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Lurching toward catastrophe: the Trump administration and nuclear weapons

November 19, 2018

In July 2017, by a vote of 122 to 1, with one abstention, nations from around the world attending a United Nations-sponsored conference in New York City voted to approve a treaty to ban nuclear weapons.  Although this Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons received little coverage in the mass media, its passage was a momentous event, capping decades of international nuclear arms control and disarmament agreements that, together, have reduced the world’s nuclear weapons arsenals by approximately 80 percent and have limited the danger of a catastrophic nuclear war.  The treaty prohibited all ratifying countries from developing, testing, producing, acquiring, possessing, stockpiling, using, or threatening to use nuclear weapons. Read more…

Time out for nukes!

October 25, 2018

Guest commentary

by Alice Slater

With 122 nations having voted last summer to adopt a treaty for the complete prohibition of nuclear weapons, just as the world has banned chemical and biological weapons,  its seems that the world is locked in a new Cold War time-warp, totally inappropriate to the times.  We were warned last week from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, that prior calculations about the risk of catastrophic climate change were off, and that without a full scale immediate mobilization humanity will face disastrous rising sea levels, temperature changes, and resource shortages.

Now is an opportunity to take a time-out on nuclear gamesmanship, new threats, trillions of wasted dollars and IQ point on weapons systems that Presidents Reagan and Gorbachev acknowledged, back in 1987 at the end of the Cold War, could never be used, warning that “A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.”  Read more…

US and Russia must preserve INF Treaty, begin negotiations for nuclear abolition

October 24, 2018

Gorbachev and Reagan sign the INF Treaty on December 8, 1987

[Donald Trump announced on Saturday that the United States will withdraw from the 1987 Treaty on Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF), a decision confirmed by national security adviser John Bolton earlier this week.  The following is a statement issued today by IPPNW’s executive committee.]

In a world already nervous about the intentions of the nuclear-armed states and their continued modernization of nuclear weapons, the Trump Administration’s announcement that it will withdraw from the historic INF Treaty is grave and unwelcome news. Read more…

World doctors urge world leaders to join the Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

October 10, 2018

Nuclear weapons are weapons of mass extermination. In light of the terrible humanitarian and environmental effects that such weapons have, doctors and scientist have always warned the global society that such weapons must never be used again, and should be abolished.

This weekend (October 5-6), I had the privilege to represent IPPNW at the general assembly of the World Medical Association in Reykjavik, Iceland. The WMA is a federation of 114 national medical associations from all over the world.

Upon recommendation from their council meeting held in Riga, Latvia in April, the general assembly adopted a new version of previous resolutions pointing at the unacceptable humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons. What is new in this year’s resolution is that the world doctors urge all states to “sign and ratify” the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which was adopted at the UN on July 7 last year and opened for signature on September 26.

Once the ban-treaty is signed and ratified by 50 states (there are currently 69 signatories and 19 ratifications), it will become international law putting both legal and moral pressure on the nuclear-armed states and their allies to fulfill their already existing obligation for nuclear disarmament and abolition.

The new resolution of the World Medical Association in support of the nuclear weapons ban treaty is a very strong signal from the world doctors and a significant milestone on our path to a safer world free from the threat that nuclear weapons pose on humanity.

The full text of the resolution can be found on the WMA website.

Asian affiliates affirm commitment to peace and nuclear disarmament “as an urgent imperative to safeguard health”

September 22, 2018

Ulanbaatar Statement

 14 September 2018

 10th IPPNW North Asia Regional Conference

and 3rd North and South Asian IPPNW Meeting

The 10th North Asian IPPNW Regional Conference and 3rd North South Asian Meeting, held on 13-14 September 2018 at Ulaanbaatar, brought together delegates from Australia, Bangladesh, DPRK, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Nepal, Netherlands, and Mongolia. We representatives from North and South Asian affiliates of IPPNW hereby affirm our commitment to peace and nuclear disarmament as an urgent imperative to safeguard health. We are deeply concerned at the ongoing conflicts in different parts of the world. These conflicts can at any time escalate into larger wars and result in use of nuclear weapons. Any use of nuclear weapons would have catastrophic effect on all life, which could not be effectively addressed. Therefore these weapons must be eliminated completely. Read more…

Youth-led nuclear disarmament

September 7, 2018

By guest authors Kelvin Kibet, IPPNW International Student Representative (Kenya) & Nikki Shah, medical student member of Physicians for Global Survival (IPPNW’s  Canadian affiliate)

“In the quest for total nuclear disarmament, we must take every opportunity to speak against nuclear weapons to every human. By doing this we shall solidify the hard truth that nuclear weapons should never have been made or used.”

I kept this at the back of my mind when I thought of conducting an educational session on the dangers of nuclear weapons at the International Federation of Medical Students Association’s (IFMSA) 62nd General Assembly in Canada this past August. Only a few months earlier IFMSA had accepted our proposal to conduct a session at their Standing Committee on Human Rights and Peace at the Assembly. Read more…

Space: The next battlefield?

September 4, 2018

by Alice Slater

Last week, US Vice-President Mike Pence announced the Trump administration’s plan for a new military command, the US Space Force, emphasizing President Donald Trumps’s urging that “It is not enough to merely have an American presence in space: we must have American dominance in space.” Pence’s announcement was greeted by Trump, tweeting in response, “Space Force all the way!”

Pence’s rationale for this disturbing expansion of US militarization to the heavens is that “our adversaries”, Russia and China, “have been working to bring new weapons of war into space itself” that pose a threat to American satellites.  But despite a virtual blackout in the mainstream media, Russia and China have been arguing for years in the halls of the United Nations that the world needs a treaty to prevent stationing such weapons in outer space in order to maintain global “strategic stability” among the major powers and enable nuclear disarmament. Read more…

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