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Burn injuries

June 11, 2014
Hiroshima burn victim

Atomic bombing victims suffered terrible burns, for which treatment was largely unavailable and inadequate.

We know that the detonation of a nuclear bomb creates temperatures that cause serious burns in those affected. Even though there have been significant improvements in the treatment and survival of burn victims, burns are very painful, and every second or third degree burn injury that affects more than 10-15 % of the body surface is in acute need of intensive medical care. Read more…

IPPNW affiliates criticize UNSCEAR report on Fukushima

June 6, 2014

Physicians from 19 IPPNW affiliates have published a critical analysis of a major new UNSCEAR report to the UN General Assembly on the health effects of exposure to ionizing radiation from the nuclear reactor disaster at Fukushima in March 2011.  UNSCEAR—the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation—published Levels and effects of radiation exposure due to the nuclear accident after the 2011 great east-Japan earthquake and tsunami on April 2, 2014. A summary report was sent to the UNGA in October 2013. Read more…

ATT “Race to 50” Nearing Finish Line with 8 More States Ratifying

June 4, 2014
IPPNW co-president Dr. Bob Mtonga (second from left) represented the Control Arms Coalition at a special signing ceremony at the UN in New York June 3rd, when eight more countries ratified the ATT.

IPPNW co-president Dr. Bob Mtonga (second from left) represented the Control Arms Coalition at a special signing ceremony at the UN in New York June 3rd, when eight more countries ratified the ATT. Photo credit: Champion Hamilton/Champion Eye Media/Control Arms

United Nations, New York City

A year ago yesterday, the pioneering Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) opened for signature. Although to date 118 countries have signed the Treaty, only 32 had ratified it – before yesterday.

To mark the anniversary of the ATT, eight states including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Burkina Faso, Jamaica, Luxembourg, Samoa and St Vincent and the Grenadines ratified the ATT at a special ceremony at the United Nations headquarters, in New York. This brings the total number of states that have ratified the treaty to 40 – with just ten more to go for the 50 needed for the ATT to enter into force. Read more…

Does war have a future?

June 3, 2014

National officials certainly assume that war has a future. According to a report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, world military expenditures totaled nearly $1.75 trillion in 2013. Although, after accounting for inflation, this is a slight decrease over the preceding year, many countries increased their military spending significantly, including China, Russia, and Saudi Arabia. Indeed, 23 countries doubled their military spending between 2004 and 2013. None, of course, came anywhere near to matching the military spending of the United States, which, at $640 billion, accounted for 37 percent of 2013’s global military expenditures. Furthermore, all the nuclear weapons nations are currently “modernizing” their nuclear arsenals.

Meanwhile, countries are not only preparing for wars, but are fighting them―sometimes overtly (as in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan) and sometimes covertly (as in portions of Africa and the Middle East).

Nevertheless, there are some reasons why war might actually be on the way out. Read more…

After Mexico: Why an “Ottawa Process” for a legal ban of nuclear weapons deserves our enthusiastic support

May 27, 2014

Guest Editorial

by Alice Slater

The 1970 Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), extended indefinitely in 1995 when it was due to expire, provided that five nuclear weapons states which also happened to hold the veto power on the Security Council (P-5)– the US, Russia, UK, France, and China– would “pursue negotiations in good faith” [1] for nuclear disarmament. In order to buy the support of the rest of the world for the deal, the nuclear weapons states “sweetened the pot” with a Faustian bargain promising the non-nuclear weapons state an “inalienable right” [2] to so-called “peaceful” nuclear power, thus giving them the keys to the bomb factory. Every country in the world signed the new treaty except for India, Pakistan, and Israel, which went on to develop nuclear arsenals. North Korea, an NPT member, took advantage of the technological know-how it acquired through its “inalienable right” to nuclear power and quit the treaty to make its own nuclear bombs. Today there are nine nuclear weapons states with 17,000 bombs on the planet, 16,000 of which are in the US and Russia! Read more…

International trade unions call for ban treaty

May 23, 2014

The International Trade Unions Confederation (ITUC), an ICAN partner organization, issued a general statement from its World Congress yesterday in Berlin, in which it said world leaders and international institutions “have failed to eliminate nuclear weapons and deliver global peace,” and called for “a treaty to ban the use, manufacture, stockpiling and possession of nuclear weapons as a first step towards their complete eradication.” The ITUC also called for regulation of the small arms trade and said that “hundreds of billions of dollars of military expenditure must be better spent meeting vital needs for sustainable employment and development.”

The language on nuclear weapons was proposed by the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions, and ICAN campaigners have been urging their national ITUC chapters to support the call for a ban at this Congress. The statement was adopted unanimously.

This is a major accomplishment for ICAN, which has made engagement with labor groups—and other civil society organizations that have not traditionally focused on the nuclear issues—an important priority.

Appreciating the P5

May 21, 2014

The P5 are feeling unappreciated about everything they’ve done for nuclear disarmament. They’ve made enormous progress over the years, give or take a few setbacks (and what junkie doesn’t slip on the way to recovery?). If they could only do a better job of telling their story, maybe all this talk about humanitarian consequences and a ban treaty would fade away and they could get back to the step-by-step task of keeping their nuclear weapons safe and reliable for as long as they exist. Which will probably be for another 100 years or so at the pace the P5 are setting, but then Hiroshima wasn’t destroyed in a day. Oh, wait…

odysseusSo during a windy, rainy April in New York, the three nuclear-armed States that joined the Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1968 and the two that waited until 1992 made the daunting—and often bewildering—journey to the Trusteeship Council Chamber of the United Nations, like Odysseus returning to Penelope with wondrous tales of monsters slain and order restored to the world. Read more…

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