23 December 2015 (ICAN)*– It has been another busy and successful year for ICAN, with 121 nations pledging “to fill the legal gap” for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons, and a UN working group established to advance this goal. Here are some of the highlights:
29 January: Latin American and Caribbean leaders call for a ban
The leaders of all 33 Latin American and Caribbean nations meet in Costa Rica and adopt a declaration supporting a treaty banning nuclear weapons. They also formally endorse the Austrian Pledge, later renamed the Humanitarian Pledge.
2 May: Concert in New York highlights urgency of a ban
More than 800 people attend a concert in New York City organized by ICAN partner organization Hibakusha Stories to raise awareness about the harm caused by nuclear weapons and the urgent need for a treaty to ban them.
28 May: Humanitarian Pledge offers hope at failed NPT conference
The United States, United Kingdom and Canada block the adoption of an outcome document at a month-long review of the 1968 Non-Proliferation Treaty. But hopes for progress are not dashed as support surges for the Humanitarian Pledge.
6-7 July: Campaigners meet in London to discuss next steps
On the 60th anniversary of the famous Russell-Einstein manifesto, ICAN campaigners gather in London to discuss the principles that should underpin a treaty banning nuclear weapons and the diplomatic process needed to achieve it.
27 July: African campaigners urge governments to support a ban
Representatives from different faith communities across Africa meet in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and call on their governments and the African Union to endorse the Humanitarian Pledge and support a total ban on nuclear weapons.
6 & 9 August: World marks 70 years since Hiroshima and Nagasaki
ICAN campaigners throughout the world organize events to commemorate the 70th anniversaries of the atomic bombings of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which claimed close to a quarter of a million lives.
25 September: Pope Francis calls for a ban on nuclear weapons
In a historic speech to the UN General Assembly, Pope Francis calls for the “complete prohibition” of nuclear weapons, condemning the doctrine of deterrence as “an affront to the entire framework of the United Nations”.
26 September: Nations observe global day against nuclear weapons
Events are held globally to mark the UN International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. Many governments highlight their support for the Humanitarian Pledge and a treaty banning nuclear weapons.
2 November: Vast majority of nations vote ‘yes’ at UN for a ban
Austria presents the Humanitarian Pledge to the UN General Assembly’s disarmament committee in the form of a resolution, and the vast majority of nations vote to adopt it. They also declare nuclear weapons to be “inherently immoral”.
7 December: UN working group is set up to advance a ban
In the UN General Assembly, 138 nations vote “yes” to establish a working group that will meet in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2016 to develop “legal measures, legal provisions and norms” for achieving and maintaining a nuclear-weapon-free world.
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