Tag: Humanitarian consequences

Evidence of catastrophe

A summary of the facts presented at the three conferences on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons

By ILPI
1 May 2015

During 2013 and 2014, three conferences have been organized in Oslo, Nayarit and Vienna as part of an initiative to highlight the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons. The conferences have gathered representatives of States, UN organisations, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, academia and civil society for facts-based discussions about the humanitarian consequences and risks associated with nuclear weapons. The purpose of this publication is to summarise and disseminate the insights presented to the three conferences on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons. [1]

ILPI–UNIDIR joint paper series for the third HINW-Conference

Joint paper series on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons

By ILPI and UNIDIR
4 December 2014

The Weapons of Mass Destruction Project at the International Law and Policy Institute (ILPI) has produced a series of six concise briefing papers in partnership with UNIDIR in Geneva, Switzerland. The papers are intended to provide background briefing for the upcoming international conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons to be held in Vienna, Austria from 8th to 9th December 2014.

Nuclear weapons and their third parties

Legal remedies for addressing the indirect consequences of nuclear weapons

By Annie G. Bersagel

In this background paper, ILPI’s Annie Golden Bersagel discusses the potential legal remedies available for third party states affected by a nuclear weapons attack. The humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons challenges traditional international law notions of transboundary harm. Seeking legal redress for indirect consequences of the use of nuclear weapons is far from straightforward, and even states that are parties to a nuclear-weapons-free zone would face the same difficulties.

The humanitarian initiative

A brief introduction to the humanitarian initiative on nuclear weapons

By Lars Jørgen Røed

In this background paper, Lars Jørgen Røed provides an introduction to the humanitarian initiative on nuclear weapons, including a brief history of how humanitarian concerns have been part of the debate since 1945. For an overview of the key events of the humanitarian initiative since 2010, see Humanitarian Initiative at a Glance.

Learning from the past

What past experience can tell us about addressing the humanitarian impacts of nuclear weapons

By John Borrie

In this paper, John Borrie draws parallels between the humanitarian initiative on nuclear weapons and the processes to ban cluster munitions and anti-personnel mines. Although there are important differences between nuclear and conventional weapons, previous disarmament initiatives offer valuable lessons for the humanitarian initiative.

NATO and a treaty banning nuclear weapons

Implications for NATO of a ban on nuclear weapons 

By ILPI

As a matter of international law, there is no barrier to NATO member states’ adherence to a treaty banning nuclear weapons. Concerns about the political implications of such a treaty for NATO ignore historical variations in member state military policy and underestimate the value of a ban on nuclear weapons for promoting NATO’s ultimate aim: the security of its member states.

Health and environmental effects

The health and environmental effects of the production, testing, and use of nuclear weapons

By Kjølv Egeland

In advance of the upcoming Mexico conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons, Kjølv Egeland outlines the health and environmental effects in this background paper. The paper is intended to add to the growing evidence of the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons by highlighting the specific impact on health and the environment.

A ban on nuclear weapons: what’s in it for NATO?

The effects on NATO member states of an early adoption of a legally binding instrument

By Stein-Ivar Lothe Eide

The proposal that nuclear weapons should be banned through the early adoption of a legally binding instrument is gaining traction. A topic of increasingly serious discussion, it is making its way up the international agenda – from being an idea with no real prospect of successful adoption, to a proposal to be reckoned with. Arguing that a process to ban nuclear weapons could become a political reality in the foreseeable future, this paper considers the implications of such an instrument for NATO member states. The paper finds that as a matter of international law, there is no barrier to member states’ adherence to such a treaty. Likewise, concerns about the political implications for NATO ignore historical variations in member state military policy and underestimate the value of a ban on nuclear weapons for promoting NATO’s ultimate aim: the security of its member states.