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Nuclear Disarmament

There are over 16,000 nuclear weapons in the world today. As the recent 3rd International Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons concluded: the impact of the use of just one is unacceptable. A mere 100 would lower the earth’s temperature by over 1 degree Celsius for at least ten years, causing massive disruption of global food production and putting 2 billion people at risk of starvation. If we fail to prevent nuclear war, all of our other efforts to secure peace and justice will be for naught.  We need to stigmatize, prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons. Meeting in Rome, we commend Pope Francis’ recent call for nuclear weapons to be “banned once and for all”. We welcome the pledge by the Austrian government “to identify and pursue effective measures to fill the legal gap for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons” and “to cooperate with all stakeholders to achieve this goal”. We urge all states to commence negotiations on a treaty to ban nuclear weapons at the earliest possible time, and subsequently to conclude the negotiations within two years. This will fulfill existing obligations enshrined in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which will be reviewed in May of 2015, and the unanimous ruling of the International Court of Justice.  Negotiations should be open to all states and blockable by none. The 70th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 2015 highlights the urgency of ending the threat of these weapons.

December 9, 2014

The Austrian Pledge

12/09/2014 

The Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons concluded today with a major step forward for ICAN and all those States that are now ready to join in a political process to ban nuclear weapons. The Austrian government closed the Conference with an unexpected and extraordinary pledge: to cooperate with all stakeholders “to identify and pursue effective measures to fill the legal gap for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons” (which can only mean one thing), and “to cooperate with all relevant stakeholders, States, International Organisations, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movements, paliamentarians and civil society, in efforts to stigmatise, prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons in light of their unacceptable humanitarian consequences and associated risks” (which means exactly what it says).

more ...[peaceandhealthblog.com/2014/12/09/the-austrian-pledge/]

December 9, 2014

Greetings from Vienna!

Greetings from Vienna12/09/2014 

In a demonstration of overwhelming support from the international community, representatives from more than 150 states are gathering in Vienna, Austria for the third international conference to examine the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons.

more ...

December 7, 2014

“The courage to ban nuclear weapons”: ICAN Civil Society Forum opens in Vienna

07.12.2014 

More than 600 civil society campaigners from around the world filled the Aula der Wissenschaften (Hall of Sciences) for the first day of the ICAN Civil Society Forum in Vienna yesterday. “The courage to ban nuclear weapons,” is both the theme of the two-day campaign gathering, and also the message that campaigners intend to bring to the third Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons hosted by the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The conference begins on Monday, and 150 States have already registered, exceeding the numbers that came to the previous HINW conferences in Oslo and Nayarit.

[Article complete]

December 2, 2014

Nuclear weapons: the road to prohibition

Peace & Health Blog

Abolish nuclear weapons02.12.2014 

Nuclear weapons are the greatest threat to the health and survival of mankind. This statement from the World Health Organisation in the 1980s is echoed in the recent call to action from the International Red Cross: Nuclear weapons must be abolished. But climate change? Is that not the greatest danger? OK, let’s not argue. Climate change is already here and experienced by most of us. We know that if strong and decisive action is not taken soon by all states we will face grave problems for mankind, in this century and worse in the next. 

[Read more at IPPNW's Peace & Health Blog]

November 20, 2014

Refugees need our help to survive the winter

Ein Kind im nicht offiziellen Flüchtlingscamp Xanki. Foto: Sakine Kizilhan11/20/2014 

In August, around 630,000 people were forced to run for their lives with scarcely more than the clothes on their backs. In an eight-day journey by foot they fled from Syria through the Sinjar Mountains to the Kurdish Dohuk Province in Iraq. The group attempting to escape the terror of Islamic State militia included Yazidis, Christians, Turkmens and a great many Arabs.

more ...

The social, political and ecological pathologies of Ebola Crisis cannot be ignored

Monrovia, Liberia: An Ebola is Real mural painted on a wall on the main road through Monrovia -- Tubman Blvd. Photo by Morgana Wingard/United Nations Development Programme, https://creativecommons.org12/11/2014 

The Ebola virus is finally receiving attention after years of being ignored as just another deadly disease in Africa. Yet it was only when the current outbreak got out of control and threatened commercial and western interests did the story became news.

I am hopeful the epidemic will eventually come under control. While Ebola is lethal and dangerous, it is not an airborne disease. There is no carrier state and only a brief period of being asymptomatic and infectious. However, the crisis won’t end before tens of thousands have died – either from the disease or indirectly due to clinics and hospitals being shut down and the economy being damaged.

more ...

October 28, 2014

Medact Student Blog: Inequality and Health – Lecture Summary

A 13-year-old girl has died in Thessaloniki after inhaling fumes from a makeshift stove in her house, which did not have electricity.28.10.2014 

In the first event of the Global Health Justice series, Medact and QMUL hosted a talk titled ‘Global Health Justice: Harnessing academia to inform policy’. This was attended by Global health students and health professionals.

[Article Complete]

IPPNW Bike Tour Kazakhstan 2014

From the eyes of a German participant

Sitting with locals as we heard their stories growing up nearby the Semipalatinsk testing site.

My experience in Kazakhstan certainly was so full of new and unexpected surprises that I can hardly choose one of them as the most educational or revealing about a specific topic. Nevertheless, during the conversations with the local community about the nuclear testing in Semipalatinsk some things struck me as peculiar and stuck in my head for some time afterwards.

[read more on ippnw-students.org]

Vienna conference must lead from knowledge to action

Every generation has a chance to change the world

The third international conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons will take place in Vienna from December 8-9, 2014. Hosted by the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the conference is expected to build upon the scientific evidence presented at previous gatherings of States in Oslo and Nayarit, and to open up space for discussion about how to accelerate the pace of nuclear disarmament. 

more ...

IPPNW files amicus brief in support of Marshall Islands

Peace & Health Blog

On July 25, 1946, the U.S. Army detonated the “Baker” nuclear test bomb with a yield of 21,000 tons of TNT equivalent underwater near the Bikini Atoll. 106 nuclear tests were carried out between 1946

IPPNW, its US affiliate, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and Pax Christi International have submitted an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief in support of the lawsuit brought against the US by the Marshall Islands in Federal District Court. The brief advises the court that the Marshall Islands, whose people suffered through more than a decade of nuclear testing by the US, has the right to seek a ruling that the US is legally required to comply with its nuclear disarmament obligations established either the NPT.

[Read more at IPPNW's Peace & Health Blog]

25/09/2014

The "Race to 50" is won!

Peace & Health Blog

Past IPPNW co-president Dr. Bob Mtonga celebrates ratification of the ATT by more than 50 states

At a special ceremony at the United Nations in New York, several states, including the Bahamas, St Lucia, Portugal, Senegal, and Uruguay ratified the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), helping to exceed the magic number of 50 required for the treaty to enter into force.

more ...

30. August 2014

IPPNW World Congress issues Astana Declaration

World Congress Kazakhstan; Photo: IPPNWGermany

“We live in dangerous times, surrounded by challenges that can seem intractable. Yet we also see signs of hope. We leave Astana recommitted to achieving a world without nuclear weapons and without war, which provides for the health, safety, and security of all."

more ...

Deutsche Welle, 28. August 2014

Doctors want to see a drop in radioactivity

Alex Rosen, IPPNW Germany in Astana, Photo: IPPNW

Nuclear bomb tests contaminate soils, while nuclear accidents and X-rays are a direct threat to our health. At a world summit this week, doctors called for more protection and awareness.

[read more on dw.de]

IPPNW-Statement

IPPNW responds to Gaza crisis

28.07.2014 

IPPNW calls for an immediate cease fire between Israel and Hamas.  We call on Israel to stop its air strikes and ground invasion of Gaza, and we call on Hamas to stop all rocket attacks on Israel  We also call on both sides to allow full access to medical care for all those wounded in the fighting.

[Letter by Alex Rosen]  [Article by David McCoy]

IPPNW-Statement

IPPNW statement on crisis in Ukraine

22.07.2014 

IPPNW calls call for an immediate cease fire to the fighting in Ukraine and for all states to refrain  from any military intervention in Ukraine.  We further call on Ukraine to reaffirm its historic decision to renounce nuclear weapons and for Russia to reaffirm the guarantee of Ukraine's territorial integrity that accompanied that decision. We further call for urgent UN mediation to achieve a diplomatic solution to the issues involved in this conflict.

[Further information]

By IPPNW

Experts discuss health effects of uranium mining

Last weekend, doctors, scientists and environmental experts met in the town of Ronneburg and discussed the long term health and environmental effects of uranium mining. Between 1946 and 1990, the Soviet-German "Wismut" company ran a vast network of uranium mines in this region between the Erzgebirge in Saxony and Eastern Thuringia, becoming the largest supplier of fissile material to the Soviet nuclear weapons program (see also www.ippnw-students.org/Japan/Erzgebirge.pdf).

more ...

Doctors and Parliamentarians Address Health Impact of Gun Violence at the United Nations

Peace & Health Blog

“On an average day in the United States 86 people are killed by guns,” was one of many alarming facts presented by Dr. Bill Durston, a passionate IPPNW speaker at a June 17th panel conducted by IPPNW, the Parliamentary Forum on Small Arms and Light Weapons and IANSA at the United Nations (U.N.) in New York City. The panel focused on how guns affect health and development around the world, and was a well-attended side event at the U.N. Fifth Biennial Meeting of States to Consider Implementation of the Programme of Action (PoA) on Small Arms and Light Weapons.

more ...

Hoping for Peace and Justice

German IPPNW Delegation to Palestine and Israel April 29th - May 10th, 2014

Wall in Bethlehem

This is the fifth time that IPPNW Germany and Pax Christi has sent a delegation to Palestine and Israel. During their journey through Jerusalem and the West Bank, the 31 participants were able to learn of the hopes and struggles of the Palestinian people. Living with Palestinian host families, they were able to experience daily life under the Israeli policy of occupation and colonization, behind separation walls, fences and check-points. During their 10 day trip, the participants met with numerous Palestinian and Israeli peace and human right groups.

more ...[Photos on Flickr]  [More information about ICAHD]

Target Helsinki

IPPNW European Student Conference 2014

Dr. Alex Rosen speaks with NATO-soldiers in Helsinki

As part of the European Student Conference in the Finnish capital of Helsinki, IPPNW students organized a Target event on one of the city's busiest spots – Narinka Square. As part of a giant flashmob, hundreds of people watched the ICAN video on a large screen and simultaneously collapsed on the square at the detonation of the nuclear bomb in the film. Strangely enough, there was a weapons show by NATO troops on the same square and the soldiers were the prime discussion partners for the medical students and young doctors who swarmed through the city after the flashmob, informing people about the ongoing dangers of nuclear weapons – especially during these days of conflict between NATO and Russia over control the Ukraine.

Check out the photos here

Check out the flashmob here

Germany: Easter Peace Rallys

Crimea Crises

Last weekend, IPPNW Germany was able to reach tens of thousands of people with speeches at the traditional Easter Peace Rallys across the country.

Speaking in front of the peace memorial Neue Wache in Berlin's historiccenter, IPPNW Germany board member Dr. Alex Rosen held a speech about ICAN and the process towards a nuclear weapons convention.

more ...

24. April 2014

Pacific nation challenges nine nuclear-armed states in lawsuits before the world court

Republic of Marshall Islands’ historic lawsuits charge the US, Russia, UK, France, China, Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea with breaches of international law.

more ...

By IPPNW

Japanese physicians demand better post-Fukushima monitoring and public health measures

24/04/2014 Physicians Against Nuclear War in Japan has published a statement regarding the Fukushima nuclear disaster that deserves a wider international audience. It protests recent Japanese government pressures for return of displaced people to areas radioactively contaminated from the Fukushima nuclear disaster; continued tolerance of radiation exposures for the general public, which IPPNW has repeatedly condemned as unacceptably high; and transfer of the onus of protection to individuals.

more ...

IPPNW calls for a negotiated solution to the Ukraine crisis

03/06/2014 

IPPNW views with deep concern the recent developments in Ukraine. IPPNW underscores the absolute imperative to avoid the possibility of use of nuclear weapons. This danger exists with any armed conflict involving nuclear armed states or alliances, which could escalate in uncontrollable, unintended and unforeseeable ways.

more ...

By Tilman Ruff

The Fukushima nuclear disaster three years on

03/11/2014 

The world’s most complex nuclear power plant disaster continues three years on, and will continue for many years hence. Uncontrolled flows of around 1,000 tons of groundwater per day into the site continue; 400 tons of water daily flows into the damaged reactor and turbine buildings where it becomes radioactively contaminated. Some is collected—more than 430,000 tons of radioactively contaminated water is now stored in about 1,000 makeshift tanks, many of which are bolted rather than welded, lack even gauges to show how full they are, and have leaked repeatedly.

more ...

By Gunnar Westberg

Praise be to Bill Clinton, Boris Yeltsin and Leonid Kravchuk: There are no nuclear weapons in Ukraine!

03/10/2014 

When the Soviet Union fell apart, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan became de facto nuclear states. Ukraine had the third largest nuclear arsenal in the world with about 5,000 nuclear charges, more than the UK, France, and China put together. The situation was dangerous. Russia, the USA, and Europe all had a strong interest in stopping the proliferation.

more ...

Arms Trade Treaty “Race to 50” gains momentum with EU Vote to Authorize

The ATT “race to 50”, (#Raceto50) coined by the Control Arms Coalition, just got a lot faster-paced with the European Union (EU) vote to authorize EU members to ratify the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).

more ...[Has your country signed and ratified the ATT?]  [ATT toolkit]

Mazda Make Things Better Award to IPPNW South/North Small Arms Project

An exciting new South/North project of Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), Finland in cooperation with the Society of Nigerian Doctors for the Welfare of Mankind (SNDWM), Zambian Healthworkers for Social Responsibility (ZHSR), and IPPNW just got a financial boost from the "Mazda Make Things Better Award." The Mazda award was launched at the summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in October, 2013 in Warsaw, and the joint IPPNW project “Raising awarenesson small arms through interactive radio programmes” has now won the first of these awards!

more ...

By Dr. Hellen Barsosio, IPPNW

Planting a Seed: Introducing Medical Peace Work to Medical Students in Africa

Peace & Health Blog

03/26/2014 

Medical students growing up in most African countries are confronted and sometimes overwhelmed by the varied needs in their societies including war, disease, poverty, violence, inequality and political instability. With this ‘confrontation’ comes the need to ‘fix’ whatever is wrong. In the past few years, we have noted that African medical students and young doctors are awakening to their responsibility to being more than just hospital workers. One of these areas of awakening is peace work.

more ...[full report]  [Medical Peace Work in Africa on Facebook]

15. February 2014

Nayarit point of no return

Mexico conference marks turning point towards nuclear weapon ban

Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit, Mexico—The Second International Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, concluded today with a call from the Mexican hosts for states to launch a diplomatic process to ban nuclear weapons. Over 140 governments participated from all regions of the world.

more ...[read Chair's summary ]

ATT ratification gains traction in Europe, new US policies on arms’ sales

In recent news, the German government, the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee, as well as MEPs from the European Committee on International Trade all called for EU countries to ratify the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). Germany’s foreign minister said ATT ratification would take place as soon as the required European Parliament decision takes place, expected this spring.  He, too, called for other states to follow in order to “make the world a safer place.”

more ...

30. January 2014

IPPNW to brief governments on the peril of nuclear famine

Governments from around the world will gather in Nayarit, Mexico on February 13 for the Second International Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons. IPPNW Co-President Ira Helfand has been invited to present our most recent findings that two billion people will face starvation if even a tiny fraction of existing nuclear weapons were ever used.  He will be joined by Prof. Alan Robock of Rutgers University, who will present the research about the climate effects of nuclear weapons use on which our nuclear famine studies are based. 

more ...[read more...]

IPPNW statement on the criminalization of emergency medical care in Turkey

01/23/2014 

IPPNW joins the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health, the World Medical Association, Physicians for Human Rights, and other major medical associations in calling for revocation of a provision of a new Turkish law that would compromise access to emergency medical care in Turkey and make it a crime for independent medical practitioners to provide emergency care in certain situations. Article 46 of the health law drafted by the Turkish Grand National Assembly and signed by Abdullah Gül, president of the Turkish Republic, appears to be targeted at political protesters, imposing fines and up to three years of imprisonment on private practitioners who offer emergency care after the arrival of a state ambulance.

more ...

21. January 2014

Atoms For Peace

For the last two years, Medact has parterned with the Nuclear Information Service on the 'Atoms for Peace' project: a ground-breaking investigation into links between the Atomic Weapons Establishment – where the UK's nuclear weapons are designed and made – and British universities.

Our study has found that more than fifty universities – over one third of all British universities – have received funding from the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE), with AWE's 'Technical Outreach' programme with universities mainly supporting scientific research in the physics, materials science, high performance computing, modelling, and manufacturing disciplines.

more ...[more details]

Doctors and Drones

Dr Tomasz Pierscionek, co-author of Medact’s Drone report, talks to journalist and activist Carol Anne Grayson about the dangers of the proliferation of unmanned aerial vehicles.

more ...[full medact drone report]

13/14 November 2013

Report of Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone in the Middle East Meeting in Amman

Impact on Global Non-Proliferation Efforts

This conference, organised by the Arab Institute for Security Studies (ACSIS) and sponsored by the European Union, the Government of the Netherlands, the Government of Austria and Atomic Reporters was attend by many distinguished delegates including the Minister of Presidential Affairs Tunisia,  HE Adnen Mansur, The EU Special Envoy to the Middle East Process,  HE Andreas Reinicke and the Deputy Director to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Grace Asirwatham. Pierre Razoux, Research Director in charge of regional security studies at Institute for Strategic Research of the French War College gave the following information.

more ...

Doctors: UNSCEAR 2013 report systematically underestimates health impact of Fukushima catastrophe

[October 25, 2013] As physicians concerned with the effects of radioactive fallout on human health and the ecosystem, we have reviewed the upcoming United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) report to the UN General Assembly. We appreciate the effort made by UNSCEAR committee members to evaluate the extensive and complex data concerning the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe. While parts of the UNSCEAR report will be useful in the future to assess the consequences of the nuclear meltdowns on public health and the environment, we believe the 2013 UNSCEAR report systematically underestimates the true extent of the catastrophe. Many of the assumptions are based on the two WHO/IAEA reports published in May 2012 and February 2013, which did not accurately portray the true extent of radiation exposure, followed faulty assumptions, ignored the ongoing radioactive emissions over the past 2½ years and excluded non-cancer effects of radiation.

more ...[ Read press release]  [Full-version commentary]

Animated Short Film about DU by IBUW and PaxChristi

click to watch the video in IPPNW's youtube channel