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UK and US poised to endorse ground-breaking political declaration on the use of explosive weapons in populated areas as missiles hit major cities in Ukraine

Press Release | London, 16th October 2022, 16:00 GMT

A wave of missiles hit major cities in Ukraine on Tuesday, ahead of a high-level international conference in Dublin on Friday 18th November where states are expected to endorse a ground-breaking new agreement against the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.

In light of the escalation in Ukraine, campaigners from Humanity & Inclusion (HI) are emphasizing the importance of the agreement and renewing their call for all states to stop bombing civilians.

"Humanity & Inclusion condemns the missile attacks on major cities in Ukraine, which have struck residential areas. At the Dublin Conference, states are expected to adopt an historic agreement against the bombing and shelling of towns and cities. There is an urgent need to better protect civilians, who always bear the brunt of urban warfare,” says George Graham, Chief Executive of Humanity & Inclusion UK.

Dozens of states have already signalled their intention to endorse the agreement. These include the UK, the US, France and other major military powers – governments that for many years have resisted any new constraints being placed on their military practices.

"The British public is clearly appalled by the bombing of civilians – from Ukraine to Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and beyond. It’s thanks to years of pressure from campaigners around the country that the UK Government is now saying that it is ready to endorse this agreement," says George Graham.

"The UK plays a leading role worldwide in setting standards for conduct in warfare, so this is a milestone moment. The next steps are to implement the commitments in this agreement across Whitehall and the Armed Forces, and to encourage partners and allies to follow the UK’s lead in championing this new approach,” says George Graham.

By endorsing the agreement, governments are committing to implement national policies to restrict and refrain from using explosive weapons in populated areas. They are recognising the extensive nature of the damage caused by this practice and are committing to share data on its direct and indirect consequences. They are also committing to assist victims and communities, facilitate humanitarian access and ensure the clearance or destruction of explosive remnants of war as soon as feasible after the end of active hostilities.

Experts from Humanity & Inclusion (HI) will be attending the Dublin conference, including George Graham, Chief Executive of HI UK, who has worked extensively on this political process and the wider topic of the protection of civilians.


Interviews are available with George Graham and other Humanity & Inclusion experts on disarmament and the protection of civilians.

Humanity & Inclusion’s ‘Stop Bombing Civilians’ petition (signed by 216,719 people in the UK) was handed in to 10 Downing Street last week. It calls on the UK and all States worldwide to:

  • Publicly commit to end the use of explosive weapons with wide-area effects in populated areas;
  • Fully implement the treaties banning landmines and cluster munitions without delay and encourage non-signatory states to sign them;
  • Contribute to assisting the victims, clearing weapons in affected zones, and preventing further injuries and deaths.

Press contact

Rand Odeh, Humanity & Inclusion UK
Email: [email protected]
Tel: +44 (0)753 502 4895

About Humanity & Inclusion

Humanity & Inclusion (HI) is an independent charity working alongside disabled and vulnerable people in situations of poverty and exclusion, conflict and disaster.

Operating in 60 countries, our activities include humanitarian relief, physical rehabilitation and psychologial support, explosive ordnance clearance, and risk education for families in conflict zones.

HI is a co-recipient of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize as a founding member of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, which led to the signing of the Mine Ban Treaty.


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