Humanitarian consequences of the use of nuclear weapons

Austrian Federal Ministry of Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, Dr. Robert Gerschner, Head of Unit Nuclear Weapons, IAEA, CTBTO PrepCom and NPT, e-mail: robert.gerschner@bmeia.gv.at


Austria has, together with a core group of like-minded countries (South Africa, Ireland, Brazil, Nigeria, Mexico) initiated UN-GA-Resolution 71/258 “Taking forward multilateral disarmament negotiations”, which was cosponsored by 57 states and adopted with 113 votes in favor. The resolution, which mandates the convening of a conference to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit and eventually destroy all nuclear weapons, is motivated by the goal to avoid the devastating humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons. Currently (from 15 June until 7 July 2017), the main round of negotiations is held in New York. Together with its partners, Austria is working to incorporate a strong focus on humanitarian aspects into the Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons. Furthermore, Austria is closely cooperating with the Austrian Red Cross in this aspect. Members of the Austrian Red Cross are also members of the Austrian delegation at the conference.