United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland: Ratification of Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons

State United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Treaty Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons
Action Type Ratification
Depositary Secretary-General of the United Nations
Date 13 February 1995
Note
Objection:
 
4 February 2010
 
 
With regard to the reservation made by the United States of America upon consenting to be bound by Protocol III to the above Convention:
 
       “..., this reservation appears to be contrary to the object and purpose of the Protocol insofar as the object and purpose of the Protocol is to prohibit/restrict the use of incendiary weapons per se. On this reading, the United Kingdom objects to the reservation as contrary to the object and purpose of the Protocol.
       The United States has, however, publicly represented that the reservation is necessary because incendiary weapons are the only weapons that can effectively destroy certain counter-proliferation targets, such as biological weapons facilities, which require high heat to eliminate the biotoxins. The United States has also publicly represented that the reservation is not incompatible with the object and purpose of the Protocol, which is to protect civilians from the collateral damage associated with the use of incendiary weapons. The United States has additionally stated publicly that the reservation is consistent with a key underlying principle of international humanitarian law, which is to reduce risk to the civilian population and civilian objects from harms flowing from armed conflict.
       On the basis that (a) the United States reservation is correctly interpreted as a narrow reservation focused on the use of incendiary weapons against biological weapons, or similar counter-proliferation, facilities that require high heat to eliminate the biotoxins, in the interests of preventing potentially disastrous consequences for the civilian population, (b) the United States reservation is not otherwise intended to detract from the obligation to take all feasible precautions in the choice of means and methods of attack with a view to avoiding, and in any event to minimising incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians and damage to civilian objects, and (c) the object and purpose of the Protocol can properly be said to be to protect civilians from the collateral damage associated with the use of incendiary weapons, the United Kingdom would not object to the reservation as contrary to the object and purpose of the Protocol.”
Other Actions Signature on deposit with UN — 10 April 1981