Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons

March 4, 2013

Oslo, Norway, 4-5 March 2013

Representatives from 127 governments gathered in Oslo, Norway, from 4 to 5 March 2013 for the Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons. ICAN was the civil society partner and presented the below video statement in the opening session as well as four oral interventions, which highlighted that any use of nuclear weapons would have catastrophic humanitarian consequences.

The conference explored three topics: the immediate humanitarian impact of a nuclear weapon detonation, the wider impact and longer-term consequences, and the humanitarian preparedness and response capacity. Speakers included the Norwegian foreign minister, the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and the Director of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

The historic conference concluded with an announcement of a follow-up meeting to be hosted by Mexico. A wide range of governments and organizations agreed that an understanding of the global humanitarian consequences of nuclear detonations should be the starting point for urgent action to ban nuclear weapons. The follow-up conference will provide a new platform from which to consolidate the humanitarian arguments and engage all states in a constructive dialogue to outlaw and eliminate nuclear weapons.

ICAN press statement

ICAN statements

For other statements, click here.

For commentary and analysis, click here.



  • sheen

    “If Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr were alive today, they would be part of ICAN.”

    Martin Sheen Actor and activist

  • bankimoon

    “I salute ICAN for working with such commitment and creativity.”

    Ban Ki-moon UN chief

  • yokoono

    “We can do it together. With your help, our voice will be made still stronger. Imagine peace.”

    Yoko Ono Artist

  • jodywilliams

    “Governments say a nuclear weapons ban is unlikely. Don’t believe it. They said the same about a mine ban treaty.”

    Jody Williams Nobel laureate

  • desmondtutu

    “With your support, we can take ICAN its full distance – all the way to zero nuclear weapons.”

    Desmond Tutu Nobel laureate

  • herbiehancock

    “Because I cannot tolerate these appalling weapons, I whole-heartedly support ICAN.”

    Herbie Hancock Jazz musician

  • hansblix

    “I am proud to support the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.”

    Hans Blix Weapons inspector

  • dalailama

    “I can imagine a world without nuclear weapons, and I support ICAN.”

    Dalai Lama Nobel laureate