International Symposium on Global Security in Moscow
Letter to Dmitri Medvedev
On February 21th, an international delegation of IPPNW physicians visited Moscow and met with Russian IPPNW the Russian Pugwash Committee at a symposium on Global Security in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS). On this special occasion, the IPPNW US and Russian Co-Presidents personally delivered a letter to Russia's Prime Minister Medvedev. In this letter they urge him to join the negotiations on a treaty banning nuclear weapons and to provide leadership for this process.
IPPNW welcomes China’s call to ban and eliminate nuclear weapons; urges leadership at UN treaty negotiations
IPPNW welcomes the statement by Chinese President Xi Jinping that “nuclear weapons … should be completely prohibited and destroyed over time to make the world free of them.” President Xi’s remarks, made during a speech on January 18 at the United Nations in Geneva, were consistent with China’s long-standing official support for nuclear disarmament, and come as the UN is preparing to convene negotiations on a new treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons.
China gave a positive signal at the UN General Assembly last month, unlike its other P5 partners, when it abstained from, rather than voting against, a resolution authorizing negotiations for a treaty banning nuclear weapons. The resolution was carried by a majority of over three to one.
Is your money being used to develop nuclear weapons right now?
Governments have decided to negotiate a nuclear weapons ban treaty in 2017, and now is the time for banks, pension funds and insurance companies to get ready and end financial relations with companies involved in nuclear weapons.
Today, ICAN partner organisation PAX launches its 2016 Don't Bank on the Bomb report, which examines financial institutions and their investments in nuclear weapons.
Is your bank amongst those financial institutions that are prepared for the ban treaty and have ceased investments in nuclear weapons? Or is it in the Hall of Shame, and use your money to assist the production of inhumane and indiscriminate weapons of mass destructions?
Read the report and take action to make sure your money isn't spent on nuclear weapons!
by Xanthe Hall
For once, the United States, France and the United Kingdom are in agreement with Russia: plans to negotiate a nuclear weapons ban need to be stopped. Before the vote last Thursday in the UN First Committee, they pulled out all the stops to pressurise other states to vote against or abstain on a draft resolution co-sponsored by 57 states for a conference to be convened in 2017 to negotiate a nuclear ban. In private conversations with delegates, the International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear weapons (ICAN) heard of several instances of applied and implied pressure on states, also receiving a leaked document from the US to NATO allies. Several states simply left the room rather than vote the “wrong” way.
Norwegian Medical Appeal gaining momentum
Norwegian Medical Appeal
Inspired by the 2015 Dutch Medical Appeal, Norwegian Physicians against Nuclear Weapons (NLA) launched a Norwegian Medical Appeal. Prominent health professionals who have endorsed this appeal include, the President and Chairman of the Norwegian Medical Association. IPPNW Germany also produced an appeal urging the German government to ban nuclear weapons from German soil and to actively support a nuclear weapons ban.
IPPNW responds to Obama Hiroshima visit
Dear President Obama: We applaud your decision to bear witness to the ghastly horrors that befell the citizens of Hiroshima, and to meet with Hibakusha. However, we deeply regret that you made no commitments to ensure that nuclear weapons are never used again.
Global health federations issue collective appeal for prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons
The leading international federations representing the world’s physicians, public health professionals, and nurses have told a special UN working group that the medical and scientific evidence about the consequences of nuclear weapons requires urgent action to prohibit and eliminate them as “the only course of action commensurate with the existential danger they pose.”
93% of Germans reject nuclear weapons
Geneva, Switzerland - International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons
The overwhelming majority of Germans – a staggering 93 per cent – want nuclear weapons to be banned just as chemical and biological weapons have been banned, according to an opinion poll commissioned by the German chapter of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), an ICAN partner organization.
#StopTrident march in London
On Saturday 27th February, Medact members and supporters joined an estimated 20,000 people on the #StopTrident march to highlight the health impact and humanitarian consequences of the use of nuclear weapons. Trident, and nuclear weapons in general, represent the most destructive weapons on the planet. Trident consists of four submarines with a total of up to 160 nuclear warheads between them. Each one of these warheads is eight times more powerful than the atomic bomb which was dropped on Hiroshima. This bomb caused an estimated 140 000 deaths, including 90% of all physicians and nurses in Hiroshima, along with widespread long-term health effects like cancer. Read this blog article by Frank Boulton and Ben Clavey of Medact.
Dutch medical appeal for nuclear disarmament
by Peter Buijs and Lode Wigersma
In September 2015, on the UN International Day for Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, a medical appeal for nuclear disarmament was presented in Amsterdam (see below). This declaration, signed with remarkable enthusiasm by 100 leading Dutch healthcare executives, clinicians, and scientists, is meant to put the urgent need for nuclear disarmament back on the societal and political agenda—not from an ideological or political viewpoint, but from a medical humanitarian one. It is now circulating within the Dutch medical community, and will be officially presented to Parliament in the coming months. That day the NVMP, the Dutch affiliate of the International Physicians for Prevention of Nuclear War, organised a symposium about nuclear weapons for physicians and other medical professionals. It covered the medical humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapon use, and the position and role of Dutch healthcare and its allies.
IPPNW founder Dr. Herbert L. Abrams dies at 95
Obituary in New York Times
Dr. Herbert L. Abrams, a radiologist at Stanford and Harvard universities and a founder of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985 for its work in publicizing the health consequences of atomic warfare, died on Jan. 20 at his home in Palo Alto, California. With a group of American and Soviet doctors, he helped create International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, with the goal of publicizing the health risks of a nuclear exchange and countering theories that physicians might be able to save enough people to continue civilized life. He later called nuclear weapons and nuclear war “the central health issue of the 20th century".
World Medical Association calls on governments to ban and eliminate nuclear weapons
18.10.15 The General Assembly of the World Medical Association, unanimously adopted a new resolution condemning nuclear weapons, stating that the medical profession has a duty to work for the elimination of nuclear weapons, and urging all governments to work to ban and eliminate them. IPPNW and its affiliates, many of whose members are active in national medical associations, will work to ensure that this resolution is promoted and acted upon as widely as possible.
Time for nuclear sharing to end
08.10.2015 It was already announced some years ago, but last week Germany woke up to the fact that new US nuclear weapons are actually going to be deployed at its base in Büchel. Frontal 21, a programme on the second main TV channel reported last Tuesday that preparation for this deployment was due to begin at the German air force base. The runway is being improved, perimeter fences strengthened, new maintenance trucks arriving and the Tornado delivery aircraft will get new software.
The results are in! Watch the winners from the short film award
19.09.2015 IPPNW's U.S. affiliate PSR, with support from NSquare, held a short film contest to raise awareness about what's at stake if we are complacent about nuclear weapons.
Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro for Peace
Young peace and environmental activists climbed Mount Kilimanjaro to take a stance against nuclear weapons and uranium mining. The group campaigning through the K-Project for Peace, initiated by International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, aimed to show that with determination everything is possible. Reaching the peak and raising the IPPNW flag - despite altitude sickness and other difficulties - shows just how committed these activists are. The message is clear: "We live for an Africa free of uranium mining! And for a world free of nuclear weapons!"
The NPT and the nuclear ban treaty
Peace & Health Blog
As this is being written, the conference reviewing the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is going on at the UN in New York. I often lose the line in the formal presentations by the official delegates, and find myself wondering: Why has the NPT worked?
America’s disastrous non-proliferation policy
This week, the states who are party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, NPT, will gather at the United Nations for their five-year review conference to assess whether the treaty is meeting its goals.
The U.S. has long viewed this treaty as a key bulwark against the spread of nuclear weapons to other countries. Since it was adopted 45 years ago, 3 nations which never signed the Treaty have developed nuclear weapons and one country that did sign has withdrawn and built a small nuclear arsenal, but we have not seen the wholesale spread of nuclear weapons that many feared when the NPT was negotiated in the late 1960’s.
Meeting Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs before NPT RevCon
The day before Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands Bert Koenders travelled to New York for the Non Proliferation Treaty Review Conference (NPT-RevCon) about nuclear weapons, he met with Mayor Jan Hoekema of Wassenaar (Chair Mayors for Peace-The Netherlands) and Doctor Herman Spanjaard (Chair of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War Netherlands (IPPNW) to discuss their views on nuclear weapons and the necessity to abolish these. They urged the Minister to take into account that safety for civilians is the dear task of Mayors worldwide and that Doctors have no cure for the effects of nuclear weapons, once used. Prevention is the only possible way forward so there is a very strong urgency to make the NPT-RevCon a success. One thousand paper cranes, made by Hibakusha and Japanese students, were handed over, to wish Minister Koenders a long and healthy life and wisdom in the negotiations.
“The courage to ban nuclear weapons”: ICAN Civil Society Forum opens in Vienna
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.
Nuclear weapons: the road to prohibition
Peace & Health Blog
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.
IPPNW Bike Tour Kazakhstan 2014
From the eyes of a German participant
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.
IPPNW files amicus brief in support of Marshall Islands
Peace & Health Blog
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.
Doctors want to see a drop in radioactivity
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.
IPPNW European Student Conference 2014
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
Anti-nuclear blockade in Germany
Rhythm beats Bombs
This weekend, IPPNW Germany and several other anti-nuclear organizations organized a 24h blockade of the joint US-German airforce base at Büchel - the only remaining nuclear weapons site in Germany. The German IPPNW Board and office staff joined the more than 750 protesters who camped out in front of the 7 gates of the compound, effectively blocking it off to all motorized traffic. At four in the morning, a bunch of soldiers were able to squeeze through a tiny gate in the woods under the cover of 200 police-men. The US have about 150-240 nuclear weapons stationed at various sites around Europe: in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Italy and Turkey under the so-called "nuclear sharing agreement". IPPNW Germany considers this "nuclear sharing" illegal under the rules of the NPT, because German airforce pilots are actually being trained at Büchel to deliver nuclear weapons on German Tordnado jets to "the enemy".
Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons
Representatives from 127 governments gathered in Oslo, Norway, from 4 to 5 March 2013 for the Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons. ICAN was the civil society partner and presented a video statement in the opening session as well as four oral interventions, which highlighted that any use of nuclear weapons would have catastrophic humanitarian consequences
Urgent Action: Korea crisis resolution
Many of us are scared about the heightened tension in the conflict on the Korean peninsula. A way to deal with that fear is to act. We invite you to join us in calling on the heads of states of nations that took part in the Six-Party Talks - the USA, North Korea, South Korea, China, Russia and Japan - to return to the negotiating table and prevent a nuclear catastrophe. Help us to get as many signatures as we can to show how much we care about this issue!
Challenge Delusional Thinking - send the new Medact report to your MP
Medact’s latest report The Delusional Thinking behind a Policy of ‘Nuclear Deterrence’ was launched this month at the House of Lords. Thank you to all who attended.
Today many decision makers believe that ‘nuclear deterrence’ is an essential component of the UK’s defence strategy. This report examines the delusional nature of some of the thinking that underpins this belief.
If you would like to receive a free hard copy, please send your name and address to info[at]medact.org. We’d be happy to send you additional copies to give to others. Just let us know how many you need. In particular, it would be great if you could send a copy to your MP. Any small donations towards postage costs would be gratefully received.
The report is dedicated to Gill Reeve, former Director of Medact, co-founder of ICAN-UK and committed anti-nuclear campaigner, whose many years of creative work towards a peaceful future without nuclear weapons was an inspiration to us all.
ICAN Civil Society Forum
If just one of the world's 19,000 nuclear weapons was detonated, be it intentionally or accidentally, not only would it kill thousands of people instantly, but, as the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has concluded, first responders would be unable to provide the emergency relief so urgently needed. This makes the continued existence and deployment of nuclear weapons one of the most serious humanitarian challenges of our time.
To demonstrate that a treaty banning nuclear weapons is both possible and urgently needed, ICAN will host the Civil Society Forum on 2-3 March 2013. We have invited hundreds of people from all corners of the world to give inspiring speeches, participate in informative workshops, engage in lively discussions and of course, to have fun.
IPPNW to President Obama: Stop subcritical nuclear tests!
The United States conducted a subcritical nuclear test on 5 December 2012. Such tests undermine one of the main purposes of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which is to prevent the development of new warhead designs. IPPNW reacted and sent an open letter to President Obama protesting against the conducting of subcritical nuclear tests and calling for a cessation of any such testing in the future.
Lessons from Cuba, 50 years on
Frank Boulton looks back and considers what has changed
In late October 1962 Cold War Watchers were horrified by the imminent prospect of global annihilation. John Kennedy, the charismatic but mercurial American President, had over 20,000 nuclear warheads under his command; Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet Leader, had about 2,000. Berlin had been a flash-point ever since the Soviet blockade of 1948. Many American weapons were based in Europe and Turkey, targetting Russian cities: more were on missiles, aircraft, ships and submarines. In contrast the Soviets’ weapons were restricted to the admittedly extensive territories of the USSR and its satellites, and a few diesel submarines. The Russians felt encircled and were searching for a strategic response.
ICAN Sweden holds Campaigner Weekend
On October 27th and 28th, ICAN Sweden gathered over 20 future anti-nukes campaigners for a weekend course entitled "Nuclear weapons, peace and disarmament". The course included topics such as the functioning of nuclear weapons, their environmental and humanitarian consequences, the current political landscape regarding disarmament and the proposition of a global ban. Using their newfound knowledge the participants tackled issues such as the funding of nuclear weapons, political paralysis and low public awareness, while developing their own action ideas through an interactive campaigning workshop.
Voices from Hiroshima and Fukushima
When Peace Boat's 77th voyage docked in Greece, a delegation of four Hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors) from Hiroshima and two students from Fukushima University visited local officials in Piraeus and Athens as part of the Global Hibakusha Project. The four from Hiroshima had previously been giving testimony in Israel and joined the ship in Egypt where they gave testimony in Cairo. The visits in Greece were organised in coordination with Maria Sotiropoulou, Greek Affiliate at International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW)
Middle East should be disarmed, not armed
An exception doesn’t prove the rule, it weakens it. Germany is violating its international obligations and its own rules by delivering a nuclear-capable submarine to Israel. Moreover, it risks damaging the conference on a zone free of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East, planned to take place at the end of this year. The delivery conveys the impression that arming Israel is the way to more peace, rather than regional disarmament.
Paediatricians speak out for the health of future generations
Nuclear Abolition Day June 2nd
A group of paediatricians signed a letter written by Medact that appeared in the Guardian the day before Nuclear Abolition Day, appealing to the Prime Minister to play an active part in initiating negotiations towards a Nuclear Weapons Convention, as the only way to ensure that no children - now or in the future - will have to live under the threat of these terrible weapons. A longer letter with the full list of signatures was delivered to Downing Street.
Nuclear Famine: climate effects of regional nuclear war
More than a billion people around the world would face starvation following a limited regional nuclear weapons exchange (such as a clash between India and Pakistan) that would cause major worldwide climate disruption driving down food production in China, the US and other nations, according to a major new report by IPPNW and its US affiliate, PSR.
Ankara Declaration on IPPNW Middle East Core Group Meeting
Strategies for Peace and Health in the Nuclear Free Middle East
International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) representatives from Israel, Iran, Egypt, United States, UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Hungary and Turkey met in Ankara, Turkey, on December 8th to 10th 2011 to address the issues of peace, health and weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East.
Call for the abolition of nuclear weapons
Red Cross/Red Crescent movement calls for abolition of nuclear weapons
November 26: In an historic decision, the Council of Delegates of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies adopted by acclamation a resolution calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons and calling on all national societies to conduct educational campaigns about the unique, catastrophic humanitarian consequences of nuclear war. The resolution was first proposed by the national societies of Norway, Japan, and Australia, and has been the subject of intense internal debate within the Red Cross movement for the better part of the last year.
Nuclear weapons are so typically twentieth century
by Gunnar Westberg
It is twenty-five years since IPPNW received the Nobel Peace Prize, and 30 years since the founding of our federation. We can certainly feel good about what we have accomplished in those three decades, while realizing that we have not yet eliminated nuclear weapons from the world. If we look back, it is only to link what we’ve done with what we still have to do.
The cables make the case for START
by John Pastore, MD and Ira Helfand, MD
The diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks this past week show a dangerously escalating nuclear confrontation in South Asia. This growing danger is one more reason why the U.S. Senate should ratify new START without further delay.
New Anglo-French Nuclear Deal Undermines Security and Health
Statement by British and French Affiliates of IPPNW
The British and French affiliates of IPPNW (Medact and AMFPGN) have issued a joint statement in which they criticize their respective governments for having signed a treaty on nuclear cooperation. In the document, dating November 2nd, 2010, France and Britain declare their intent to cooperate in testing the safety of their nuclear arsenals. Medact and AMFPGN oppose this agreement, because they consider it to be a violation of some of the major arms control treaties, and therefore a threat to international security.
Nobel Peace Prize Laureates call for abolition of nuclear weapons
A group of Nobel Peace Prize Laureats gathering in Hiroshima on November 12-14, 2010, issued an appeal for the abolition of nuclear weapons. They encouraged political leaders as well as citizens to join them in their efforts. In their declaration they also called on all nations to negotiate a universal treaty to abolish nuclear weapons.
No to Trident Replacement, Yes to a Nuclear Weapons Convention
Last chance to sign the petition
Many of you have already signed the petition by CND and Medact which calls for the UK government to:
"cancel its preparations to renew the Trident nuclear weapons system and start the process of dismantling the existing system; and in the spirit of its support for existing treaties banning indiscriminate weapons such as landmines, chemical and biological weapons; to pursue multilateral negotiations with a view to concluding a Nuclear Weapons Convention by the year 2020 to ensure the elimination of nuclear weapons world wide."
If you have not already signed it, you can do so online here:
The online petition will close on the 25th April 2010.
This will be then be handed in with a global petition at the NPT Review Conference in New York in May.
Learn about Nuclear Weapons
The problem is not exactly a lack of material on nuclear weapons and disarmament. However, sometimes it is difficult to sift through all information available and to find what you are looking for. The Swedish Physicians against Nuclear Weapons and the Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society offers you the material Learn about Nuclear Weapons, for anyone looking for a basic or in-depth knowledge of nuclear weapons and disarmament issues. To create a global movement towards nuclear disarmament, it takes a strong public opinion.
World Congress calls for a nuclear weapons free world
More than 600 doctors and medical students from 44 countries brought IPPNW's call for the abolition of nuclear weapons and for the prevention of war and small arms violence to India, when they gathered in New Delhi for the 18th World Congress from March 9-11. IPPNW and Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) met with President Pratibha Devisingh Patil, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, cabinet ministers and parliamentarians to promote the Nuclear Weapons Convention and to appeal for a return to the spirit of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi's 1988 Action Plan for a nuclear weapons free world.
The future of nuclear non-proliferation
Report WEU Interparliamentary Assembly
In June 2006 the Assembly of WEU adopted a report on "The non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction". That report provided a very full description of the various non-proliferation regimes for biological, chemical and nuclear weapons and contained detailed sections on EU and transatlantic non-proliferation efforts.This new report concentrates on nuclear weapons, the future role of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), nuclear terrorism and new instruments and future trends in nuclear non-proliferation. The report also discusses the link between non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament.
Postcards for a Nuclear Weapons free Europe
IPPNW Sweden and Switzerland
The NATO doctrine ist outdated and detrimental to European security. European Non Nuclear Weapons States should raise their voice for elimination of Nuclear Weapons in Europe. We need a Nuclear Weapons free Europe! Join us in our fight for a Nulcear Weapons free Europe! IPPNW Sweden and Switzerland have produced four Postcards for a Nuclear Weapons free Zone.
Campaign against Nuclear sharing of US Nukes
European IPPNW affiliate meeting
60 physicians und medical students from all over Europe met to discuss and develop joint projects. The European IPPNW meeting followed the international conference "Nuclear Weapons: The Final Pandemic - Preventing Proliferation and Achieving Abolition" in cooperation with the Royal Society of Medicine. On the agenda was an exchange about European IPPNW issues, for example the withdrawal of US nuclear weapons from Europe, the ICAN campaign to demand a Nuclear Weapons Convention and the IPPNW contribution to lasting peace in the Mediterranean region.
Britain´s New Nuclear Weapons
New Medact Briefing
In the foreward to the White Paper on 'The Future of the United Kingdom's Nuclear Deterrent' presented to Parliament on December 4th the Prime Minister says he 'is confident that [the resulting] debate will only confirm that maintaining our nuclear deterrent is in the best interests of the country's future security'. Medact fundamentally disagrees. Our briefing 'Britain's New Nuclear Weapons: Illegal, Indiscriminate and Catastrophic for Health' outlines why. It details the terrible health effects that even a one-kilotonne weapon would cause to reveal any nuclear weapon for what it is: indiscriminate and therefore illegal.