Going to Mexico!

On 13-14 February 2014, the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs will host the Second Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, in Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit, Mexico (the Nayarit Conference). Pax will be represented at this conference by Krista van Velzen and Susi Snyder, and will blog and tweet during the meeting.

Pax, is joining the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), a global civil society coalition of 359 organisations in 92 countries, calls on states, international organisations, civil society organisations and other actors to take immediate action to support a multilateral process of negotiations for a new legal instrument prohibiting nuclear weapons.

In light of evidence demonstrating the catastrophic humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons and the risk of their use by accident, miscalculation or design, the lack of progress in multilateral nuclear disarmament forums is unacceptable. Already 115 states have prohibited nuclear weapons through the Nuclear Weapon Free Zones. Yet nuclear weapons remain the only weapons of mass destruction not yet subject to a comprehensive international ban.

We believe the time has come for non-nuclear-armed states to establish a legal ban on nuclear weapons, even if the nuclear-armed states refuse to participate. Such an effort would not be a substitute for other efforts; it would build on them and provide a new tool for stigmatizing nuclear weapons and promoting their elimination.

We are not expecting any negotiated outcome from the Nayarit conference, instead a discussion aimed to deepen global understanding of the humanitarian, environmental, societal, economic and developmental consequences of nuclear weapons.

In recent years, the humanitarian perspective has become the dominant theme in the international nuclear weapons debate, as shown by the participation of 128 states at the Oslo conference in March 2013 and by the overwhelming support for several joint statements expressing concern at the devastating humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons in the First Committee of the UN General Assembly and at the Preparatory Committee of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

People can follow the conference through the website www.goodbyenuk.es

There are approximately 130 states registered for the conference, including the Netherlands.