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In an open letter to Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz on Dec. 5, more than 120 current and former senior political, military and diplomatic leaders from 46 countries in five continents affirmed strong support for the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, called on governments to state emphatically that any use of a nuclear weapon anywhere on Earth would have catastrophic human consequences for the whole world, and laid out an ambitious agenda for action coming out of the conference.

Signatories to the letter include a former president, six former prime ministers, six former U.N. undersecretaries general, a former NATO secretary general and 36 former foreign and defense ministers. They call the Vienna conference an “opportunity for all states, whether they possess nuclear weapons or not, to work together in a joint enterprise to identify, understand, prevent, manage and eliminate the risks associated with these indiscriminate and inhumane weapons.”

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