Appeal for a nuclear free world

Red Cross calls on all States to join UN negotiations to eliminate nuclear weapons.

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement has urged all States to join the fight in ensuring a nuclear free world at the Prohibition and Elimination of Nuclear Weapons conference in Nagasaki, Japan. The conference that was co-sponsored by Australian Red Cross also congratulated those 132 States that were already taking part in historic UN negotiations to prohibit nuclear weapons that started earlier this year.

Appeal by the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement

Never again: Nagasaki must be the last atomic bombing

We, leaders and representatives of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement participating in the conference on the Prohibition and Elimination of Nuclear Weapons in Nagasaki, congratulate 132 States that have so far participated in the UN negotiations to prohibit nuclear weapons.

We urge all other States to take part in the next phase of these negotiations in June-July 2017.

All nations have a responsibility to their populations and to future generations to faithfully use this opportunity to shape the course of history. We have witnessed the past devastation and heard of the ongoing physical and psychological suffering of thousands of Hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors) 72 years on.

We know that the destructive capacity of nuclear weapons in arsenals today is many times greater than the bombs used in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The risk that nuclear weapons will again be used by intent, miscalculation or accident is higher than most people realise and ever increasing. The threat to humanity is beyond imagination.      

We deplore that tremendous financial and human resources continue to be invested in modernizing and maintaining nuclear weapons, resources that should be dedicated to preserving life. We therefore appeal to all States to use the unprecedented window of opportunity to take a decisive step towards a world without nuclear weapons.

We are standing at the brink of what will be the turning point in efforts to end the era of nuclear weapons. By negotiating and adopting a treaty that recognises the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons and contains a clear and unambiguous prohibition, States have the opportunity to ensure that Nagasaki is the last place in history to have suffered the effects of an atomic bombing.

Prohibiting nuclear weapons will strengthen current nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation efforts. Achieving a world without nuclear weapons is an obligation to future generations and imperative to preserve our common humanity. Weapons that risk catastrophic humanitarian consequences cannot possibly be viewed as providing people’s security.

Protecting humanity requires courage, commitment and concerted action; it is time to put humanity first by prohibiting and completely eliminating nuclear weapons.

Nagasaki, 26 April 2017

Published on http://www.redcross.org.au/news/appeal-for-a-nuclear-free-world.aspx

 

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