"The United States Government welcomes the adoption of this Convention, and hopes that all States will give the most serious consideration to ratification or accession. We believe that the Convention represents a positive step forward in efforts to minimize injury or damage to the civilian population in time of armed conflict. Our signature of this Convention reflects the general willingness of the United States to adopt practical and reasonable provisions concerning the conduct of military operations, for the purpose of protecting noncombatants.
"At the same time, we want to emphasize that formal adherence by States to agreements restricting the use of weapons in armed conflict would be of little purpose if the parties were not firmly committed to taking every appropriate step to ensure compliance with those restrictions after their entry into force. It would be the firm intention of the United States and, we trust, all other parties to utilize the procedures and remedies provided by this Convention, and by the general laws of war, to see to it that all parties to the Convention meet their obligations under it. The United States strongly supported proposals by other countries during the Conference to include special procedures for dealing with compliance matters, and reserves the right to propose at a later date additional procedures and remedies, should this prove necessary, to deal with such problems.
"In addition, the United States of course reserves the right, at the time of ratification, to exercise the option provided by article 4 (3) of the Convention, and to make statements of understanding and/or reservations, to the extent that it may deem that to be necessary to ensure that the Convention and its Protocols conform to humanitarian and military requirements. As indicated in the negotiating record of the 1980 Conference, the prohibitions and restrictions contained in the Convention and its Protocols are of course new contractual rules (with the exception of certain provisions which restate existing international law) which will only bind States upon their ratification of, or accession to, the Convention and their consent to be bound by the Protocols in question."