Medical/humanitarian focus at heart of ICAN
By Ira Helfand
ICAN meeting began this morning. Extraordinarily exciting presentation of the progress ICAN has made to date. In just 5 years since its inception, the campaign has succeeded in making a Nuclear Weapons Convention a mainstream issue throughout the world (if not yet here in the US…).
In 2010, for the first time, a call for a nuclear weapons convention was included in the summary statement issued by the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference. Now, just 2 years later, 147 nations support a nuclear weapons convention according to the Norwegian Foreign Ministry.
While the campaign now includes organizations beyond IPPNW, the medical/humanitarian focus which PSR and IPPNW bring to this movement remains the heart of its message. At the NPT prep conference in Vienna this May 16 nations issued a joint statement calling for the humanitarian consequence of nuclear war to be the central consideration in international negotiations about nuclear weapons. The Norwegian government is convening an international conference on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear war March 4 and 5 2013 which it hopes will reframe the debate about nuclear weapons and lead to a nuclear weapons convention.