Looking Back to Look Forward: The Impact of the Humanitarian Initiative

The movement to end nuclear weapons has achieved a lot since the first intergovernmental conference on the humanitarian consequences of these weapons in 2013, the start of a series of similar conferences. We are looking back at the last 10 years, showing why this work matters and makes a difference. 

The Humanitarian Initiative changed the international nuclear disarmament discourse profoundly. Moving away from state security and myths, the humanitarian argument rearranges the stage and puts the humanitarian impacts of nuclear weapons first, largely represented by affected communities, in particular Indigenous people. 

The Humanitarian Initiative has magnified the movement to end nuclear weapons. How did the humanitarian initiative come into being? What did those involved in its formation intend to achieve? To what extent were their expectations fulfilled? How can we, ten years later, continue to build a humanitarian case for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons?

Come and listen to a variety of experts taking stock of the initiative's future.



Magnus Løvold


Magnus Løvold led the strategy, policy and campaign coordination of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) until 2015.


Steffen Kongstad


Steffen Kongstad was working in the Norwegian Foreign Service 1980 – 2022.


Patricia Lewis


Dr Patricia Lewis leads the International Security programme at Chatham House and is Research Director for Conflict, Science and Transformation.



Peter Herby


Peter Herby is Arms Adviser for the Norwegian Red Cross.