Practice Relating to Rule 73. Biological Weapons
Uruguay’s Basic Information for the Pre-Deployment of Personnel Involved in UN Stabilization Missions (2014), in a section entitled “What is international humanitarian law?”, states:
In the workshop on pre-deployment, we will show a brief audiovisual presentation as an overview of the topic. It is important to remember that international humanitarian law (IHL) is a set of rules that, for precisely humane reasons, seeks to limit the effects of armed conflicts. It protects people not involved or no longer involved in combat and limits the means and methods of warfare. IHL is often also called “law of war” and “law of armed conflict”.
Although during peacekeeping operations or missions we are not in a traditional war scenario, we are in a place where there are conflicts of another kind and our participation may require us to apply these rules. The United Nations is clear in establishing that peacekeeping personnel are subject to and must respect and enforce the rules of IHL.
9.2 METHODS AND MEANS OF COMBAT
- Prohibition of the use of bacteriological weapons.
Uruguay’s Organizational Law of Armed Forces (1974) states that it is forbidden for residents of the republic to possess war material for any purpose. Biological agents are included in this category.
Uruguay’s Law on Cooperation with the ICC (2006) states:
26.2. Persons and objects affected by the war crimes set out in the present provision are persons and objects which international law protects in international or internal armed conflict.
26.3. The following are war crimes:
26. Employing asphyxiating, poisonous or other gases, and all analogous liquids, materials or devices.
46. Using … biological (bacteriological or toxic) or other weapons of mass destruction, irrespective of their nature.