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Un Conference On Conventional Arms

Volume 413: debated on Tuesday 21 October 1980

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asked Her Majesty's Government:What decisions were reached at the United Nations Conference at Geneva on the banning or restriction of the use of conventional arms judged to be excessively injurious and whether it is their intention to ask Parliament to ratify the decisions at art early date.

The Conference concluded on 10th October having approved the text of a general convention together with three protocols to prohibit or restrict the use of mines and booby-traps, incendiary weapons, and weapons causing injury by fragments not detectable by X-ray. The first of these protocols is based closely on a British draft tabled at an earlier stage of the conference. The Government welcome the agreement which represents a useful strengthening of humanitarian law in armed conflict. The convention will open for signature in April 1981 and Parliament will be informed in the normal way prior to ratification.