IRRC No. 316

Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice on the legality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons

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There are some questions which one would prefer not to raise. The legality of the use of nuclear weapons in war is surely a case in point. With the emergence and development of nuclear weapons mankind crossed a major threshold: for the first time, it had weaponry which threatened its very survival. The dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki brought about a moral cataclysm and changed the whole face of warfare. The ICRC immediately saw the implications of those events. It shared its concern with all the National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in a circular letter that its President, Max Huber, sent out on 5 September 1945, less than one month after Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

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