Wednesday, 1. March 2017
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.
A peace agenda for the new administration
The looming advent of the Trump administration in Washington threatens to worsen an already deeply troubling international situation. Bitter wars are raging, tens of millions of refugees have taken flight, relations among the great powers are deteriorating, and a new nuclear arms race is underway. Resources that could be used to fight unemployment, poverty, and climate change are being lavished on the military might of nations around the world―$1.7 trillion in 2015 alone. The United States accounts for 36 percent of that global total.
Given this grim reality, let us consider an alternative agenda for the new administration―an agenda for peace.
Medact "Healthy Planet, Better World" conference
Medact’s Annual Forum, this year entitled “Healthy Planet, Better World” took place on 9 – 10 December at Friends House in central London. Hundreds of participants listened to leading speakers on topics such as climate change impacts, food and nuclear energy and joined in the debates. In the breaks many new connections were made in the corridors and intense and productive discussions took place. Highlights at the conference included the launch of “Doctors against Diesel”.
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!
European health groups launch teaching materials on violence and health
Press release, 9 December 2016, London, United Kingdom
European health groups launch six online teaching cases to educate nurses, doctors, students and others on the health aspects of violence, war and armed conflict. They will be presented at the Medact conference “Healthy Planet – Better World” on December 10th, 2016 in London.
The cases are part of an educational series to help health professionals to engage in the identification and prevention of violence from the micro level (such as domestic violence, refugee discrimination, and torture) to the macro level (such as nuclear weapons, climate change, and war).
Parliamentary motions on Medact's latest report
Medact recently published a report examing the recruitment of children into the British armed forces. This practice has been heavily criticized by UN bodies and multiple human rights and child rights organisations, and Medact's report joins them in calling for the recruitment age to be raised to 18.
The report, published in October, received extensive attention in the press and is now gaining traction in the UK Government.
Last week, a motion was tabled in Holyrood by Christina McKelvie from the SNP about the recruitment agenda behind armed forces visits to schools. The motion acknowledges Medact's report, and calls on Parliamentary members to read it.
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.
The Recruitment of Children by the UK Armed Forces: a Critique from Health Professionals
Medact’s new report on the long-term impacts of the British military’s recruitment of children under the age of 18, presents evidence linking ‘serious health concerns’ with the policy, and calls for a rise in the minimum recruitment age.
Medicine and Conscience - What do people need?
Conference IPPNW Germany
Since 1996, IPPNW Germany has held similar congresses to focus on human rights, global health, the history of medicine, and medical ethics. 70 years after the Nuremberg war crimes trials of physicians in 1946, and 20 years after the first IPPNW "Medicine and Conscience" congress, we will revisit the topic of German doctors and national socialism in today’s research and historical analysis, looking at what we can and need to learn from the past today.
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.
Jarmila Marsalkova passes
President of the Czech Republic affiliate
Jarmila Marsalkova died on 25 June 2016 very peacefully at her son's house in the mountains in the Czech Republic. Many in IPPNW will remember her as the long-standing President of the Czechoslovak and later Czech Republic affiliate of IPPNW throughout the Cold War and early 90s. Jarmila was very active in promoting nuclear disarmament even in later years, despite severe health problems. She showed great courage in promoting IPPNW even during difficult times. She was a dear friend and an example to us all.
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.