South Africa's Ambassador Abdul Minty reading the 78-nation humanitarian initiative statement, 24 April 2013, Palais des Nations, Geneva (c) Pressenza

South Africa’s Ambassador Abdul Minty reading the 78-nation humanitarian initiative statement, 24 April 2013, Palais des Nations, Geneva (c) Pressenza

A group of 79 states signed on to a joint statement emphasizing the humanitarian impacts of nuclear weapons during the second Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) PrepCom that took place from 22 April – 3 May 2013 in Geneva. It is unprecedented that such a large group of states issues a statement on a common issue.

The statement was delivered by Ambassador Abdul Samad Minty of South Africa and noted that “the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons has increasingly been recognised as a fundamental and global concern that must be at the core of all deliberations on nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation. This issue is now firmly established on the global agenda”.

This statement has attracted an impressive amount of support, and builds on previous joint statements given during the last NPT PrepCom in Vienna in May 2012 which 16 states signed onto, and more recently a joint statement delivered to the UN General Assembly’s First Committee by 35 states in October 2012.

The statement welcomed the recent Oslo Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons that took place in March 2013, and went on to “warmly welcome Mexico’s announcement of a follow-up Conference to further broaden and deepen understanding of this matter and the resolve of the international community to address the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons.” It is anticipated that the Mexico conference will take place in early 2014, following on the from the meeting in Oslo in March 2013 on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons.

The list of the states that signed the Humanitarian Initiative:

Algeria, Argentina, Austria, Belarus, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cyprus, Cuba, Denmark, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Ghana, Georgia, Grenada, Guatemala, Holy See, Honduras, Iceland, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Serbia, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Swaziland, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Uganda, Ukraine, Uruguay, Yemen, Zambia and South Africa.


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