Practice Relating to Rule 85. The Use of Incendiary Weapons against Combatants
In 1973, with respect to Resolution 2932 A (XXVII) in which the UN General Assembly asked States to comment on the report of the UN Secretary-General on napalm and other incendiary weapons and all aspects of their possible use, Finland deemed it important “to continue discussions and studies in order to find various ways and means to restrict the use of inhuman weapons and methods of warfare”. It recommended that the issue of incendiary weapons be discussed at the upcoming CDDH.
In 1974, during discussions in the Ad Hoc Committee on Conventional Weapons established by the CDDH, Finland stated:
9. In view of the development of modern weaponry and warfare and their consequences on the civilian population, it was of prime importance to reach early agreement on general principles prohibiting or restricting the use of specific weapons … Reports … showed clearly that the deployment of extremely cruel weapons, such as napalm and other incendiary weapons, seemed to be most frequent in cases where their strict military value was least, namely, when directed against civilian targets. The suffering they caused was disproportionate to any military advantage gained.
10. … The Ad Hoc Committee should endeavour to define [specific categories of conventional weapons] and prepare a list mentioning, at least, napalm and other incendiary weapons.