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Article Comparison - Protocol on Explosive Remnants of War

Technical Annex

This Technical Annex contains suggested best practice for achieving the objectives contained in Articles 4, 5 and 9 of this Protocol. This Technical Annex will be implemented by High Contracting Parties on a voluntary basis.

1. Recording, storage and release of information for Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) and Abandoned Explosive Ordnance (AXO)

(a) Recording of information: Regarding explosive ordnance which may have become UXO a State should endeavour to record the following information as accurately as possible:

(i) the location of areas targeted using explosive ordnance;

(ii) the approximate number of explosive ordnance used in the areas under (i);

(iii) the type and nature of explosive ordnance used in areas under (i);

(iv) the general location of known and probable UXO;

Where a State has been obliged to abandon explosive ordnance in the course of operations, it should endeavour to leave AXO in a safe and secure manner and record information on this ordnance as follows:

(v) the location of AXO;

(vi) the approximate amount of AXO at each specific site;

(vii) the types of AXO at each specific site.

(b) Storage of information: Where a State has recorded information in accordance with paragraph (a), it should be stored in such a manner as to allow for its retrieval and subsequent release in accordance with paragraph (c).

(c) Release of information: Information recorded and stored by a State in accordance with paragraphs (a) and (b) should, taking into account the security interests and other obligations of the State providing the information, be released in accordance with the following provisions:

(i) Content:

On UXO the released information should contain details on:

(1) the general location of known and probable UXO;

(2) the types and approximate number of explosive ordnance used in the targeted areas;

(3) the method of identifying the explosive ordnance including colour, size and shape and other relevant markings;

(4) the method for safe disposal of the explosive ordnance.

On AXO the released information should contain details on:

(5) the location of the AXO;

(6) the approximate number of AXO at each specific site;

(7) the types of AXO at each specific site;

(8) the method of identifying the AXO, including colour, size and shape;

(9) information on type and methods of packing for AXO;

(10) state of readiness;

(11) the location and nature of any booby traps known to be present in the area of AXO.

(ii) Recipient: The information should be released to the party or parties in control of the affected territory and to those persons or institutions that the releasing State is satisfied are, or will be, involved in UXO or AXO clearance in the affected area, in the education of the civilian population on the risks of UXO or AXO.

(iii) Mechanism: A State should, where feasible, make use of those mechanisms established internationally or locally for the release of information, such as through UNMAS, IMSMA, and other expert agencies, as considered appropriate by the releasing State.

(iv) Timing: The information should be released as soon as possible, taking into account such matters as any ongoing military and humanitarian operations in the affected areas, the availability and reliability of information and relevant security issues.

2. Warnings, risk education, marking, fencing and monitoring

Key terms

(a) Warnings are the punctual provision of cautionary information to the civilian population, intended to minimise risks caused by explosive remnants of war in affected territories.

(b) Risk education to the civilian population should consist of risk education programmes to facilitate information exchange between affected communities, government authorities and humanitarian organisations so that affected communities are informed about the threat from explosive remnants of war. Risk education programmes are usually a long term activity.

Best practice elements of warnings and risk education

(c) All programmes of warnings and risk education should, where possible, take into account prevailing national and international standards, including the International Mine Action Standards.

(d) Warnings and risk education should be provided to the affected civilian population which comprises civilians living in or around areas containing explosive remnants of war and civilians who transit such areas.

(e) Warnings should be given, as soon as possible, depending on the context and the information available. A risk education programme should replace a warnings programme as soon as possible. Warnings and risk education always should be provided to the affected communities at the earliest possible time.

(f) Parties to a conflict should employ third parties such as international organisations and non-governmental organisations when they do not have the resources and skills to deliver efficient risk education.

(g) Parties to a conflict should, if possible, provide additional resources for warnings and risk education. Such items might include: provision of logistical support, production of risk education materials, financial support and general cartographic information.

Marking, fencing, and monitoring of an explosive remnants of war affected area

(h) When possible, at any time during the course of a conflict and thereafter, where explosive remnants of war exist the parties to a conflict should, at the earliest possible time and to the maximum extent possible, ensure that areas containing explosive remnants of war are marked, fenced and monitored so as to ensure the effective exclusion of civilians, in accordance with the following provisions.

(i) Warning signs based on methods of marking recognised by the affected community should be utilised in the marking of suspected hazardous areas. Signs and other hazardous area boundary markers should as far as possible be visible, legible, durable and resistant to environmental effects and should clearly identify which side of the marked boundary is considered to be within the explosive remnants of war affected area and which side is considered to be safe.

(j) An appropriate structure should be put in place with responsibility for the monitoring and maintenance of permanent and temporary marking systems, integrated with national and local risk education programmes.

3. Generic preventive measures

States producing or procuring explosive ordnance should to the extent possible and as appropriate endeavour to ensure that the following measures are implemented and respected during the life-cycle of explosive ordnance.

(a) Munitions manufacturing management

(i) Production processes should be designed to achieve the greatest reliability of munitions.

(ii) Production processes should be subject to certified quality control measures.

(iii) During the production of explosive ordnance, certified quality assurance standards that are internationally recognised should be applied.

(iv) Acceptance testing should be conducted through live-fire testing over a range of conditions or through other validated procedures.

(v) High reliability standards should be required in the course of explosive ordnance transactions and transfers.

(b) Munitions management

In order to ensure the best possible long-term reliability of explosive ordnance, States are encouraged to apply best practice norms and operating procedures with respect to its storage, transport, field storage, and handling in accordance with the following guidance.

(i) Explosive ordnance, where necessary, should be stored in secure facilities or appropriate containers that protect the explosive ordnance and its components in a controlled atmosphere, if necessary.

(ii) A State should transport explosive ordnance to and from production facilities, storage facilities and the field in a manner that minimises damage to the explosive ordnance.

(iii) Appropriate containers and controlled environments, where necessary, should be used by a State when stockpiling and transporting explosive ordnance.

(iv) The risk of explosions in stockpiles should be minimised by the use of appropriate stockpile arrangements.

(v) States should apply appropriate explosive ordnance logging, tracking and testing procedures, which should include information on the date of manufacture of each number, lot or batch of explosive ordnance, and information on where the explosive ordnance has been, under what conditions it has been stored, and to what environmental factors it has been exposed.

(vi) Periodically, stockpiled explosive ordnance should undergo, where appropriate, live-firing testing to ensure that munitions function as desired.

(vii) Sub-assemblies of stockpiled explosive ordnance should, where appropriate, undergo laboratory testing to ensure that munitions function as desired.

(viii) Where necessary, appropriate action, including adjustment to the expected shelf-life of ordnance, should be taken as a result of information acquired by logging, tracking and testing procedures, in order to maintain the reliability of stockpiled explosive ordnance.

(c) Training

The proper training of all personnel involved in the handling, transporting and use of explosive ordnance is an important factor in seeking to ensure its reliable operation as intended. States should therefore adopt and maintain suitable training programmes to ensure that personnel are properly trained with regard to the munitions with which they will be required to deal.

(d) Transfer

A State planning to transfer explosive ordnance to another State that did not previously possess that type of explosive ordnance should endeavour to ensure that the receiving State has the capability to store, maintain and use that explosive ordnance correctly.

(e) Future production

A State should examine ways and means of improving the reliability of explosive ordnance that it intends to produce or procure, with a view to achieving the highest possible reliability.