Health Advocates Denounce U.S. Boycott of UN Negotiations Banning Nuclear Weapons
June 15, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Elana Simon, Communications Manager
NEW YORK, NY (June 15, 2017) – Today, as more than 130 nations begin the second round of nuclear ban treaty negotiations at the U.N., the U.S. government continues its misguided boycott. In doing so, the U.S. government once again fails in its basic duty to protect public health.
Jeff Carter, the Executive Director of Physicians for Social Responsibility, stated:
"The U.S. government's boycott of the nuclear ban treaty negotiations is a profound disavowal of its basic duty to safeguard our health. In the wake of our withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, the boycott further solidifies our status as a pariah nation that defies science, ethics, and international norms. This move undermines and ignores decades of rigorous scientific research and testimony from the medical community illustrating the devastating humanitarian impacts of nuclear weapons.
"Producing nuclear weapons over the past several decades has inflicted tremendous medical harm to the American communities that play host to more than 100 million gallons of radioactive sludge. The plan to spend more than $1 trillion to expand the existing nuclear arsenal diverts public resources away from basic human needs.
"Medical research demonstrates that the use of less than one percent of the global nuclear stockpile would immediately and indiscriminately kill millions of people. Ensuing long-term climate disruption would cause a famine putting up to two billion people at risk. There is no emergency response plan for nuclear war because we would be paralyzed. The only way forward is the total elimination of nuclear weapons.
"The moral and political conscience of the American medical community calls on our leaders in Congress to reject these weapons of mass destruction. It's time for the United States to take a leadership role and help steer the world away from the danger of a nuclear weapons catastrophe."
Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) mobilizes medical professionals on issues that represent the gravest dangers to human health and survival. PSR's grassroots network of activists contribute a public health framework to nuclear weapons and climate change policy at the local, federal, and international level. PSR's international federation, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, received the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize.
Learn more about PSR at www.psr.org and follow us on Twitter at @PSRnational and @PSRsecurity.