AN INDEPENDENT Scotland would back plans by the UN to limit the use of explosives in civilian areas.

Two SNP MPs have announced the policy ahead of the UN summit in Geneva this week.

Alyn Smith and Stewart McDonald said the proposals are vital to protect normal people during conflict, as highlighted by the war in Ukraine.

The announcement that the SNP would back such a move comes ahead of a full policy paper the party intends to produce later this month, explaining how they believe an independent Scotland would 'champion' the safety of civilians during armed conflict.

The UN is backing an international drafting of a declaration limiting the use of Explosive Weapons in populated areas (EWIPAs).

Mr McDonald, the SNP's defence spokesman, is to join hundreds of diplomats and politicians in Geneva later this week for the penultimate negotiations.

He said: "As threats to the post-war international order continue to grow, it is more important than ever that governments across the world proactively seek to engage in multilateral dialogue and to strengthen the rules-based order.

"As a good global citizen, an independent Scotland would look to ratify the Conventions on Cluster Munitions and Anti-Personnel Landmines."

Alyn Smith, the party's foreign affairs spokesman, said: "The devastating images we continue to see in Yemen, Syria and Ukraine show the harm that the use of explosive weapons in densely populated areas has on civilian populations.

"It is now beyond time to act: with civilians making up over 90 per cent of those killed and injured in populated areas during conflicts, the international community must come together in Geneva and agree a commitment which will put an end to this senseless loss of life."

The party's policy on protecting civilians during conflict will be released on April 28. 

It states: "There must be a presumption against the use of wide-impact explosives in conflicts that take place in populated and urban territories.

"SNP fully supports the ongoing UN-backed process to develop a political declaration addressing the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.

"An independent Scotland would look to sign on to this declaration. Additionally, Scotland should ratify the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions as well as the 1997 Anti-Personnel Landmines Convention."