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IPPNW honors legacy of Bob Mtonga

March 23, 2017

The Dr. Robert Mtonga Memorial Scholarship

for peace through health

The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPPNW) announces the establishment of the Dr. Robert Mtonga Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship was created to honor Dr. Mtonga’s memory and to carry forward his tireless work for peace, disarmament and health. Read more…

A new race for nuclear “superiority”?

March 9, 2017

The Trump tweet heard round the world. Meaning what, exactly?

If Robert Monroe has the ear of Donald Trump, US aspirations to seek a world without nuclear weapons, however ambivalent and distant they may have been under President Obama, could very quickly be replaced by an unrestrained quest for nuclear superiority.

Robert who? Read more…

The irrepressible Bob Mtonga

March 8, 2017

I needed all day for this to sink in. Getting past it will take a lot longer than that. Bob Mtonga was one of the most optimistic, dedicated, and irrepressible peace activists I’ve ever known. Nothing could get him down. Not all the armed violence in the world, not the need to scrape together whatever resources he could find in order to attend all the meetings everyone wanted him at, not the countless times he was rerouted from one airport to another and back again because immigration agents just make it so damn difficult for Africans to travel internationally. He’d eventually get where he was going, and would arrive with a smile on his face, and, if it was freezing cold (or just moderately warm, which is the same thing by Zambian standards), he’d borrow a pair of gloves and a scarf and maybe a sweater and proceed to warm everyone else up with his charismatic presence and an inexhaustible supply of proverbs, most of which I swear he made up on the spot to sound like ancient African wisdom. Read more…

Impact of war on civilian lives cannot be ignored

March 8, 2017

Australian troops in Iraq in 2005

The newly-declassified study, “The Australian army and the war in Iraq 2002 – 2010”, by Dr Albert Palazzo of the Directorate of Army Research and Analysis, and the recent report by Fairfax’s David Wroe of some of its major findings, have made a valuable contribution to debate (such as it is) about the disastrous decision by John Howard to take Australia into that war. One of the principal findings—that Howard’s motive, contrary to all the evolving pretexts that were on offer, was to strengthen our alliance with the US—comes as no surprise, given the paucity of other reasons for his decision that stacked up to scrutiny at the time.  The report should reinforce the grave questions that exist about the nature of our alliance with the US, whether we have learnt anything, and the possibility of a current or future PM doing precisely the same thing given the opportunity. Read more…

Why should Trump―or anyone―be able to launch a nuclear war?

March 8, 2017

The accession of Donald Trump to the US presidency brings us face-to-face with a question that many have tried to avoid since 1945: Should anyone have the right to plunge the world into a nuclear holocaust?

Trump, of course, is an unusually angry, vindictive, and mentally unstable American president. Therefore, given the fact that, acting totally on his own, he can launch a nuclear war, we have entered a very perilous time. Read more…

“Nuclear weapons are simply too dangerous to exist”

February 13, 2017

IPPNW Co-President Ira Helfand and PSR Board member Robert Dodge have two very important letters in today’s New York Times, calling for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons, and questioning whether we can continue to avoid a catastrophic nuclear war during the Trump administration.

Dr. Helfand notes that the election of Donald Trump has “demolished a critical underpinning of nuclear deterrence policy: the requirement that the arsenals of the nuclear-armed states would be controlled by responsible leaders. It is time to acknowledge that these weapons are simply too dangerous to exist.”

Dr. Dodge challenges the “unexamined assumption” by the Times editorial board “that all presidents have had and should have the authority to launch a nuclear attack. It is unlikely that this president or any modern president has any idea what the consequences of a nuclear attack would be. None have been asked when they would unleash such an attack ending life as we know it.”

Helfand also called on the US to support ban treaty negotiations that begin next month at the United Nations.


Nobel Peace Laureates: Time to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons is now!

February 5, 2017

[The following statement from 21 Nobel Peace Laureates was released at the conclusion of the 16th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Bogota, Colombia.]

Co-president Ira Helfand (top row, fifth from left) at the 16th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, where 20 Laureates joined IPPNW in calling for a new treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons.

Co-president Ira Helfand (top row, center) at the 16th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, where 20 Laureates joined IPPNW in calling for a new treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons.

On March 27, negotiations will commence at the United Nations for a treaty to ban nuclear weapons. As Nobel Peace Laureates we applaud the UN General Assembly for convening this negotiating conference, fully support its goals, and urge all nations to work for the speedy conclusion of this treaty in 2017 and for its rapid entry into force and implementation. Read more…

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