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Paris, January 25, 2018

French Red Cross joins French IPPNW to press government on ban treaty

ICRC legal advisor Kathleen Lawand, Foto: Jean-Marc Ferré

For the first time in France, on Thursday, January 25, the French Red Cross (CRF) organized a panel discussion at its headquarters in Paris on the issue of the Nuclear Weapons ban treaty (NWBT).

Kathleen Lawand, the legal advisor and head of the arms unit at the
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), joined Drs. Patrice
Richard and Abraham Behar of IPPNW’s French affiliate and Jean Marie
Colin of Initiatives for Nuclear Disarmament (IDN). Ms. Lawand recalled
the ICRC’s constant struggle for the abolition of nuclear weapons
since 1945. She explained that the humanitarian consequences of nuclear
weapons and nuclear war, and the disproportionate nature of the nuclear
threat were her reasons for supporting the Ban Treaty.

Drs. Richard and Behar told participating representatives of the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs that they “lamented the relentlessness of
[the French] government against the Treaty and the obsolete attachment
to nuclear deterrence.”

The meeting was a prelude to a campaign in favor of the Treaty that the
French Red Cross will implement throughout the country, with the full
support of IPPNW France.

“We have proposed a day of action in Paris, which will involve all
health organizations, in order to explain how the Ban Treaty is a vital
step towards the abolition of nuclear weapons, and to lay out the
humanitarian and public health consequences of an atomic attack or
accident,” Dr. Behar said.

He added that this is the “very concrete start to the fight for the
signature and ratification of the Treaty by all states, including
nuclear states like ours, or nuclear-dependent states” elsewhere in
Europe.

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