ICAN deems creation of a nuclear weapon ban treaty urgent

President Obama made a speech on Tuesday in Berlin that aroused a response from the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons to address the urgency of the creation of a proposed treaty.

Nuclear weapons are the only weapons of mass destruction not banned via treaty. Representatives from ICAN argue that the humanitarian consequences of using nuclear weapons are catastrophic. They argue if every country agrees that the use of nuclear weapons should be prohibited for the level of damage they cause, a treaty should be put in place as early as possible.

"The speech by Obama comes at a point where many other states, international organizations and civil societies are focusing on the unacceptable humanitarian effects that the use of these weapons would create," Beatrice Fihn of ICAN said. "The level of civilian harm that nuclear weapons threaten makes a treaty prohibiting their use, production and stockpiling urgent."

ICAN identified the U.S. and Russia as the biggest targets to the creation of the treaty. ICAN argues that the consequences of nuclear weapon use goes beyond humanitarian concerns and will adversely affect the planet.

"The consequences of a nuclear weapon detonation will not stop at borders; it is truly a global concern no matter who possess these weapons," Akira Kawasaki, ICAN co-chair, said. "This announcement should encourage action from all states, not only nuclear armed states and those with extended nuclear deterrence arrangements, but all non-nuclear weapon states as well. It is now time to take bold and tangible steps towards the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons by negotiating a ban."