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On Sunday, December 10, the Nobel Committee will award the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).

One hundred seven nations join the "Humanitarian Pledge"

Posted by Martin Fleck on May 28, 2015

During the NPT Review Conference, ICAN-Austria created this interactive map so citizens could track "How is your government doing?" For citizens of nations in nuclear-armed states, the answer is "badly." Nations marked with a black dot were among the 159 nations that signed onto the Joint Statement on the Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons, delivered by the Austrian Foreign Minister on April 28 to the NPT Review Conference. A full 82% of United Nations member states signed on. Here is an excerpt from the Joint Statement:

"The catastrophic effects of a nuclear weapon detonation, whether by accident, miscalculation or design, cannot be adequately addressed. All efforts must be exerted to eliminate the threat of these weapons of mass destruction.

The only way to guarantee that nuclear weapons will never be used again is through their total elimination."

The 107 nations marked with a green dot on the map signed onto the Joint Statement, AND signed onto the Humanitarian Pledge, often in response to urging from ICAN campaigners working the halls of the United Nations. By signing onto the Humanitarian Pledge--introduced by Austria at the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons—these 107 nations promise to "identify and pursue effective measures to fill the legal gap for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons."

The dismal NPT conference outcome is an indicator of the challenges ahead for nuclear disarmament. However, since the last NPT Review Conference in 2010 nations and civil society--fed up with the status quo--have built up strong global momentum behind the movement to ban nuclear weapons based on their humanitarian impacts. Ambassador Carlos Mendoza eloquently described the Humanitarian initiative in Costa Rica's NPT statement.

"Oslo, Nayarit, and Vienna are living examples that democracy has come to nuclear disarmament."

With your help, PSR and our allied organizations, which include International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and ICAN, will continue to push for banning and eliminating these weapons.

For more on this story, see the Common Dreams op-ed by PSR Board member Robert Dodge, MD.

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