(Following is a draft version, which is subject to be updated or revised. Your comments and feedbacks are welcome!)
D) Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons
Since the joint statement delivered by 16 countries at the NPT PrepCom in 2012, debates on humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons have received remarkable attention from the international community.
Norway hosted the Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons in Oslo on March 4-5, 2013, with around 550 participants from 128 governments, international organizations, and NGOs.
The following countries surveyed in this Report participated in the Conference:
Ø NPT non-states parties: India and Pakistan
Ø NNWS: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Egypt, Germany, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and UAE
Absentees were thus: NWS, Israel, North Korea and Syria.
According to the Chair’s summary, “[t]he objective [of the Conference] has been to present a facts-based understanding of the humanitarian impacts of nuclear weapon detonations and to facilitate an informed discussion of these effects.” Experts of the NGO, research institutes and so on made presentations, and participants discussed on a number of issues under three working sessions on immediate humanitarian impact of a nuclear weapon detonation, wider impact and longer-term consequences, and humanitarian preparedness and response.
The main points of discussion were summarized by the Chair as follows:.
Ø It is unlikely that any state or international body could address the immediate humanitarian emergency caused by a nuclear weapon detonation in an adequate manner and provide sufficient assistance to those affected. Moreover, it might not be possible to establish such capacities, even if it were attempted. ·
Ø The historical experience from the use and testing of nuclear weapons has demonstrated their devastating immediate and long-term effects. While political circumstances have changed, the destructive potential of nuclear weapons remains. ·
Ø The effects of a nuclear weapon detonation, irrespective of cause, will not be constrained by national borders, and will affect states and people in significant ways, regionally as well as globally.
At this Conference, Mexico announced to convene a follow-up conference. The Second Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons will be held on February 13-14 in Nayarit, Mexico.
Joint Statement at the NPT PrepCom
Following the statements delivered at the NPT PrepCom and the First Committee of the UNGA in 2012, the Joint Statement on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons was issued at the 2013 NPT PrepCom. The number of participating countries increased from 12 at the 2012 PrepCom and 34 at the 2012 UNGA to 80 at the 2013 PrepCom, including Austria, Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa and Switzerland.
In the joint statement, participating countries expressed their deep concerns “about the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons,” and argued that “[i]t is in the interest of the very survival of humanity that nuclear weapons are never used again, under any circumstances. …The only way to guarantee that nuclear weapons will never be used again is through their total elimination.”
Among the non-participating countries, Japan explored the possibility to join the statement, and continued consultations with related countries until the last moment. However, it finally decided not to participate because the phrase “under any circumstances,” which Japan would have liked to cut, remained in the joint statement. Most of the NATO countries, except Iceland and Norway, also declined to endorse the joint statement because they saw it as “contradictory to their NATO obligations—an interesting position, given that it is not a perspective shared by several of their NATO allies that did sign the statement.
Joint Statement at the First Committee
At the UN General Assembly on October 21, 2013, New Zealand, on behalf of 124 participating countries (including Austria, Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Switzerland and UAE), presented the Joint Statement on the Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons.
In the joint statement, participating countries made the following arguments:
Ø “Past experience from the use and testing of nuclear weapons has amply demonstrated the unacceptable humanitarian consequences caused by the immense, uncontrollable destructive capability and indiscriminate nature of these weapons.”
Ø “A key message from experts and international organisations [participating in the Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear weapons convened by Norway in March 2013] was that no State or international body could address the immediate humanitarian emergency caused by a nuclear weapon detonation or provide adequate assistance to victims.”
Ø “[W]e firmly believe that awareness of the catastrophic consequences of nuclear weapons must underpin all approaches and efforts towards nuclear disarmament.”
Ø “It is in the interest of the very survival of humanity that nuclear weapons are never used again, under any circumstances. The catastrophic effects of a nuclear weapon detonation, whether by accident, miscalculation or design, cannot be adequately addressed. All efforts must be exerted to eliminate the threat of these weapons of mass destruction.”
Ø “The only way to guarantee that nuclear weapons will never be used again is through their total elimination. All States share the responsibility to prevent the use of nuclear weapons, to prevent their vertical and horizontal proliferation and to achieve nuclear disarmament, including through fulfilling the objectives of the NPT and achieving its universality.”
On the other hand, Australia, on behalf of 17 countries (including Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Sweden and Turkey—mainly the U.S. allies), also issued the Joint Statement on the Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons on the same day of presenting the above statement. The Australia-version statement seems to be an alternative for those countries (except Japan as the only country to participate in both statements) which concur on the principle regarding the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons but cannot participate in the New Zealand-version statement due to their security policies.
In the Australia-version statement, participating countries expressed their concern about “[t] he devastating immediate and long-term humanitarian impacts of a nuclear weapon detonation, …[and] reaffirm[ed] a sense of urgency [in their] unwavering commitment to achieving and maintaining the shared goal of a world free of nuclear weapons.” They also argued that “[b]anning nuclear weapons by itself will not guarantee their elimination without engaging substantively and constructively those states with nuclear weapons, and recognising both the security and humanitarian dimensions of the nuclear weapons debate.”
Response from Nuclear-Weapon States
As noted in the previous Hiroshima Report, NWS cautiously watch the debates regarding the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons. For example, in the joint statement issued by NWS at the conclusion of the Fourth P5 Conference, they “emphasized their shared understanding of the serious consequences of nuclear weapon use and that the P5 would continue to give the highest priority to avoiding such contingencies.” The United States also stated at the 2013 NPT PrepCom that it “share[s] concerns about the profound and serious consequences of nuclear weapons use and have articulated our deep and abiding interest in extending forever the 68-year record of non-use.”
However, the attitudes of NWS on this issue remain negative. Five NWS, in unity, decided not to participate in the Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons in Oslo in March. The reasons they argued was that “[NWS remained] concerned that the Oslo Conference [would] divert discussion away from practical steps to concrete conditions for further nuclear weapons reductions,” while they do “understand the serious consequences of nuclear weapon use.” Among NWS, it is reported that the United Kingdom finally decided not to do so in step with the other NWS while considering a possibility to join the Conference at first. Needless to say, they did not join in the joint statements mentioned above, either.
In the Nuclear Employment Strategy Report issued in June, the United States clearly stated:
“The new guidance makes clear that all plans must…be consistent with the fundamental principles of the Law of Armed Conflict. Accordingly, plans will, for example, apply the principles of distinction and proportionality and seek to minimize collateral damage to civilian populations and civilian objects. The United States will not intentionally target civilian populations or civilian objects.” 
This sentence might reflect the U.S. consciousness about the “humanitarian dimension of nuclear weapons” in some sense. However, it would be reasonable to consider that the United States uses this debate to justify its counterforce strategy, arguing that countervalue or minimum deterrence may be contrary to the principle of the humanitarian dimension of nuclear weapons.
(Drafted by Hirofumi Tosaki, CPDNP)
 “Chair’s Summary: Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons,” Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, Oslo, March 5, 2013, http://www.regjeringen.no/nb/dokumentarkiv/stoltenberg-ii/ud/taler-og-artikler/2013/chair_oppsummering.html?id=716343.
 On homepage of the Second Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, see http://www.sre.gob.mx/en/index.php/humanimpact-nayarit-2014.
 “Joint Statement on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons,” Second Session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2015 NPT Review Conference, Geneva, 24 April 2013.
 Ray Acheson, “A Strategy for Nuclear Disarmament,” NPT News in Review, Vol. 11, No. 11 (6 May 2013), p. 1.
 Delivered by Ambassador Dell Higgie, New Zealand, “Joint Statement on the Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons,” the United Nations, First Committee, 21 October 2013.
 Delivered by Ambassador Peter Woolcott, Australia, “Joint Statement on the Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons,” the United Nations, First Committee, 21 October 2013.
 “Joint statement issued by China, France, Great Britain, Russia, and the United States at the Conclusion of the Fourth P5 Conference,” Geneva, April 19, 2013, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2013/04/207768.htm
 “Statement by Thomas Countryman, Assistant Secretary for International Security and Nonproliferation Department of State, United States of America,” General Debate, Second Session of the Preparatory Committee, 2015 Review Conference of the States Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, April 22,2013.
 “P5 Announcement not to Attend the Oslo Conference,” http://www.reachingcriticalwill.org/images/documents/Disarmament-fora/oslo-2013/P5_Oslo.pdf. U.S. Acting Under Secretary Rose Gottemoeller and U.K. Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Alistair Burt respectively reiterated the similar explanations written in the “P5 Announcement” as the reasons not to participate in the Oslo Conference. See “UK Parliament,” 11 March 2013, http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmhansrd/cm130311/text/130311w0002.htm#130311w0002.htm_spnew66; Rose Gottemoeller, “The Obama Administration's Second Term Priorities for Arms Control and Nonproliferation,” Remarks, Geneva Centre for Security Policy, Geneva, March 20, 2013, http://www.state.gov/t/us/206454.htm.
 “Documents Suggest UK Boycott of Key Nuclear Weapons Meeting Was Driven by P5 Partners,” Article 36, June 4, 2013, http://www.article36.org/nuclear-weapons/documents-suggest-uk-boycott-of-key-nuclear-weapons-meeting-was-driven-by-p5-partners/.
 U.S. Department of Defense, “Nuclear Employment Strategy Report,” pp. 4-5.