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Countdown to Oslo: Dr. Helfand’s CNN Article and a Live Blog from Oslo

December 9, 2009

As a decades-long national leader with Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), Dr. Ira Helfand has traveled the nation advocating for nuclear disarmament in hospital, university and community settings. He is currently in Oslo, Norway to represent PSR and our global federation, the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremonies honoring President Barak Obama. Dr. Helfand’s observations have recently been published by CNN and you can follow his live-blog from Oslo here.

Dr. Helfand makes the point that, “…the abolition of nuclear weapons is not an unrealistic fantasy. It is a practical necessity if the American people are to have a secure feature.” A recent study by PSR showed that if only 300 of the weapons in the Russian arsenal attacked targets in American cities, 90 million people would die in the first hour.

As the U.S. affiliate of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), and recipients of the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize, PSR is excited to “have a seat at the table” in Oslo and advocate for disarmament from its unique medical perspective. IPPNW and PSR are proud of the central role they have played in building national and international support for nuclear disarmament for nearly 50 years. What started with a handful of young physicians in the 1960s and grew to include medical professionals from all over the world has helped inspire the world to draw back from the brink. But the nuclear threat persists.

PSR’s Countdown to Oslo campaign has led to over 4,000 supporters signing on to express their hopes for a Nobel Speech that makes specific commitments to freeze the development of any new nuclear weapons and to work with the Russians to take our weapons off high-alert, launch-ready status. These two policy prescriptions would help decrease the escalation of nuclear ambitions around the world and could help put the world back on the path towards zero nuclear weapons.

On December 10th, Dr. Helfand will be providing his unique analysis and perspective on the events preceding and during President Obama’s speech. We hope that you join us on our blog to both read and discuss some of the issues that Dr. Helfand and President Obama raise throughout the day.

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