Monthly Archives: December 2014

Outrunning a bear is a relative thing: US and UK participation in the Vienna conference

Why did the United States and the United Kingdom attend the Vienna conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons? And did it pay off for them?

Vienna Day 2: The end of the beginning

Almost 160 countries, and nearly one thousand delegates—including many from international organizations and civil society—attended the Vienna conference on the humanitarian impacts of nuclear weapons. What did it achieve on its second and final day? This post offers some immediate impressions. See our twitter feeds and previous posts for more coverage. A posting next week will provide more in-depth analysis of the meeting’s outcomes and significance.

Vienna Day 1: A rich and successful first day

Day one of the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons had a very full programme and a huge attendance. More than a dozen experts presented views in a series of panels to a packed Hofburg Palace on the impacts of nuclear weapon explosions and nuclear weapons testing, the risks of deliberate or accidental nuclear weapon detonations, and the challenges that would confront the international disaster relief system of nuclear weapon use.

An ever clearer message from civil society

This weekend (6-7 December), more than 600 civil society actors from all corners of the world met in Vienna, Austria, to discuss what to do about nuclear weapons. The overall message was unequivocal: It is time for states that are committed to the elimination of nuclear weapons to come together and negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons.

Why should we care what happens in Vienna?

What can we expect from next week’s international conference on the humanitarian impacts of nuclear weapons in Vienna? And why does it matter?

Latest indications are that more than 150 countries will gather for the meeting Austria is hosting next week in its capital city—the third in a series of meetings focused on the consequences of nuclear weapons. These conferences began in Oslo in March 2013, with a second event held in Nayarit, Mexico last March. And, like at these other conferences, international organizations, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, academic experts and representatives of civil society will also attend.