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African affiliates call for ATT ratification, nuclear abolition, at Tanzania gathering

October 18, 2013

[IPPNW’s African affiliates issued the following statement at the conclusion of their regional meeting in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, October 5-6.]

We the African affiliates of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW, Nobel peace prize 1985) met at Dar es salaam, Tanzania between 5th and 6th October, 2013, to discuss small arms proliferation and resultant violence, as well as abolition of nuclear weapons in the world.

We note that small arms have for long fueled violent conflicts on the continent causing death, disability and strained relationships and a burden on the health system. A lasting solution to the plague of small arms must be found if Africa is to progress on the path of peace, growth and development. We are happy of the recent UN approval of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), as it gives specific, objective and measurable steps towards control of small arms trade and distribution. In this context we call on all African governments to sign and ratify the ATT and put mechanisms in place to monitor its implementation.

We are in agreement with the communique of the recent meeting of the African Uranium Alliance (AUA), that also took place in Dar Es Salaam, which concluded that Uranium mining is neither beneficial to the health of the people nor economical in the long run as there is a global decline of nuclear energy utilization. As IPPNW with many non-nuclear weapon states are fighting for a world without nuclear weapons, this further reduces the need for the resource of uranium. Furthermore we decry the poor state of health and social well being of communities around already existent uranium mines spread across the African continent. Tanzania’s quest to go after their uranium deposits amounts to ignoring the body of scientific proof that has been accumulated against such exploration.

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