ICRC calls for nuclear ban

March 1, 2013 at 10:45 AM

GENEVA, Switzerland, March 1 (UPI) -- The International Committee of the Red Cross called on nuclear-armed states to consider an outright ban on nuclear weapons.

Members of the international community are expected in Oslo next week for a conference on the potential humanitarian consequences of a nuclear explosion. The ICRC said there's a general lack of capacity to deal with such an event.

The conference is the first to address humanitarian consequences of a potential nuclear explosion.

ICRC President Peter Maurer said the number of people who'd require major humanitarian assistance would be "enormous."

The U.S. military used atomic weapons on Japan in the 1940s to bring an end to World War II. Maurer said the ICRC observed the aftermath of the nuclear explosion over Hiroshima, Japan, in 1945.

"Today, we are again calling on all states, irrespective of whether they consider nuclear weapons to be lawful or not, to ensure that these devices are never used, to take measures to limit the risk of proliferation and to pursue negotiations on a complete ban on and elimination of nuclear weapons," he said in a statement.

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