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.
“Ukraine is commendable in being one of the few states to have given up its nuclear weapons peacefully, and the people of Ukraine should not have to fear nuclear weapons ravaging their country.” said IPPNW co-president Dr. Ira Helfand from Boston, USA. Any war involves a terrible and lasting human toll, risks spreading and harming people’s health in the region and beyond.
IPPNW calls on all parties involved to work for a negotiated solution that respects the rights of all people in Ukraine to be safe from armed conflict and their right to participate in decisions affecting their future.
Starting in Oslo, Norway, in March 2013, with a follow up in Nayarit, Mexico, in February 2014, a majority of states have jointly entered into a process that focuses on the humanitarian impacts of nuclear weapons. We don’t know yet exactly where this process will lead, but there is no doubt that the international community, with a vast majority of states, clearly declares that nuclear weapons are too dangerous and too harmful both for humans and the environment to be kept around in a state ready for use. We also know that the process—with a humanitarian focus—will continue to move forward when States and NGOs gather in Vienna in Austria later this year.
There is, perhaps, no wonder that the small minority of States armed with nuclear weapons—and apparently addicted to them— have so far stayed away from the process. Nevertheless, they will have to come on board sooner or later, unless they have a desire to be left out altogether. They simply have no choice. Like smokers who have no real reason to continue smoking, the nuclear-armed states have no real reason whatsoever to cling to their completely useless, immoral, inhuman, and tremendously expensive nuclear weapons.
Last weekend, I told my oldest grandson, who is 12, about the recent conference in Nayarit and the exciting results that came out of it. During our talk he asked me why somebody does not simply ask the few nuclear armed states why they claim to need their nuclear weapons and for what purpose. When we discussed this further, we could not think of any significant reason that they could come up with, only bad excuses, like deterrence, peacekeeping, and such meaningless and outdated rubbish. We agreed that his question is absolutely in place, and that the only real answer to it is total nuclear weapons abolition in our lifetime.
ICAN closing statement to the Second Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons
February 14, 2014
[Ray Acheson of WILPF's Reaching Critical Will project and a member of ICAN's International Steering Group, read the following statement during the closing session of the Second Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons in Nayarit, Mexico.]
I am speaking on behalf of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, a coalition of over 350 organisations in 90 countries.
We have been given over the past two days a chilling reminder of what nuclear weapons are, and what they do.
They do not bring security. They bring death and destruction on a scale that cannot be justified for any reason. Read more…
By Antti Junkkari, Dr. Kati Juva, Finland, and Dr. Ehase Agyeno, Nigeria
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 awareness on small arms through interactive radio programmes” has now won the first of these awards! Read more…
“Somewhere Over the Rainbow” is playing in the conference hall in Nayarit following the chair’s declaration that this conference has been “the point of no return” in the humanitarian initiative to achieve a world without nuclear weapons.
Without getting overly specific, he called for an appropriate process in an appropriate forum that would have the goal of a legally binding instrument that would outlaw nuclear weapons by the 70th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The ICAN campaigners erupted into applause at the conclusion of his statement. This is exactly what we wanted coming into Mexico, and we can now leave knowing that the road to Austria has been clearly marked.
More details in a more sober mood later. Now off the the ICAN party!!
The head of the Civilian Protection division of Mexico’s Ministry of the Interior destroyed Mexico City after lunch yesterday. Which is to say, he conducted a classic IPPNW “bombing run,” showing the overwhelming casualties, physical destruction, and radiation effects of a nuclear detonation over this country’s capital. And if anyone didn’t draw this conclusion for themselves, he confirmed that neither his agency nor anyone else would have the resources to help the surviving victims of such a catastrophe. Read more…
The Second International Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons opened in Nayarit, Mexico this morning, and the initial speakers wasted no time in expressing their conviction that an understanding of what nuclear weapons can do requires that we ban and eliminate them.
If there was any lingering doubt that Mexico convened this conference as a springboard to action, that doubt was removed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. José Antonio Meade Kuribreña, who said the abolition of nuclear weapons should have happened yesterday. Read more…