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Red Cross & Red Crescent Societies adopts historic resolution calling for a nuclear free world
November 28, 2011
a momentous decision, the Council of Delegates of the International
Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent Societies has adopted, by
acclamation, a resolution calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons
and calling on all national societies to conduct educational campaigns
about the unique, catastrophic, and humanitarian consequences of nuclear
Please read PSR’s David Hart’s blog.
resolution was first proposed by the national societies of Norway,
Japan and Australia; this issue has been the subject of intense internal
debate within the Red Cross movement for the better part of the last
Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War leader Masao Tomanaga
addressed the Council before the vote, powerfully describing the
immediate and ongoing medical consequences of the attacks on Hiroshima
the debate speakers repeatedly argued that nuclear weapons were in
violation of international law, but they focused primarily on the
inability of the Red Cross to respond the aftermath of a nuclear war.
Dr. Tomanaga and Ira Helfand from Physicians for Social Responsibility
then participated in a special workshop for national affiliates
interested in developing national campaigns to promote a nuclear weapons
convention. Dr. Tomanaga shared his data on the long term health
problems of nuclear bomb survivors in Japan, and Dr. Helfand presented
new research suggesting that catastrophic global famine would follow
even a limited use of nuclear weapons. They offered the full
cooperation of IPPNW in developing national educational campaigns about
the medical/humanitarian consequences of nuclear war.
this resolution has just passed, some national affiliates are already
beginning this vital work. Check out the creative campaign of the
Australian Red Cross to “Make Nuclear Weapons the Target” and the ICRC Resource Centre site Geneva: towards the elimination of nuclear weapons.
Their campaign has blown up on social media. Don’t miss this article that notes that they have already received 565,000 hits on Twitter and Facebook.
Read the resolution »
Nuclear Famine: A Billion People at Risk
The newly generated data on the decline in agricultural production that would follow a limited, regional nuclear war in South Asia support the concern that more than one billion people would be in danger of starvation. Epidemic disease and further conflict spawned by such a famine would put additional hundreds of millions at risk. Read more »
Shock and Awe Hits Home
The military operational costs of the war in Iraq, now greater than $500 billion, have surpassed those for the entire Vietnam conflict. These escalating operational costs are alarming, yet the long-term public health costs will be much greater. Read more »
Video: Nukes, Militarism and Public Health
Interview with PSR board member Dr. Andy Kanter. Read more »