980, Final report of the Conference to the General Assembly, A/CONF.95/15, 27 October 1980, Annex 1.
TEXT PUBLISHED IN (text of Final Act, Convention, three original Protocols and Resolution): United Nations Conference on Prohibitions or Restrictions of use of certain conventional weapons which may be deemed to be excessively injurious or to have indiscriminate effects, Geneva, 10–28 September 1979, 15 September-10 October 1980, Final report of the Conference to the General Assembly, A/CONF. 95/15, 27 October 1980, Annex I (Arabic, Chinese, Engl., French, Russ. Span.); UNTS, Vol. 1342, pp. 137–246 (Arabic, Chinese, Engl., French, Russ., Span.); United Nations Disarmament Yearbook, Vol. V, 1980