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UN negotiations to prohibit nuclear weapons

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In December 2016, the UN General Assembly voted on a historic resolution to launch negotiations for a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons. These negotiations will take place in New York in March, June and July 2017. This map shows which governments support this important UN disarmament initiative.

Countries are listed as:

Countries listed as supportive either voted in favour of the UN resolution or have otherwise demonstrated a firm commitment to negotiating a ban on nuclear weapons. If a country voted in favour of the resolution but has shown a lack of genuine support for disarmament, we have not listed that country as supportive.
Countries listed as unclear either abstained from voting on the UN resolution or have otherwise not yet shown full support for a ban on nuclear weapons. These countries have neither spoken against the prohibition of nuclear weapons nor actively undermined the goal of disarmament.
Not supportive
Countries listed as not supportive either voted against the UN resolution or have otherwise shown a serious lack of commitment to nuclear disarmament. This group includes all nations that possess nuclear weapons and are modernizing them, as well as most of their allies that claim protection from nuclear weapons.


What is the Humanitarian Pledge?
Driven by “the imperative of human security for all", Austria pledged at the Third International Conference on the Humanitarian Impacts of Nuclear Weapons (HINW) from 8 - 9 December 2014 in Vienna, to work to "stigmatise, prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons in light of their unacceptable humanitarian consequences and associated risks” and to “identify and pursue effective measures to fill the legal gap for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons”. States are invited to endorse this pledge and show their readiness to engage with all interested actors to move forward.

Find the Humanitarian Pledge here:
Find more information and a list of supporters here:
What is the Joint Statement on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons?
The Humanitarian Initiative is a group of states that evolved within the framework of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and nuclear weapons diplomacy more widely. 159 states subscribed to the last iteration of the initiative's Joint Statement during the NPT Review Conference in April 2015. The Humanitarian Initiative is seen as a direct answer to the lack of progress in nuclear disarmament.

Find the latest Joint Statement on the HINW here:
What is the “Open Ended Working Group” (OEWG)?
The United Nations General Assembly voted in December 2015 to establish a special working group with a mandate to develop “legal measures, legal provisions and norms” for achieving a nuclear-weapon-free world. The Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) – backed by 138 nations – is widely expected to focus its efforts on elaborating the elements for a global treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons.
It will meet in Geneva in between 18-23 February, 2-13 May and for three days in August. All UN member States are encouraged to participate and contribute to the discussion around what kinds of new legal measures and instruments are needed to fill the legal gap.
What are the Humanitarian Conferences (HINW)?
The Conferences on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons (HINW) are a series of three fact-based conferences held in Norway (2013), Mexico and Austria (2014) to increase the understanding of the consequences of the use of nuclear weapons. The scientific evidence presented at these conferences has greatly increased the urgency for tangible success on nuclear disarmament. In view of innumerable close-shaves and serious accident involving nuclear weapons, malfunctioning warning systems and the dangers of miscalculation and nuclear escalation of conflict, it is clear that the risk of a nuclear detonation is unacceptable. No organisation could mount an adequate humanitarian response to a nuclear weapon detonation, and no such response capacity can be established. Therefore, prevention is the only solution.

Find the outcomes of the last HINW Conference here:
What is the legal gap?
Due to their indiscriminate nature, weapons of mass destruction are subject to a specific prohibition under international law, except nuclear weapons. Therefore, the Humanitarian Pledge presented at the end of the last HINW Conference in Vienna in December 2014 found that there is a legal gap on the prohibition of nuclear weapons: unlike chemical or biological weapons, they are not yet banned.
The ban treaty
A treaty banning the use, possession, stockpiling and development of nuclear weapons could fill the legal gap. Declaring nuclear weapons illegal would remove the ambiguity currently surrounding their legal status. This would instigate new political debates in nuclear weapon states, and make it harder to justify reliance on nuclear deterrence as well as investments in the modernisation of nuclear arsenals. By complementing the non-proliferation norm contained therein, a ban would stregthen the NPT, and increase the likelihood of fundamental steps towards non-proliferation and disarmament - which have been blocked for decades.
What is the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)?
ICAN is a global campaign coalition working to mobilize people in all countries to inspire, persuade and pressure their governments to initiate negotiations for a treaty banning nuclear weapons.

Find the website
What is the NPT?
The NPT is an international treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and nuclear weapons technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament. It represents the only binding commitment in a multilateral treaty to the goal of disarmament by the nuclear-weapon States.

Find the NPT Review Conference 2015 here:

A project of
ICAN Austria supported by International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

Concept & Implementation
Nadja Schmidt | Visuelles,

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UN ban treaty negotiations
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