New Zealand delivered a statement on behalf of 124 states expressing deep concern over the humanitarian impacts of nuclear weapons. This was delivered at the UN General Assembly’s First Committee today.

The impressive number of states that signed on to this statement shows the growing momentum to address nuclear weapons by focusing discussions on the humanitarian impacts and the need for their elimination.

The statement referred to the findings of the meeting held in Oslo in March 2013, where a key message from experts and international organisations was that “no State or international body could address the immediate humanitarian emergency caused by a nuclear weapon detonation or provide adequate assistance to victims”.

It also called on all states to participate in the upcoming conference that Mexico will host on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons that will take place from 13-14 February 2014.

A key feature of the disarmament discussions amongst states and civil society at the United Nations has been the proposal to launch negotiations on an international treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons, even without the participation of the nuclear-armed states. The renewed focus on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons provides a strong logic for their prohibition along these lines. Last week, Article 36 presented a paper at the United Nations outlining the impact of such a ban treaty, even without the nuclear-armed states.

The 124 states that signed on to the statement are:

Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chile, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Cyprus, DR Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Fiji, Gabon, Georgia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Haiti, Honduras, Iceland, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Lao PDR, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Macedonia, Mexico, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, Samoa, San Marino, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, South‎Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand,   Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, New Zealand, and the Observer State the Holy See.








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