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To protect innocent civilians from the harmful effects of weapons of war, “international humanitarian law remains an essential safety measure not to be weakened,” a Vatican official said. Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican’s representative to U.N. agencies in Geneva, focused on the responsibility to protect civilian populations from harmful weapons in an address on Nov. 14 to a conference reviewing the international Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons. “The responsibility of the C.C.W. to protect civilian populations rests on its ability to comply with the provisions of international humanitarian law and even in strengthening them,” he said. “The C.C.W. has an important place and role in the international system that seeks to reduce the impact of indiscriminate weapons on civilian populations, on the development and implementation of the conditions that allow an exit from war situations,” he said. Archbishop Tomasi specifically expressed concern over the lack of consensus on protocols addressing certain types of mines and cluster munitions, which are being used in several conflicts.

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