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Today in Dublin, Ireland, the United States joined more than 50 other States in endorsing the Political Declaration on Strengthening the Protection of Civilians from the Humanitarian Consequences Arising from the Use of Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas. The United States thanks the Government of Ireland for its dedication in leading this important effort. We also express our appreciation to all States, civil society organizations, and international organizations that contributed to the negotiation of this Declaration.

Protecting civilians from harm in connection with military operations is a moral imperative. It is also critical to preserving civil society and restarting economic growth after the conflict is over. The United States is instituting major changes to our domestic policies and practices in this area, most notably through the Department of Defense Civilian Harm Mitigation and Response Action Plan released on August 25. We are eager to strengthen our collaboration with allies and partners as part of the follow-on mechanism established in the Declaration, through which States will meet on a regular basis to review the implementation of the Declaration and participate in military-to-military exchanges.

The atrocities committed by Russia’s forces as part of its aggression against Ukraine have made a global unified approach on this issue urgent. Russia’s attacks on civilian infrastructure and cities across Ukraine have destroyed parks, schools, apartment buildings, train stations, hospitals, and other public spaces. All States endorsing this Declaration are unified in their commitment to strengthen the protection of civilians during armed conflict and improve the implementation of international humanitarian law.

For more information, please consult the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs website, or contact the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs Office of Congressional and Public Affairs, at, and follow us on Twitter @StateDeptPM.

U.S. Department of State

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