Five months from now, the government of Norway will host an international conference on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons. With this conference, governments clearly signal that they are finally ready to pull their heads from the sand and open their eyes to the catastrophic and all-too-real humanitarian effects of nuclear weapons.
If just one of the world’s 19,000 nuclear weapons was detonated, be it intentionally or accidentally, not only would it kill thousands of people instantly, but, as the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has concluded, first responders would be unable to provide the emergency relief so urgently needed. This would compound the humanitarian impact of the blast and transfom it into a catastrophe. This makes the continued existence and deployment of nuclear weapons one of the most serious humanitarian challenges of our time.
To demonstrate that it is both possible and urgent to solve this, and achieve a ban on nuclear weapons sooner rather than later, in Olso on March 2-3, 2013 we have invited hundreds of people from all corners of the world to the ICAN Civil Society Forum. We will have inspiring speaches, informative workshops, spirited discussions, and, of course, a lot of fun.
Previous disarmament processes, such as the process to ban landmines in the 1990s and the process to ban cluster bombs in the 2000s, have already demonstrated the potency of humanitarian arguments in moving disarmament negotiations forward. For nearly seven decades we have waited for nuclear armed states to fulfill their obligations and get rid of their nuclear weapons. They have failed.
The time has come to take the power out of their hands and start a humanitarian process for a treaty banning nuclear weapons.
Let’s get this done!
Are you ready to hit the gas?