In November 2011, the Council of Delegates of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement adopted a resolution calling on its members to raise awareness of the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons. In March 2013 Norway held a global meeting to address the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons, and Mexico has announced that it will host a follow-up meeting in 2014.
These developments all reflect a shift from the traditional military discourse of nuclear deterrence to a focus on the humanitarian impact of these weapons, and come at a time when the call for a treaty to ban nuclear weapons is gaining momentum.
This joint International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) – ISS seminar will discuss the humanitarian effects of nuclear weapons and explore the way forward for states and civil society.
Welcome and opening remarks: Noel Stott, Senior Research Fellow, Transnational Threats and International Crime Division, ISS Pretoria
The humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons: the current dynamic: Dr Patricia Lewis, Chatham House, London
The way forward: Department of International Relations and Co-operation (DIRCO), South Africa; His Excellency Ambassador Héctor Valezzi, Embassy of Mexico, Pretoria, and Sarah Swart, Regional Legal Advisor, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Pretoria