ICAN Statement bei der Wiener Konferenz

Am 9. Dezember 2014 verlas Nadja Schmidt (ICAN Austria) im Namen der International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons das ICAN Statement auf der Wiener Konferenz zu den humanitären Auswirkungen von Kernwaffen. Vor einem vollgefüllten Saal, mit über 800 Vertreter*innen von 158 Staaten sowie 200 zivilgesellschaftlichen Organisationen, betonte sie die Notwendigkeit einen Vertrag zum Verbot von Nuklearwaffen jetzt zu verhandeln und erntete damit großen Applaus von den Anwesenden.

In der Rede wurden die humanitären Auswirkungen von Nuklearwaffen hervorgehoben und dass es keine wirkungsvolle Reaktion auf eine Detonation und deren Auswirkungen gibt. Unterstrichen wurde auch das während der Konferenz auf der Session zu “A “bird’s-eye view” on International Norms and the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons diskutierte mangelnde Rahmenwerk im Bezug zu Nuklearwaffen. Die Präsentationen und Diskussionen der Panelist*innen zeigten klar auf, dass es derzeit kein rechtliches Instrument im internationalen Rahmen gibt, das Nuklearwaffen explizit als inakzeptabel charakterisiert. Mehrere Delegationen strichen dies in ihren Statements ebenso hervor. Dieses rechtliche Defizit muss so bald wie möglich diskutiert und behoben werden.

This is not a radical proposal. Indiscriminate weapons get banned.

Das wichtigste bei den Verhandlungen zu einem Verbotsvertrag sei, erklärte Nadja Schmidt, dass diese für alle Staaten zugänglich und von keinem Staat blockierbar sind. Während es besser wäre, wenn jedes Land an den Verhandlungen teilnähme, sei dies derzeit unwahrscheinlich. Diese Tatsache sollte aber auf keinen Fall andere Länder davon abhalten, die Verhandlungen umgehend zu beginnen. Das Hiroshima-Gedenkjahr soll dazu dienen, den Startschuss für diesen Prozess zu geben.

Nadja Rede

Schließlich griff ICAN im Statement auf das Thema des ICAN Zivilgesellschaftsforums zurück: Wir brauchen Mut, damit es uns gelingt, den Prozess auf dem Weg zu unserem Ziel voranzutreiben.

Die Arbeit der Zivilgesellschaft und von ICAN im Speziellen wurde später in der von der österreichischen Regierung vorgetragenen Chair’s Summary gelobt.

Die Rede ist hier auf Englisch nachzulesen:

I am speaking on behalf of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, a coalition of over 360 organisations in more than 90 countries. We are a global campaign determined to achieve the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons. We organised the weekend forum for over 600 people on the courage to ban nuclear weapons.

The conferences on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons hosted by Norway, Mexico, and now Austria have clearly explained and documented these impacts. We have heard alarming evidence about the devastating effects of nuclear weapons. We have heard about the risks of detonation, either accidental or intentional. We have heard that no effective response is possible.

We have also heard the stories of people that have survived the use or testing of nuclear weapons. Their stories illustrate that nuclear weapons are unacceptable and should clearly therefore be prohibited. But these stories also illustrate the need for legal provisions to assist the victims of these weapons and to ensure the fulfilment of their rights.

What stands out from the session on legal frameworks is that we are currently lacking an instrument that explicitly characterises nuclear weapons as unacceptable under international law. Our next step as supporters of the humanitarian initiative should be to explore the best way to address this legal deficit.

The chair of the Nayarit conference concluded that, in light of the devastating immediate and long-term effects of nuclear detonations, the time has come to start a diplomatic process to negotiate a legally-binding instrument prohibiting nuclear weapons.

This is not a radical proposal. Indiscriminate weapons get banned. It is what we do as human society in the interests of protecting ourselves. We have done it before with other weapon systems, including biological and chemical weapons.

This should not be a controversial proposal. An international prohibition is merely the logical outcome of an examination of the risks and consequences of nuclear weapons detonation. A new legal instrument prohibiting nuclear weapons would constitute a long overdue implementation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

This is a meaningful proposal. It would establish a comprehensive set of prohibitions and provide a framework under which the elimination of nuclear weapons can be pursued. It could and should address victims and survivor’s rights.

This is a feasible, achievable proposal. It can be negotiated in the near-term, and have normative and practical impacts for the long-term.

Where such a treaty is negotiated is less important than ensuring that the process is open to all and blockable by none. That includes the nuclear-armed states. It would be better for all states to participate. But this seems unlikely at the present time. While we must keep working towards that goal with absolute determination, we believe states should put a prohibition in place now. The new US project to work on nuclear disarmament verification with non-nuclear armed states should focus attention on the urgency and feasibility of eliminating of nuclear weapons. This work is not an alternative to starting negotiations on a ban treaty, though. States that are ready to do so should launch a process to prohibit nuclear weapons without delay. The 70th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki attacks is the appropriate milestone to launch such a process.

This will take courage. We have confidence that the overwhelming majority of states will join this process. And we look forward to accompanying you along the road to a treaty banning nuclear weapons.

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