Practice Relating to Rule 85. The Use of Incendiary Weapons against Combatants
Section A. The use of incendiary weapons in general
In 1973, during a debate in the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly, New Zealand stated that it “believed that there was a strong case for a total prohibition of the use of napalm and other incendiary weapons”.
In 1975, during discussions in the Ad Hoc Committee on Conventional Weapons established by the CDDH, the representative of New Zealand stated:
38. … As the New Zealand delegation had already said in the United Nations General Assembly and as was also stated in [a] working paper, a rule prohibiting the use of napalm and other incendiary weapons in all circumstances was much more likely to be complied with than a restriction on particular uses …
39. So far as concerned the principle of prohibiting or restricting the use of napalm and other incendiary weapons, he recalled that on a number of occasions since 1973 his Government had stated its position, which was that, while the paramount requirement was to protect civilians, such protection should not be restricted to civilians. If the use of incendiaries was prohibited only in particular circumstances or against particular targets, there would be substantial difficulties of implementation. There was a strong case for a total prohibition of such weapons.