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The path to survival is clear

March 18, 2022

[On 16 March, Dr. James Muller, one of IPPNW’s co-founders, addressed the Russian Academy of Science about the dangers of nuclear war. His 15-minute speech, delivered in Russian in a video stream from Boston, was also broadcast on a Russian scientific channel. Dr. Muller’s entire address, in English, follows.]

Dr. Muller, second from left, at the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony with other IPPNW co-founders.

I thank my Russian medical and scientific colleagues for the opportunity to address this General Meeting of Professors of the Russian Academy of Sciences.  I will try to give this talk in Russian.  I learned the language 55 years ago during my 6 months as an exchange student in the First Moscow Medical School.  In 1972 I lived with my family in Moscow near the Metro Sokol.  Please excuse my mistakes.

While the sun will soon rise here in Boston, it will bring no joy as we begin another day defiled by continued massive violence in Ukraine, disruption of collaboration with our Russian medical and scientific colleagues, and the threat of a nuclear war that will destroy human civilization.

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Citizens of the world are against war and nuclear weapons

March 17, 2022

[The following statement about the war in Ukraine has been co-signed by 12 Nobel Peace Laureates, including IPPNW.]

As Nobel Peace Prize Laureates we reject war and nuclear weapons. We call on all our fellow citizens of the world to join us in protecting our planet, home for all of us, from those who threaten to destroy it.

The invasion of Ukraine has created a humanitarian disaster for its people. The entire world is facing the greatest threat in history: a large-scale nuclear war, capable of destroying our civilization and causing vast ecological damage across the Earth.

We call for an immediate ceasefire and the withdrawal of all Russian military forces from Ukraine, and for all possible efforts at dialogue to prevent this ultimate disaster.

We call on Russia and NATO to explicitly renounce any use of nuclear weapons in this conflict, and we call on all countries to support the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons to ensure that we never again face a similar moment of nuclear danger.

The time to ban and eliminate nuclear weapons is now. It is the only way to guarantee that the inhabitants of the planet will be safe from this existential threat. It is either the end of nuclear weapons, or the end of us. We reject governance through imposition and threats, and we advocate for dialogue, coexistence and justice. A world without nuclear weapons is necessary and possible, and together we will build it. It is urgent that we give peace a chance.

American Friends Service Committee (1947)

His Holiness The Dalai Lama (1989)

Leymah Gbowee (2011)

International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (2017)

International Peace Bureau (1910)

International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (1985)

Tawakkul Karman (2011)

Pugwash Conference on Science and World Affairs (1995)

Kailash Satyarthi (2014)

Lech Walesa (1983)

Jody Williams (1997)

Muhammad Yunus (2006)

A joint statement of IPPNW physicians in Russia and Ukraine

March 16, 2022

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine continues, leading to human casualties. And in the case of escalation of the conflict it may cause more severe consequences, involvement of other countries, nuclear facilities and even nuclear confrontation.

It is a great tragedy in the center of Europe caused by the inability of authorities to speak to and understand each other, and who desire to have unilateral benefits for one country while not taking into consideration the rights and security of other countries.

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Global medical and public health organizations call for immediate end to war in Ukraine and critical need to prevent nuclear escalation

March 10, 2022

Representing doctors, public health professionals and medical students worldwide, we call for an immediate cease fire and the withdrawal of all invading and occupying military forces and an urgent negotiated end to the current war in Ukraine. The alarmingly acute and growing danger of nuclear escalation must be reversed and nuclear war prevented by the urgent elimination of nuclear weapons.

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The Ukraine crisis could trigger a nuclear catastrophe

February 25, 2022

There are two potential nuclear dimensions to a war in Ukraine, which could create a massive humanitarian disaster and have profound global implications.

In the first week of February, US officials estimated that if war using conventional weapons broke out, 25,000 to 50,000 civilians could die in Ukraine, along with 5,000 to 25,000 Ukrainian and 3,000 to 10,000 Russian soldiers, and that between 1 and 5 million people would flee their homes and become refugees. 

The toll could be much greater, especially if the conflict spread to neighbouring countries and NATO forces became embroiled.

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IPPNW medical students bike for the ban

February 23, 2022

Joint Statement by IPPNW Student Chapters in Germany, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, Russia, and Zambia

Students in Maiduguri, Nigeria prepare to bike for the ban

The weekend of 18 February, dozens of medical students in six countries — Germany, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, Russia, and Zambia — carried IPPNW’s mission to their local communities via regional bike tours. Despite the physical distance between the chapters, all were brought together with one unifying message: the abolition of nuclear weapons is a public health imperative

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US and Russian doctors warn of possible global catastrophe from escalating conflict in Ukraine

February 23, 2022

IPPNW Briefing Paper: War in Eastern Europe

American and Russian physicians representing IPPNW are warning that a war in Ukraine could lead to a humanitarian catastrophe as a result of conventional fighting and the attendant risks to that country’s nuclear power facilities and of escalation to nuclear war.

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What the Cuban Missile Crisis can teach us about today’s Ukraine crisis

February 7, 2022

Commentators on the current Ukraine crisis have sometimes compared it to the Cuban missile crisis.  This is a good comparison―and not only because they both involve a dangerous US-Russian confrontation capable of leading to a nuclear war.

During the 1962 Cuban crisis, the situation was remarkably similar to that in today’s Eastern Europe, although the great power roles were reversed.

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Finland’s NATO option and the TPNW

February 1, 2022

by Kati Juva

A 2019 public opinion poll showed 84% of Finns support the TPNW. ICAN graphic.

Finland has not signed the Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), although is going as an observer to the first meeting of TPNW member states in Vienna, which has now been postponed until later this year. Finland is not a member of NATO, nor does it have an extended deterrence relationship with US. Nevertheless, it acts like it does.

Why has Finland forgotten its past as an active promotor of nuclear disarmament, while 84% of Finns want Finland to signs the TPNW and three out of the five parties in the coalition government support the ban treaty?

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Let’s not allow the great powers to destroy the world

January 31, 2022

The vast destruction wrought by the atomic bombing of Japan in August 1945 should have been enough to convince national governments that the game of war was over.

Wars have had a long run among rival territories and, later, nations, with fierce conflicts between Athens and Sparta, Rome and Carthage, Spain and Britain, and the combatants of World Wars I and II among the best-known.  Although the wars had a variety of causes and were sometimes promoted with lofty ideals and slogans, they were often occasioned by disputes over territory and resources.  Not surprisingly, the most powerful, most heavily-armed countries, which had the best chances of emerging victorious in a military conflict, were usually the most eager for it.

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