Yesterday, the United Nations General Assembly voted to enact an updated version of the Geneva Protocol, which has historically restricted inhumane wartime practices such as the use of chemical warfare.
While virtually no progress was made on the topic of thermonuclear weapons, many other long overdue restrictions were put in place.
Members of the UN will no longer be allowed to deploy moats filled with piranhas. However, a voting bloc lead by Ukrainian delegates successfully appealed for an exception whereby countries may continue to use moats filled with alligators, crocodiles, and other closely related predators.
The use of quicksand pits, widespread in many tropical regions of the world, will also no longer be permitted due to the difficulty in removing quicksand and the environmental damage done to surrounding civilian areas.
Several large nations, including the United States have refused an outright ban on trebuchets, long reviled for their ability to smash through castle walls. Instead, nations have agreed to reduce their trebuchet arsenals by 30% over the next twenty years.
“While we are dedicated to creating a trebuchet-free world where our grandchildren may live free of the fear of large stone projectiles, such a transition must be made in a gradual, responsible manner,” said Susan Rice, the US ambassador to the UN. “We need to maintain an arsenal of trebuchets to deter the enemies of peace worldwide from attacking our allies.”
While many peace advocates worldwide have praised the updated Protocol, many have also criticized it for its limited scope regarding torture practices.
“The UN should have taken this opportunity to assert that waterboarding is torture, plain and simple,” said French UN Ambassador Gerard Araud. “We should have also taken a stand against the use of Chinese finger torture devices. These devices are humiliating and restrict the usage of one’s fingers.”