CND welcomes US attendance at landmark nuclear weapons conference

By agency reporter
November 8, 2014

The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) has welcomed the United States’ decision to join the majority of the world’s states at a landmark conference on nuclear weapons, taking place in Austria next month. CND has urged the UK Government– which has still not responded – to do the same, and participate in this crucial process.

Over 150 countries are expected to attend the conference on the Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons – the third such event since early 2013 – which will highlight the unique destructive power of nuclear weapons, including resulting famine and the impossibility of emergency medical responses.

The UK Government has been criticised for rejecting appeals to participate in the previous conferences in Norway and Mexico, which saw 127 and 146 states attend respectively.

CND’s General Secretary Kate Hudson said: "After ignoring previous invitations, countless questions in Parliament over the past year, and an Early Day Motion signed by over 60 MPs: it is high time the British Government did the right thing and accepted the invitation to the Vienna Conference.

"This is a series of conferences which is taking a pioneering approach to exploring the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons: a process which has an urgency which reflects the truly devastating power of these weapons and wants to make real progress towards a world without nuclear weapons.

"The conference in Vienna is unequivocally part of the kind of multilateral process which the UK Government consistently says it supports: but when it comes to the crunch you can’t see them for dust."

She concluded: "It is clear that the majority of states around the world are fed up with the faltering process of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). When it comes to nuclear weapons, talking shops will no longer do: we need action."

[Ekk/4]

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