Secretary-General’s message to the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons [delivered by Ms. Angela Kane, High Representative for Disarmament Affairs]

8th December 2014

I am pleased to send my greetings to the Third Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons. I commend the Government of Austria for hosting this event, which builds upon the widely attended and pioneering conferences held in Norway and Mexico. This initiative has brought humanitarian considerations to the forefront of nuclear disarmament. It has energized civil society and Governments alike. It has compelled us to keep in mind the horrific consequences that would result from any use of nuclear weapons. This perspective is essential in confronting those who view nuclear weapons as a rational response to growing international tensions or as a symbol of national prestige.  It underscores the senselessness of pouring funds into modernizing the means for our mutual destruction while we are failing to meet the challenges posed by poverty, climate change, extremism and the destabilizing accumulation of conventional arms. We are about to enter the 70th year of the nuclear age. History has taught us many lessons about the dangers inherent in nuclear weapons. (UN)

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[source: UNODA]