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Non-Proliferation Summit Ends with 106 Nations Endorsing Nuclear Weapons Ban: US and UK Opposed


May 24, 2015
The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons & Beatrice Fihn / ICAN

As the 2015 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference ended, more than 100 governments had committed to work for the elimination of nuclear weapons by endorsing a "Humanitarian Pledge." While the US and UK blocked progress on a Middle East Nuke-free Zone, the final draft document was deeply flawed. It contained no meaningful disarmament agreements and it rolled back previous progress. Most delegations admitted that the text fell dramatically short of making credible progress.

Special to Environmentalists Against War

106 Countries Endorse the 'Humanitarian Pledge'
As the NPT Review Conference Ends

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

UNITED NATIONS, New York (May 23, 2015) -- As the 2015 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference ended, over 100 governments have committed to work for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons by endorsing the "Humanitarian Pledge."

While the United States and the United Kingdom declared failure over the Middle East, the draft outcome document was deeply flawed on disarmament. It contained no meaningful commitments on nuclear disarmament, rolls back on previous agreements and was not negotiated amongst states parties. A wide range of governments from all regions admitted that the text fell dramatically short of making credible progress.

Based on the evidence of the humanitarian impacts from any nuclear weapon detonation and an acknowledgment of the increasing risk of use of nuclear weapons, the humanitarian pledge reflects a fundamental shift in the international discourse on nuclear disarmament over the past five years. It is the latest indication that governments are preparing for diplomatic action after the Review Conference.

The wide and growing international support for this historic pledge sends a signal that a majority of the world's governments are ready to move forward with the prohibition of nuclear weapons, even if the nuclear weapon states are not ready to participate.

"Regardless of what has happened here today, the humanitarian pledge must be the basis for the negotiations of a new treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons," says Beatrice Fihn, Executive Director of ICAN. "It has been made clear that the nuclear weapon states are not interested in making any new commitments to disarmament, so now it is up to the rest of the world to start a process to prohibit nuclear weapons by the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki."

For more information about the 2015 NPT outcome, please read "The Real Outcome" below.

Copyright 2015 International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, All rights reserved.



The Real Outcome
Beatrice Fihn / International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

(May 23, 2015) -- As the 2015 NPT Review Conference ended, over 100 states had endorsed the humanitarian pledge, committing to work for a new legally binding instrument for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons.

The pledge reflects a fundamental shift in the international discourse on nuclear disarmament over the past five years. It is the latest indication that a majority of governments are preparing for diplomatic action after the Review Conference.

The wide and growing international support for this historic pledge sends a signal that governments are ready to move forward on the prohibition of nuclear weapons, even if the nuclear weapon states are not ready to join.

But for the nuclear-armed states, none of this seemed to matter. Barely any of them mentioned these new revelations, and in absurd statements, some of the nuclear-armed states (and their nuclear dependent allies) refuted any mention of the risk of or the catastrophic humanitarian impact of a nuclear detonation.

"There has been no new information" on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons "in decades," the French ambassador claimed repeatedly, rejecting the evidence that existing nuclear arsenals pose an increasing risk. Researchers, journalists, whistleblowers, UN agencies and the presenters at the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons assert the opposite.

While the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada declared failure over the Middle East, the draft outcome document was deeply flawed on disarmament. It contained no meaningful commitments on nuclear disarmament, rolls back on previous agreements and was not negotiated amongst states parties. The closing plenary showed a wide range of governments from all regions highlighting that the text fell dramatically short of making credible progress.

But more significantly, with the nuclear weapon states continuing to defend their possession, no possible outcome document can tackle the fundamental problems around nuclear weapons.

The use of a nuclear weapon on a major populated area would immediately kill tens if not hundreds of thousands of people -- mothers, fathers and children. Hundreds of thousands more would be alive -- but injured. Blinded, burned and crushed.

The effects of just a single nuclear weapon are shocking and overwhelming enough. They go far beyond what can be considered acceptable.

The blinding flash leaves people sightless, the massive blast will levels cities, the searing heat and spreading fires will melt steel, engulf homes and can coalesce into a firestorm that will suck the air from anyone still breathing, and the survivors of these effects may yet be poisoned by radioactive fallout -- that breaks down their bodies over the days and weeks that.

The long-term consequences would significantly harm the environment, development, and the economy across boarders and generations.

These weapons fundamentally violate the principles of humanity. They are morally unacceptable, illegitimate instruments of terror that must be banned.

A ban on nuclear weapons is not just about implementing Article VI of the NPT. A ban on nuclear weapons is a necessary precondition for preventing the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons.

It has been made clear that the nuclear weapon states are not interested in making any new commitments to disarmament, so now it is up to the rest of the world to start a process to prohibit nuclear weapons. The humanitarian pledge is the basis we need for these negotiations to begin.

Comments
Dominique Lalanne
The best end for us: no consensus on an outcome in favor of Nuclear Weapons States and a Pledge for going forward for banning nukes!
Bravo to Reaching Critical Will, ICAN and all NGOs involved in this work!

Peter Low · Otago Boys' High School
Now the majority of the world's nation-states are poised to break free from the blocking and procrastination of the few, to plug the gaps in international law and eventually improve the security of everyone.

Trevor Mills · Works at Ezybuy
How arrogantly ignorant can these nuclear armed states blatantly state such comments of refuting there will be no impact on humanitarian life? Perhaps they need to put in amongst the public and make such statements? How bloody stupid do they think the public are?

Kate Hughes
Our bloody Government is planning on renewing Trident, despite economists and even naval strategists opposition!!

Una Zimbabwe Zuna · Works at UNA Zimbabwe
Congratulations, we now need the full list of countries endorsed this.

John Cox · Partner at Cox & Speller
This is a step forward. Nuclear Weapons need to be made illegal to help have them banned.

Inge Axelsson · Vägga Gymnasieskola
Now, the international Medical Community and Medical journals must stand up for the humanitarian pledge. The big four - NEJM, JAMA, Lancet, BMJ - should take the lead and endorse the total elimination of nuclear weapons.

Klaus Renoldner
I sign of hope. And I am convinces more countries can join. Starting from other neutral European countries to several other to increase the pressure on the rest.

Pierre Jasmin · McGill University
Les Artistes pour la Paix applaud www.ICANW.org initiatives! It is time to advance!

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.
Our mailing address: International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, 150 Route de Ferney, Geneva 1211, Switzerland.

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