Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons

Published Wednesday, November 19, 2014

On 8-9 December interested parties will convene in Vienna for the Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons. This will be the third conference on this issue in two years and is the result of an increasing focus by the non-nuclear weapon states on a previously little-debated aspect of the nuclear weapons debate: the humanitarian consequences of their use. On 2 December the British government announced that it would attend the Vienna conference, in contrast to the two previous conferences on this subject.

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On 8-9 December interested parties will convene in Vienna for the Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons. This will be the third conference on this issue in two years and is the result of an increasing focus by the non-nuclear weapon states on a previously little-debated aspect of the nuclear weapons debate: the humanitarian consequences of their use.

Many commentators have argued that the momentum that has been afforded to this issue has been the result of a growing frustration felt by many of the non-nuclear weapon states at the lack of progress by the nuclear-armed states in meeting their disarmament obligations.

This note looks briefly at the outcomes of the previous conferences in Norway and Mexico, at the agenda for the forthcoming conference in Vienna and finally, at the British Government’s position on attendance at that conference.

Commons Briefing papers SN07028

Author: Claire Mills

Topics: Arms control, Defence policy

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