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"Forget the Rest" blog


International Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of nuclear weapons

February 12, 2014

Dear Press colleagues,

I am writing to you from Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit, Mexico where I have been attending the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) campaign meeting for civil society participants in the Second Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons.  I am honored to have been chosen as one of 120 civil society participants from all over the world to this conference sponsored by the government of Mexico.  As of today there are delegations from 149 countries that have registered to attend this conference, up from the 127 countries that attended the first conference in Oslo, Norway March 4-5, 2013.

I have attached the official media advisory from ICAN and also pasted that text below. 

Quote from Trish Williams-Mello:
The excuse of deterrence used to justify the United States and other countries possession of nuclear weapons is unconscionable.  These weapons are indiscriminate killers and no country has any moral or legal reason that can justify their possession.  The United States is responsible for creating these weapons and should lead the move to ban them once and for all. 

More soon,

Trish Williams-Mello

Contact: Daniela Varano, International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN),, +41(0)78 726 26 45, @nuclearban

Beatrice Fihn, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom,, +41 78 613 04 72, @BeaFihn

(see other contacts and quotes below in the press release)

ican logo


 International Conference on the Humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons

Campaigners call on states to start discussions for an international treaty to ban nuclear weapons

 February 13-14, 2014, Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit Mexico


At the upcoming international conference in Mexico, states, international organisations and civil society will meet to discuss the humanitarian impacts of nuclear weapons. This conference is a follow-up to the international conference held in Oslo, Norway in March 2013.

At this conference, campaigners are calling on states to start talks for an international treaty to ban nuclear weapons.


If a nuclear weapon was detonated, either as a result of intentional use or by accident, the consequences would be catastrophic. International organisations have said that they could not provide an adequate response to deal with the humanitarian emergency that would ensue.

Yet nuclear weapons currently remain the only weapon of mass destruction that has not been outlawed.

Over the past 60 years there has been limited progress in addressing this issue, but now there is renewed momentum for and recognition that an international ban on nuclear weapons is both needed and possible – even without the participation of states that possess nuclear weapons.


Delegates from more than 100 states as well as several UN organisations, the International Committee of the Red Cross / Crescent (ICRC) and representatives of civil society are expected to participate in the conference.

For a detailed programme please see here:

WHEN:  February 13-14, 2014


The conference will take place is Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit, Mexico.

For more information about the venue see here:      

The discussions will be streamed. More information about the streaming will be provided.    

Should you wish to be accredited please register at:


Daniela Varano, International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), +41(0)78 726 26 45, @nuclearban

About ICAN

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) is a global campaign coalition working to mobilize people in all countries to inspire, persuade and pressure their governments to initiate negotiations for a treaty banning nuclear weapons. It has 350 partner organizations in 81 countries, and was launched in 2007.


Name: Beatrice Fihn

Available for: In-person and phone interviews only

Short bio: Beatrice Fihn manages the disarmament programme at the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, and the Reaching Critical Will project. She is also a member of the International Steering Group of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) and supervises the Campaign’s international staff team. Beatrice monitors and analyzes many UN forums and processes related to disarmament, such as the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the Conference on Disarmament, the UN General Assembly First Committee, and the Arms Trade Treaty. She has written extensively on disarmament processes and civil society engagement, and has coordinated and edited many of Reaching Critical Will's publications. 

Language: English, Swedish

Contact information:

+41 78 613 04 72


Name: Dr Rebecca Johnson

Available for: In-person and phone interviews

Short bio: Dr Rebecca Johnson is Co-Chair of ICAN and Executive Director of the London-based Acronym Institute for Disarmament and Diplomacy. A former senior adviser to the Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission and vice-chair of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, she is also Vice-President of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in the United Kingdom and a special adviser to the Nobel Women’s Initiative.

Language: English

Contact information:

+44 077 333 60955

Name: Thomas Nash

Available for: In-person and phone interviews

Short bio:  Thomas Nash is Director of Article 36, a UK-based non-government organization doing research, policy and advocacy on the humanitarian impact of different types of weapons. He serves on the leadership body of ICAN. As Coordinator of the Cluster Munition Coalition from 2004 to 2011, Mr Nash led the global campaign resulting in the Convention on Cluster Munitions. He previously worked for the New Zealand and Canadian foreign ministries in Geneva and Ottawa.

Language: English, French

Contact information:


Name: Hector Guerra

Available for: In-person and phone interviews

Short bio:  Hector Guerra is the coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean of ICAN. He has represented in Mexico the Cluster Munition Coalition; the International Campaign to Ban Landmines; the International Network on Explosive Weapons, and the Control Arms Alliance. Also, he has participated in different international diplomatic processes, such as those related to the Mine Ban Treaty; the Convention on Cluster Munitions; the Arms Trade Treaty; the UN Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons; the Treaty of Tlatelolco; the Inter-American Convention Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives, and Other Related Materials; and the Non-Proliferation Treaty. 

Language: English, Spanish

Contact information: 


"Addressing the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons will enable governments to reinforce and implement the NPT's core disarmament obligations and prevent these inhumane weapons being used and proliferated." 

Dr. Rebecca Johnson, Acronym Institute

“The ground has been shifting on nuclear weapons in the past couple of years. As they did in Oslo last March, governments will meet in Mexico to consider the facts about these weapons of mass destruction. The fact that these weapons burn, blind and poison indiscriminately. The fact that they destroy entire cities. The fact that there can be no meaningful humanitarian response for the victims. These facts must be the basis for all discussions on nuclear weapons and the only credible response is to start negotiations for an international treaty to ban them."

Thomas Nash, Article 36

“The unacceptable harm that nuclear weapons are able to inflict to civilians - should a bomb detonate either by accident or by design - makes achieving a treaty to declare these weapons illegal a humanitarian imperative."

Grethe Østern, Norwegian People’s Aid

"The world's largest humanitarian organisation, the global Red Cross /Red Crescent movement, has confirmed what the World Health Organization also concluded after expert assessment: no capacity exists or is possible to respond to the overwhelming humanitarian needs if nuclear weapons are used. No health service in the world would be capable of dealing with the aftermath of even a single nuclear weapon exploded in a city. The vast majority of those injured would die without even any comfort or relief of their agonising pain.The only approach to the health effects of nuclear explosions is the prevention of nuclear war. This requires the prohibition and eradication of nuclear weapons."

Dr. Tilman Ruff, IPPNW

--- ENDS ---

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