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Rethinking security: Nuclear sharing in Europe in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic

July 6, 2020

by Angelika Claussen

The global COVID-19 pandemic is making it clear that governments must rethink security. Our future challenges lie in establishing a good healthcare system in every country of our planet, in fighting climate change and in achieving the sustainable development goals defined by the United Nations. Read more…

Time to act on Dr King’s call to tackle evils of racism, economic exploitation, and war

June 19, 2020
Guest commentary

by Alice Slater

Dr Martin Luther King, Jr., speaking against the Vietnam War, St. Paul Campus, the University of Minnesota in St. Paul, April 27, 1967.

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) just issued its 2020 Yearbook, reporting on developments in armaments, disarmament, and international security. In light of the drumbeat of frightening news about growing hostility between the dominant nuclear-armed states vying for power, SIPRI describes a bleak outlook for arms control. It notes ongoing nuclear weapons modernization and new weapons development, space weaponization moving forward, without check or controls, and a disturbing increase in geopolitical tensions together with a rapid deterioration in practices and possibilities for cooperation and monitoring between the great powers.

All this is taking place against the background of a once in a hundred years global plague, and a rising tide of public revulsion against racism. Read more…

Let them eat weapons: Trump’s bizarre arms race

June 17, 2020

In late May of this year, President Donald Trump’s special envoy for arms control bragged before a Washington think tank that the US government was prepared to outspend Russia and China to win a new nuclear arms race.  “The president has made clear that we have a tried and true practice here,” he remarked.  “We know how to win these races and we know how to spend the adversary into oblivion.”

This comment was not out of line for a Trump administration official.  Indeed, back in December 2016, shortly after his election, Trump himself proclaimed that the United States would “greatly strengthen and expand” the US government’s nuclear weapons program, adding provocatively:  “Let it be an arms race.  We will outmatch them at every pass and outlast them all.”  In a fresh challenge to Russia and China, delivered in October 2018, Trump again extolled his decision to win the nuclear arms race, explaining: “We have more money than anybody else, by far.” Read more…

COVID-19, nuclear war, and global warming: lessons for our vulnerable world

June 15, 2020

The following op-ed was published in The Lancet on June 12, 2020.

by James E. Muller and David G. Nathan

The COVID-19 pandemic teaches lessons we must embrace to overcome two additional existential threats: nuclear war and global warming. Health professionals need to send a message to those whose lives we have vowed to protect: all three threats result from forces of nature made dangerous by triumphs of human intelligence, and all three can be solved by human intelligence.

Read the full article.

Time to transfer funds from weapons to making vaccines

June 1, 2020

By Dr. Arun Mitra

The world is seized with tackling COVID-19, which is being perceived as biggest health threat to the humanity today. True, this virus is more lethal than other Corona viruses. There is an all out effort by the scientists around the world to develop vaccines to boost immunity in the body to enable it to fight back the infection. Research is going on to develop antiviral drugs. The world is hoping that soon we shall develop herd immunity so that the impact of COVID-19 gets reduced. Our scientists have made great achievements in getting rid of plague, which was a highly deadly disease at one time.  Likewise an equally dangerous smallpox has been eliminated through vaccination long time back. We have already achieved substantial success in polio eradication.

Scientists and medical professionals have warned from time to time about various diseases and cautioned about the imminent health emergencies. They have also guided about the steps to be taken to prevent such happenings. IPPNW has warned the global community about a highly grave threat to humanity for which we have no remedy. This is from the nuclear weapons. The use of nuclear weapons would be the final epidemic. Prevention is the only way out as we do not have any remedy to offer in such an eventuality. Read more…

Grigoris Lambrakis: An ideal doctor, peace activist, and martyr

May 27, 2020

by Maria Arvaniti Sotiropoulou

Memorial to Grigoris Lambrakis in Greece.

On 27 May every year, the Greek Affiliate of IPPNW and the Peace movement in Greece commemorate the anniversary of the assassination of Grigoris Lambrakis in Thessaloniki in 1963.

The life and death of Lambrakis inspired the author Vassilis Vassilikos to write the political novel “Z.” The title stands for the first letter of the Greek word “Zi” which means “[He] Lives!”In 1969, the Greek-French film director Costa-Gavras made the film Z, which found international acclaim. “Z” appeared in graffiti all over Athens and became an international symbol for peace and democracy. Unfortunately, the younger generation of peace activists today know little of the life and death of Lambrakis which could serve as an example to us all. Read more…

COVID-19 and nuclear weapons

May 16, 2020

This coronavirus can teach us a lot if we are willing to learn.

It shows where the real threats to our security lie, for which massive military arsenals and the most powerful WMD are not only useless, but get in the way.

It shows our interconnected vulnerabilities and capacities, that globalized problems respect no borders, are shared and demand cooperative solutions.

Read the full article at Croakey Health Media.


Online Youth Assembly for peace, environment, and justice

May 7, 2020
On May 2nd, IPPNW, Peace Action New York State, SGI, PEAC Institute, the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, Beyond the Bomb, and many others hosted an online Youth Assembly. Originally scheduled to take place in-person before the NPT Review Conference, this event set out to bring youth from around the world together to discuss the biggest threats to our future and what we can do to advocate for a more safe and just world for all.

Read more…

“Don’t make new socks for me”: 75 years after the end of World War II

May 2, 2020

By Dr. Lars Pohlmeier

View of destroyed buildings on a city street in Germany at the end of World War II; United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

This year we commemorate 75 years since the end of World War II. I was born 24 years after the end of it, in the city of Bremen in Germany. When I was young I thought: “The war? What a long time ago.” Now, at the age of 51, I realize how little time had passed. Of course I have no personal memories or experiences of wartime, but my life was influenced by those who had suffered. It is important to keep the memories and the debate alive, so that history will not repeat itself. This is why I wrote this text.

“Don’t make new socks for me.” This sentence comes from a letter my grandfather wrote to my grandmother in the winter of 1944 to 1945. My grandfather was a Wehrmacht soldier at the eastern front “defending” Nazi Germany somewhere near what today is part of Poland. Read more…

Nuclear weapons, the climate crisis, social justice, and the COVID-19 pandemic

April 27, 2020
An online international conference sponsored by the Rosa Luxembourg Stiftung NYC on April 25 provided a unique opportunity for the world’s nuclear disarmament campaigns, allied movements and organizations, and diplomats committed to banning and eliminating nuclear weapons to amplify nuclear abolition demands and to show how the nuclear dangers interconnect with the threats posed by climate change, the Covid-19 pandemic, and the injustices of our world.
Among the speakers at “Abolish nuclear weapons; resist and reverse the climate crisis; for social and economic justice,” which was co-sponsored by IPPNW, was regional vice president for Latin America Carlos Umaña, who discussed ICAN and the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (at the 20:15 mark in the conference video).
United Nations Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu addressed the Hibakusha Signature Appeal Campaign.
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