The 25th United Nations Conference on Disarmament Issues

IFRC President, Mr. Tadateru Konoé, calls for elimination of nuclear weapons, which have terrible humanitarian consequences

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“My determination to eliminate nuclear weapons using a strong network of Red Cross Societies and civil society gets stronger.”

The 25th United Nations Conference on Disarmament Issues was held in Hiroshima City from August 26 to 28. Mr. Tadateru Konoé, President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), attended the Conference as the representative of humanitarian aid agencies and gave a speech on the realization of a world free of nuclear weapons.

At the Conference, which was held on the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the United Nation and of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons and the realization of a world free of nuclear weapons were discussed. With the Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) having failed in May to reach an agreement on ways to advance nuclear disarmament, calls were made for focusing on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons as well as cooperating with civil society.

We’re helpless against the impact of nuclear weapons

“There can be no way to deny the devastating impact of the use of nuclear weapons on people and the environment” President Konoé said in his speech. He pled for elimination of nuclear weapons, pointing out that, “The fallout from a nuclear explosion would be so catastrophic, the devastation so complete, that there is very little we can do to mitigate the consequences.”

At the Council of Delegates of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement in 2011, the International Federation of Red Cross and National Societies passed a resolution calling for the elimination of nuclear weapons and the promotion of an awareness campaign. In 2013, the Council adopted a specific “4-year Action Plan.”

In his speech, President Konoé described the efforts of Red Cross Societies around the world. Referring to the fact that 159 states subscribed to the latest Joint Statement on the Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons at the Review Conference of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) earlier this year, he expressed his determination: “We, the Red Cross and Red Crescent, will remain tireless advocates for the elimination of these dreaded weapons.”