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UAE joins states supporting Austrian Pledge to ban nuclear weapons

posted on 11/03/2015: 3700 views

VIENNA: The UAE has joined the group of states that support The Austrian Pledge to ban nuclear weapons.

The Republic of Austria unveiled the blueprint when it hosted and chaired the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, held in December 2014. The conference saw a massive attendance by representatives of 158 states, delegates of international organisations and civil society organisations.

In its capacity as the host country, Austria regards it her responsibility and consequently pledges to present fact-based discussions, findings and compelling evidence of the Vienna Conference, which builds upon the previous conferences, to all relevant fora, as they should be at the centre of all deliberations, obligations and commitments with regard to nuclear disarmament.

The Austrian Pledge calls on all state parties to the NPT to renew their commitment to the urgent and full implementation of existing obligations and to this end, to identify and pursue effective measures to fill the legal gap for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons.

Driven by "the imperative of human security for all and to promote the protection of civilians against risks stemming from nuclear weapons," Austria promised to disseminate the evidence and findings from the Vienna Conference and "cooperate with all relevant stakeholders, states, international organisations, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movements, parliamentarians and civil society to stigmatise, prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons in the light of their unacceptable humanitarian consequences and associated risks."

Recognising the complexity of and inter-relationship between these consequences on health, environment, infrastructure, food security, climate, development, social cohesion and the global economy that are systemic and potentially irreversible, and 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, the Austrian Pledge calls on all states parties to renew their commitment to the urgent and full implementation of existing obligations towards elimination of nuclear weapons.

Commenting on the UAE's accession to The Austria Pledge, Hamad Alkaabi, the UAE's Permanent Representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said, 'The UAE move stems out of the fact that the Pledge's objectives are consistent with the UAE's nuclear policies on supporting the non-proliferation mechanism on one hand and nuclear disarmament on the other.' "It also fits well into the general framework of the UAE's peaceful nuclear policy, particularly since the UAE has participated in the three previous Conferences on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons.' 'The UAE has always been at the forefront of countries advocating a world free of nuclear weapons and backing efforts for nuclear disarmament,' he added. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


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