The ICRC and the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement : working towards a nuclear-free world since 1945
Host item entries:
Journal for peace and nuclear disarmament, Vol. 1, no. 1, 2018, p. 66-78
This article examines why and how the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement as a whole have been contributing to the global efforts towards a world free of nuclear weapons since the first use of the atomic bomb over 70 years ago in Hiroshima. It reminds us that the principles and rules of international humanitarian law (IHL) apply to nuclear weapons, and highlights the humanitarian consequences of their use. These concerns were at the core of the ”Humanitarian Initiative,” which contributed significantly to the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in July 2017. The author also shares the ICRC’s views that, even before these weapons are fully eliminated and based on existing commitments and obligations, greater efforts must and can be made to review the significance of nuclear weapons in military plans, doctrines and policies, and to reduce the risk of a detonation. The article concludes by reminding that, as for the nuclear weapons “ban treaty,” what is most needed to ensure protection of victims of today’s ongoing armed conflicts is greater respect for and compliance with the existing general rules and principles of IHL.