The Conference provided an arena for a fact-based discussion of the humanitarian and developmental consequences of a nuclear weapons detonation.
Summarising the Conference, Mr. Barth Eide observed: “This broad participation reflects the increasing global concern regarding the effects of nuclear weapons detonations, as well as the recognition that this is an issue of fundamental significance for us all.”
Antonio Guterres, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Rashid Khalikov, Director of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Geneva, all held introductory remarks. The Conference thereafter heard presentations from a wide range of experts on the various effects of nuclear weapons detonations. Three key points were discerned from the presentations and the discussions:
- It is unlikely that any state or international body could address the immediate humanitarian emergency caused by a nuclear weapon detonation in an adequate manner and provide sufficient assistance to those affected. Moreover, it might not be possible to establish such capacities, even if it were attempted. ·
- The historical experience from the use and testing of nuclear weapons has demonstrated their devastating immediate and long-term effects. While political circumstances have changed, the destructive potential of nuclear weapons remains. ·
- The effects of a nuclear weapon detonation, irrespective of cause, will not be constrained by national borders, and will affect states and people in significant ways, regionally as well as globally.
A number of states expressed an interest in further exploring these issues, and broaden the discourse on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons. During the final session of the Conference, the Government of Mexico announced that they will host a follow-up conference.
Read more and view statements at: http://www.regjeringen.no/en/dep/ud/selected-topics/humanitarian-efforts/humimpact_2013.html?id=708603