Protocol V of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons recently entered into force, and the author hopes lessons learned from the operations of the Ottawa Convention2 can be applied to this Protocol.
On 12 November 2006, Protocol V of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons entered into force; it addresses the humanitarian impact of explosive remnants of war other than landmines. This "Protocol on Explosive Remnants of War," as it is formally known, contains "remedial measures of a generic nature in order to minimise the risks and effects of explosive remnants of war." With the Protocol having become binding international law for more than 20 states, attention has turned toward the work necessary to implement it .Much of this attention has focused on practical operations of the Protocol. For instance, it has been frequently mentioned that various lessons from the operations of the Ottawa Convention (e.g., an informal work programme, a sponsorship programme) could be applied to Protocol V. While valuable operational lessons can be applied in terms of how the Protocol functions, what is often overlooked are the important conceptual lessons that can be applied from the Ottawa Convention regarding what might be implemented.
Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD)