A two-day international conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons, hosted by the Norwegian government, opens in Oslo today, Monday.(Photo: Norwegian Minister of Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide)
The conference, with more than 120 nations represented, will be opened by Espen Barth Eide, Norway's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Antonio Guterres, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
The conference, which will be held on senior official level, is open to all states, as well as UN organisations, representatives of civil society and other relevant stakeholders.
The conference invitation states that a nuclear weapon detonation, whether intentional or accidental, could cause catastrophic short- and long-term humanitarian, economic, developmental and environmental effects. Such a detonation could have global implications.
Although there is wide recognition of the importance of the humanitarian consequences of a nuclear weapon detonation, as demonstrated by the outcome document of the last Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, direct consideration of these issues has so far been limited.
The conference programme includes presentations by experts and discussions around three key aspects: first, the immediate humanitarian impact of a nuclear detonation; second, the possible wider developmental, economic and environmental consequences; and third, preparedness, including plans and existing capacity to respond to this type of disaster.
The conference says it is providing an arena for a fact-based discussion of the humanitarian and developmental consequences associated with a nuclear weapon detonation.