Austrian Parliament calls for prohibition of nuclear weapons
August 13, 2014
by Nadja Schmidt
On July 10th, the Austrian Parliament has unanimously adopted the resolution regarding the efforts of the Austrian Federal Government in the field of disarmament and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, tasking the Austrian Government “to continue its engagement on the international and European level for disarmament and for the complete prohibition of the development, sale, acquisition, proliferation and possession of nuclear weapons under international law”.
The resolution provides the legal basis for future commitment to nuclear disarmament initiatives by Austria. As a host of the third international conference on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons in December, Austria undoubtedly is one of the champion-states of nuclear disarmament.
It was brought in by the members of parliament Mag. Christine Muttonen (SPÖ and Co-president of the network Parliamentarians for Non-proliferation and Disarmament PNND) and Dr. Reinhold Lopatka (Chairman of the ÖVP group in the Austrian Parliament) on April 30th in the foreign affairs committee. The Federal Government is called, “to continue its engagement on the international and European level for disarmament and for the complete prohibition of the development, sale, acquisition, proliferation and possession of nuclear weapons under international law”.
This resolution is paving the way for further important initiatives in Austria towards nuclear disarmament.
The resolution can be found here.
Some key excerpts from the resolution:
“More than twenty years after the end of the East-West conflict and regardless of numerous arms control agreements, the probability of a nuclear explosion somewhere in the world – whether intentionally or inadvertently – appears higher today than during the Cold War.”
“Until this day, the recognised nuclear weapons states have not implemented the Non-proliferation Treaty’s (NPT) key provision relating to nuclear disarmament. They continue to block negotiations for a ban, referring to national security concerns.”
“The benefit of nuclear weapons is therefore disproportionate to the enormous hazard and risks they represent.”
“Recent studies have again clearly demonstrated that the use of nuclear weapons would have catastrophic humanitarian consequences, not only for the people living in the direct vicinity of the detonation. Even if the use of nuclear weapons is relatively small and contained at regional level, it would have a disastrous impact on world climate, health, food and social security of billions of people. The international community and international relief agencies would not even remotely be able to react adequately to such a disaster and to help the people affected.”