Conventional bodies in the field of disarmament
Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction (BWC)
Ukraine is a State Party to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction (BWC) and strictly adheres to its international obligations in the field of biological weapons under this Convention.
Ukraine was the country co-author of the draft BWC, approved by the UN General Assembly on December 16, 1971. Ukraine signed this Convention on April 10, 1972 and ratified it on February 21, 1975.
Under the provisions of the BWC Member States have obliged to destroy or convert to peaceful purposes all agents, toxins, weapons, equipment and means of delivery, as well as to foster scientific and technical cooperation.
Ukraine has no biological weapons and conducts no works on creating such weapons. However, there are institutions of medical treatment, scientific, industrial and specialized type which have banks of micro-organisms or work with the products of their life, falling within the scope of the Convention.
Since 1992 Ukraine annually provides the UN Secretariat with necessary information on implementation of the BWC, so called confidence-building measures (CBMs), approved by the Second and Third Review Conferences of the BWC States Parties.
The delegation of Ukraine participated in the meetings and Review Conferences, as well as in sessions of Special and Ad Hoc Groups of States Parties to the BWC and was the author of a number of key provisions of the Verification Protocol to the Convention. The representative of Ukraine was elected Vice-Chairman of the Committee of the Whole - one of the governing bodies of the Special Conference of States Parties to the BWC.
The intention of Ukraine to ensure compliance with the obligations regarding biological weapons was confirmed by the fact that in 2003 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine reported succession of Ukraine to the 1925 Geneva Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare.
Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction
Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction (Ottawa Convention) is a multilateral instrument of international humanitarian law, which aims to overcome the consequences of indiscriminate and widespread use of these weapons in many regions of the world. To achieve the proclaimed goal one should totally ban and eliminate certain conventional weapons which are landmines (APL).
The Convention was opened for signature on December 3, 1997 and came into force on March 1, 1999. Ukraine signed the Convention 24.02.1999 and ratified it 18.05.2005.
Among the obligations foreseen by the Convention are the elimination of dumped stocks of anti-personnel mines (Article 4), 10-year term «destruction of all antipersonnel mines in mined areas» (Article 5). On the other hand, the Convention calls upon States Parties, UN, regional organizations and NGOs to provide financial, logistical and other assistance for this purpose. Appropriate assistance may be provided through the UN system, regional organizations and international institutions, the ICRC, NGOs and on bilateral basis.
The main challenge for Ukraine within the framework of OttawaConvention is the obligation to destroy nearly 5.9 million APLs, prohibited by the Convention, which are located on the territory of our country.
In this regard Ukrainian experts take part in the annual Meetings of States Parties to the Convention in order to deliver to updated information on the status of Ukraine’s compliance with international obligations under Ottawa Convention.
The participation of Ukrainian representatives in these events strengthens the international authority of our State and encourages other Member States to provide assistance aimed at implementing measures of the provision under that Convention.
Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May be deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects
Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May be deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects (CCW), is one of the most important documents in international humanitarian law governing the methods and means of warfare.
The CCW was adopted at the UN Conference, held in Geneva in September 1979 and in September-October 1980. It was opened for signature in New York on April 10, 1981.
Ukraine ratified the CCW on June 23, 1982.
Several Protocols, additional to the CCW, were approved during that Conference: Protocol I - On non-detectable fragments, Protocol II - On mines, booby-traps and other devices, and Protocol III - on incendiary weapons.
The main purpose of the CCW provisions is to protect the civilian population and combatants from unnecessary injury or unnecessary suffering due to the use of certain conventional weapons.
The Convention is a framework document that provides for the adoption of additional protocols, which include specific standards of the conventional rules on prohibitions or restrictions on the use of weapons that may have indiscriminate effects and cause unnecessary suffering to civilian population and combatants in situations of armed conflict. For example, Protocol I prohibits the use of weapons intended for shrapnel impression that can not be detected in the human body by X-rays.
Due to the necessity of further implementation of the prohibitions and restrictions on the use of certain conventional weapons the First Review Conference of States Parties to the CCW approved the Additional Protocol IV «On blinding laser weapons» (October 13, 1995.). This protocol is considered as a preventive measure against the threat of the use of laser technology as a weapon for infliction of direct damage to the personnel of armed forces. Protocol IV entered into force on July 30, 1998.
In addition, on May 3, 1996 the First Review Conference adopted amendments to the Protocol II «On Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Mines, Booby-Traps and Other Devices». The main content of the amendments is as follows:
- the provisions of the Protocol is applicable not only to international armed conflicts, but also to non-international armed conflicts (as defined in 1977 Protocol II to the Geneva Conventions 1949);
- prohibition of the use of anti-personnel landmines not detectable by commonly means;
- all remotely delivered APLs have to be equipped with mechanisms of self-destruction and self-deactivation;
- рarties bear responsibility for the minefields, mines, booby-traps and other devices in areas under their control, and undertake to eliminate them after the end of active hostilities;
- рarties undertake not to transfer APLs to States not bound by this Protocol.
Amended Protocol II entered into force on 3 December 1998.
The Second Review Conference of States Parties to the CCW (2001) approved an amendment to Article 1 of the Convention, which extends the scope of the Convention and of all its Protocols over non-international armed conflicts.
In November 2003, the Annual meeting of States Parties to the CCW approved
Protocol V «On explosive remnants of war», which came into force on November 12, 2006.
In accordance with the decision of the First Review Conference of the CCW, Review Conferences are convened every five years to address issues of implementation and scope of use of the Convention and its protocols. Meeting of States Parties to the Convention and its Protocols, as well as meeting of experts are held annually.
Ukraine is a State Party to the CCW and all applicable Protocols, including an amendment to Article I of the CCW.