Going to Vienna

In just a few short days, the No Nukes team will go to Vienna for the ICAN Civil Society Forum and Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons.

The Civil Society Forum (more info at www.goodbyenuk.es) will bring together around 500 people and provide tools, tactics, and techniques to strengthen the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear weapons’s movement towards a treaty banning nuclear weapons.

In the last year, there has been great progress towards the idea of such a treaty. In February, there were calls for negotiations to begin on such a new legal instrument before the August 2015 commemoration of the US atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In May, countries started to take a serious look at their own responsibilities under the NPT, including those without nuclear weapons, to negotiate effective measures leading towards nuclear disarmament. In October 155 states joined their voices to say nuclear weapons should never be used again, under any circumstances.

In Vienna, over 150 states are expected to come together and discuss the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons.  States will once again hear about the indiscriminate, intergenerational effect of nuclear detonations. The conversation will  further elaborate the risks, and near misses, that have nearly ended the world. An overview of the law relating to nuclear weapons (and the gaps in that law) will also be discussed, and then all delegations will have the opportunity to take the floor themselves.

In New York, during the UN General Assembly First Committee, groups of states got together and called for the start of negotiations on a new legal instrument- with or without the participation of the nuclear armed states. CARICOM, CELAC, the African Union…  these states recognise that the use of nuclear weapons, no matter where in the world it might take place, will have an impact on their populations. And they too have a responsibility to act.

As a member of ICAN, PAX joins the calls for the start of negotiations on a new legal instrument.  We share Austrian Federal President Heinz Fisher’s sentiment that nuclear weapons must be stigmatised, outlawed and eliminated, before they abolish us.

We will be in Vienna, and will have a stall set up at the Civl Society Forum marketplace.  We invite everyone to come by and help us stigmatise nuclear weapons by demanding financial institutions stop financing them.

We’ll see you there.