An illusion of safety

Challenges of nuclear weapon detonations for united nations humanitarian coordination and response

image of An illusion of safety
There is renewed and deep international concern about the catastrophic humanitarian consequences that would result from the detonation of nuclear weapons in populated areas. Yet 25 years after the end of the Cold War, nuclear weapons and nuclear deterrence remain central to the security doctrines of a significant number of states. This volume explores the risks and consequences of a nuclear weapon detonation event especially for the United Nations system in terms of preparedness.



Context for the study

As was clear from some of their statements at the March 2013 Oslo conference on the humanitarian impacts of nuclear weapons, beyond acknowledging the difficulties of response to assist populations in need and their lack of preparedness or capacity to respond adequately, United Nations agencies have not given the matter much studied thought. Regardless, though, of whether or not the international humanitarian system is able to respond effectively to nuclear weapon detonations in populated areas, the United Nations and other humanitarian actors such as the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement may still be called upon for help.


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