Senate supports Red Cross’ call to ban nuclear weapons

The Senate adopted today a resolution expressing its “full support” to the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement in calling for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons worldwide.

Senate Resolution No. 349 was introduced by Senator Richard Gordon, who is also the chairman and chief executive officer of the Philippine Red Cross.

“Given the real and serious threat and the catastrophic global consequences of any use of nuclear weapons, whether deliberate or not, and its general incompatibility with international humanitarian law, the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons is a humanitarian imperative,” Gordon said in the resolution.

The resolution said the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement had been broadly calling for the “prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons following the 1945 Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings.”

The resolution said the organization made an appeal to all states last April 27 in Nagasaki, to “take a decisive step towards a world without nuclear weapons.”

The resolution added that in 2011, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement also appealed to all states to “pursue in good faith and conclude with urgency and determination negotiations to prohibit the use of, and completely eliminate nuclear weapons through a legally binding international agreement, based on existing commitments and international obligations.”

According to the resolution, such a treaty “prohibiting nuclear weapons at the global level would have important benefits and reinforce the stigma against their use, and would be a basis to advance their elimination pursuant to the 1968 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and other relevant treaties and resolutions.”

The Federation of American Scientists, an organization dedicated to reduce the spread and number of nuclear weapons, estimated that there were “approximately 14,900 nuclear warheads as of early 2017 existing worldwide.”

The resolution said that under Article II, Section 8 of the 1987 Constitution, the Philippines, “consistent with the national interest, adopts and pursues a policy of freedom from nuclear weapons in its territory.”

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