The threat of nuclear proliferation

Abstract Nuclear weapons pose a particularly destructive threat. Prevention of the proliferation and use of nuclear weapons is urgently important to public health.

The threat of nuclear proliferation

Statement 18 February The 70th anniversary of the first use of nuclear weapons is the moment to signal that the era of nuclear weapons is coming to an end and that the threat of these weapons will be forever banished. This year is the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki — events that have left an indelible mark on humanity's conscience and consciousness.

I was in Hiroshima last week. I visited the Peace Memorial Museums and spoke to hibakusha — survivors. This year's 70th anniversary is a forceful reminder of the catastrophic and lasting human cost of nuclear weapons.

It is a stark reminder of the incineration of two cities and their inhabitants.

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For the survivors, it is a reminder of the burns, blindness and blast injuries that went untreated because the medical infrastructure had been destroyed; of the slow and painful deaths; of the suffering endured by those who were exposed to radiation and 70 years later are still being treated for cancers and other diseases.

Seventy years ago, ICRC and Japanese Red Cross staff worked in unimaginable conditions to aid the victims and relieve the suffering caused by the atomic blasts. But how could we treat victims when hospitals had been reduced to rubble and ash and their medical supplies contaminated?

The Japanese Red Cross Hospital, 1. There, doctors and nurses from The threat of nuclear proliferation Japanese Red Cross did what they could. But it was clearly not enough to alleviate the suffering of those affected by the blast. Based on these experiences, the ICRC concluded as early as September that the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons were simply unacceptable.

From a humanitarian perspective, nuclear weapons should be abolished. Nuclear weapons are often presented as promoting security, particularly during times of international instability.

But weapons that risk catastrophic and irreversible humanitarian consequences cannot seriously be viewed as protecting civilians or humanity as a whole. Throughout history, humanitarian disasters have often been the catalyst for the adoption of new laws to prevent further suffering, deaths and atrocities in war.

One such example was the use of poison gas in the First World War, which led to the adoption of the Geneva Protocol and the subsequent banning of chemical and biological weapons. Yet today, 70 years after Hiroshima and Nagasaki — names that recall humanitarian disasters like no other — clear progress towards the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons is lacking.

Nuclear weapons are the one weapon of mass destruction on which we are still confronted with a legal gap. We recognize the efforts that have been made and the fundamental importance of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons NPT and all the commitments it contains, as well as other efforts to advance nuclear disarmament.

But in light of the potential humanitarian consequences, progress in the field of disarmament is, as of now, insufficient.

Five years ago my predecessor forcefully reiterated the ICRC's call for the non-use and elimination of nuclear weapons. The UN Security Council Summit and the US and Russian presidents had the previous year committed to "create the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons.

I have invited the diplomatic community back here today because the ICRC is gravely concerned that these undertakings are at risk. In three months' time the commitment to move towards a world without nuclear weapons will again be addressed in the framework of the NPT Review Conference.

This is a pivotal moment for the Treaty and for efforts to ensure that nuclear weapons are never again used. Much has happened since the last Review Conference. There are new developments and perspectives that the ICRC believes States must take into account as they prepare for the Conference and for any future work to address the dangers of nuclear weapons.

The Review Conference will have before it extensive and, in some areas, new information on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons. Thanks to the conferences held in Oslo, Nayarit and Vienna, the international community now has a much clearer grasp of the risk that nuclear weapons might be used or accidentally detonated and the effects that such an event would have on people and societies around the globe, as well as on the environment.

These conferences have confirmed and expanded what the ICRC learned from its experience in Hiroshima. Here are some of the key points that we take away from these meetings: Nuclear weapons are unique in their destructive power and in the scale of human suffering they cause.

Their use, even on a limited scale, would have catastrophic and long-lasting consequences for human health, the environment, the climate, food production and socioeconomic development.Missile Contagion: Cruise Missile Proliferation and the Threat to International Security [Dennis M.

Gormley] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. After first assessing the state of ballistic missile proliferation in the Middle East, South Asia, and Northeast Asia. Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons [] ICJ 2 is a landmark international law case, where the International Court of Justice gave an advisory opinion stating that there is no source of law, customary or treaty, that explicitly prohibits the possession or even use of nuclear weapons.

The only requirement being that their use must be in conformity with the law on self-defence.

The threat of nuclear proliferation

Last week I spoke with Princeton University’s Dr. Bruce Blair to get his views on the Nuclear Security Summit, the (perhaps unhappy) prospects for non-proliferation efforts, and his view of President Obama’s record on nuclear issues. One of the foremost growing concerns in the modern globalized world is the increasing rate of nuclear proliferation.

Coupled with the burgeoning number of nuclear devices is the threat of a terrorist possibly obtaining a weapon of such magnitude. Nuclear weapons pose a particularly destructive threat.

Iran says Israel nuke program "threat" to world - Xinhua |

Prevention of the proliferation and use of nuclear weapons is urgently important to public health. “Horizontal” proliferation refers to nation-states or nonstate entities that do not have, but are acquiring, nuclear weapons or developing the capability and materials for producing them.

Helping to Reduce Nuclear Threats. The Laboratory is a national resource for technical solutions to nonproliferation challenges, noteworthy for developing innovative technical solutions.

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