More than 150 states gather in Vienna for global conference on nuclear weapons
The Austria conference is the latest step in a process that has changed the way nuclear weapons are discussed at the international level. Since 2010, when states parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty recognized “the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons,” a new narrative has emerged in which the actual effects of these weapons are the basis for renewed actions to address them.
Of the 150 states that will participate in the Vienna conference, nuclear-armed states such as the United Kingdom and the United States that have previously boycotted talks in this process will participate alongside India and Pakistan.
“We are closer than we have ever been to starting negotiations on a treaty to ban nuclear weapons”, said Beatrice Fihn, Executive Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. “We are confident that governments will find the courage to embark on a diplomatic process to develop a new international treaty to outlaw nuclear weapons”, Fihn said.
Among civil society representatives that will address the Conference in Vienna, atomic bomb survivor from Hiroshima (“Hibakusha”) Setsuko Thurlow, and for the first time several atomic testing survivors including Karipbek Kuyukov, will provide a testimony on the experience surviving nuclear exposure. Renowned author of “Command and Control” Eric Schlosser and former US military officer Bruce Blair will address nuclear weapons risks, miscalculations and accidents and many others key activists.
About ICAN - The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) is a global campaign coalition working to mobilize people in all countries to inspire, persuade and pressure their governments to initiate negotiations for a treaty banning nuclear weapons. It has 360 partner organizations in 93 countries, and was launched in 2007.