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International Red Cross expresses ‘deep concern’ on erosion of nuclear disarmament, arms control

Updated

By Jel Santos

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Monday expressed “deep concern” over the worrying erosion of the nuclear disarmament and arms control, calling on concerned states and those in power to change the alarming trend.

In a statement released Monday night, ICRC said: “Seventy-four years after nuclear weapons obliterated the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the risk that nuclear weapons will again be used is growing. Far from taking steps to fulfill their long-standing nuclear disarmament obligations, nuclear-armed States are today upgrading their arsenals, developing new kinds of nuclear weapons and making them easier to use.”

It added that military incidents involving nuclear and nuclear-allied states are transpiring with “alarming frequency.”

Due to such, the ICRC, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the wider International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement launched a global video campaign.

The campaign intends to get the attention of the public to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of a nuclear war, compelling people to urge their governments to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).

Here is the link of the campaign video that you may click to watch: https://youtu.be/Yr5yh1O5mnA

As such, ICRC is inviting the public to sign up and learn about the campaign here: notonukes.org

“Any risk of nuclear weapons use is unacceptable. The Treaty represents a beacon of hope and an essential measure to reduce the risk of a nuclear catastrophe,” ICRC President Peter Maurer said.

A total of 70 countries have so far signed the TPNW, while 21 have ratified or otherwise acceded to the treaty.

“In many countries, Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies are working with governments, national parliaments and civil society to facilitate rapid accession to the Treaty. We will continue working with our network to advocate for a world without nuclear weapons. Nothing could prepare the world for the horrors of a nuclear war. After 74 years, we still haven’t learnt the lesson of suffering, devastation and death of Hiroshima and Nagasaki,” Francesco Rocca, IFRC president, said.

Maurer said that everyone—citizens, parliaments, and civil societies— will play a potent role to diminish the risk of nuclear weapons use. “At this moment of growing international tension, I call on everyone to act with urgency and determination to bring the era of nuclear weapons to an end.”

Nuclear weapons, ICRC said, are the most devastating and destructive weapons ever invented, saying the Japanese Red Cross and the ICRC witnessed this first-hand in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

The nuclear blasts killed tens of thousands of people in Japan.

Up until now, Japanese Red Cross hospitals continue to treat victims of cancer, including leukemia, attributable to radiation from the 1945 atomic blasts, the ICRC noted.

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