A new vision for nuclear disarmament: the President of Austria, ‘Stigmatize, ban, eliminate’

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ICAN logoA reader has drawn our attention to the ICAN press release, summarising the outcome of High-level Meeting of the General Assembly on Nuclear Disarmament (26 September 2013). Our readers from several countries (below W/E18/9/13 snapshot) may find this of interest.

PCU3 18.9

The opening paragraphs of the ICAN press release:

NEW YORK: The first ever high-level meeting on nuclear disarmament concluded its work today in New York City. The meeting – convened by the United Nations General Assembly – puts the issue of nuclear weapons once again at the top of the global agenda. The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) welcomed the ever-stronger focus by states on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons and the growing calls to ban them.

Despite resistance from nuclear-armed states, a growing number of states and international organisations compelled by the undeniable evidence of the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons and concerned about the limited progress of nuclear disarmament, recognised the imperative to address the global humanitarian threat of nuclear weapons, with bold and urgent actions toward prohibition. The conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons held in Oslo in March and the second conference on this topic to be held by Mexico in February 2014, were welcomed by many during the debate.

The President of Austria, H. E. Mr. Heinz Fischer, in his statement to the UNGA outlined a clear path towards abolition: Stigmatize, ban and eliminate, noting that prohibition of nuclear weapons could come before their elimination. Similar statements delivered today by a wide range of non-nuclear weapon states show that a shift in the nuclear weapons debate is taking centre stage, a shift that focuses on humanitarian arguments rather than security doctrines and power politics. The debate was a further sign that non-nuclear weapon states are gaining in confidence as they reclaim ownership of a debate that has previously been controlled by nuclear weapons possessors . . .

Read the whole statement here: http://www.icanw.org/media/media-releases/

It is good to learn that an ever-growing number of governments and NGOs are collectively demanding a ban on nuclear weapons, along the same lines as the prohibitions on chemical and biological weapons.

Statements by the representatives of a great number of states may be read here: http://www.un.org/en/ga/68/meetings/nucleardisarmament/statements.shtml

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