UPDATE: Between February 13-14, 146 states attended the Nayarit Conference on Nuclear Disarmament. Austria officially announced that it would be the next host of the nuclear disarmament conference, later in 2014. During the conference proceedings, the Chair called for new international standards on nuclear weapons to be established by the 70th anniversary of the Hiroshima & Nagasaki bombings in August 2015.
Australia, Canada, Germany, The Netherlands and Turkey took a more tentative approach, cautiously warning against “simply banning” nuclear weapons, stating a fear of antagonizing the major nuclear powers with multilateral action. Despite these warnings, the conference concluded with 50 states calling for a complete ban on nuclear weapons in the pursuit of a nuclear-free world.
On February 13 2014, governments, international organizations and civil society groups will meet in Nayarit, Mexico for the Second Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons. Over the course of two days, experts in public health, humanitarian assistance and environmental issues will broaden the discussion about the damage and risk of the world’s most dangerous weapons. The meeting is a continuation of the Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons held in Oslo, Norway in March 2013.
Conclusions from the initial conference – at which 132 governments were present – revealed that no international response plan could adequately manage the aftermath of a nuclear detonation. As an extension of that conclusion, many states expressed a shared responsibility to act to prevent any accidental or intentional use of nuclear weapons.
Nobel Peace Laureate Jody Williams stated, “The governments, international organizations and research institutes gathered this week in Mexico have a huge task ahead of them — to lay the groundwork for a new treaty to outlaw and finally eliminate these new weapons. They will need our help. There is much work to be done to convince the many governments that are not yet on-board.”