Conference on human and environmental impact of nuclear weapons opens

A Japanese atomic bomb survivor is among those taking part in a conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons that opened in Vienna on Monday.

The conference kicked off in the Austrian capital one day before signatory nations to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons are to gather for their first meeting since the pact went into effect. Government officials, representatives of non-governmental organizations and others are taking part.

Previous meetings held in Norway, Mexico and Austria have focused on bringing the treaty into being.

Kido Sueichi was exposed to radiation at the age of five when an atomic bomb was dropped on southwestern Japan's Nagasaki City in 1945.

He shared his story at the conference. He noted that atomic bomb survivors have been campaigning against nuclear weapons and war. He said they provided the impetus behind the creation of the treaty. He said the treaty is exactly what atomic bomb survivors wanted.

As at past conferences, a Japanese government delegation is present even though Japan is not a party to the treaty.

The threat posed by nuclear weapons has been on the rise since Russia began its invasion of Ukraine in February.

The Austrian government, the host, is aiming to raise global awareness of the inhumane consequences of using nuclear arms to help stop the use and development of nuclear arsenals. They also wish to highlight the significance of the treaty.