Nuclear Weapons-Victim Assistance-Survivor Participation

Posted on December 11, 2014

The government of Austria hosted the third international conference on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons in Vienna on 8 and 9 December 2014.

The Austrian Pledge from the conference contained a direct reference to assistance to victims and an ongoing lack of assistance: “Mindful of the unacceptable harm that victims of nuclear weapons explosions and nuclear testing have experienced and recognising that that the rights and needs of victims have not yet been adequately addressed” … “Mindful that no national or international response capacity exists that would adequately respond to the human suffering and humanitarian harm that would result from a nuclear weapon explosion in a populated area, and that such capacity most likely will never exist”

Khazakstan told participants that even now, exactly Twenty-five years after the last nuclear test in the country, the consequences of nuclear testing still have an impact on the population’s health, ecology and the social development of the region.

States should closely consult with and actively involve victims. The Statement of Faith Communities  called on states to: “Heed the voices of the world ’s hibakusha who been urging complete abolition of nuclear weapons in order to prevent their suffering from being visited on any other, individual, family or society, and we urge world leaders to do the same.”

Survivors of the US nuclear bombings on Japan, including Setsuko Thurlow, and survivors of nuclear testing Sue Coleman-Haseldine, Australia, Karipbek Kuyukov, Kazakhstan, and from the Marshall Islands and the US provided evidence through statements to the conference.


Banner image: ICAN