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PSR and IPPNW: lining up support for disarmament
June 23, 2015
As spring turned into summer this year, momentum for nuclear disarmament continued to build. In May, while the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference wore on, organizers from International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) and International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) worked the halls of the United Nations, recruiting national governments to sign onto the "Humanitarian Pledge." In signing on, these nations joined the pledge to "fill the legal gap" to prohibit nuclear weapons, which had been launched by Austria in December at the conclusion of the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons. They reached and surpassed their goal of 100 sign-ons, and that number now stands at 109. The official outcome of the NPT conference was a disappointment, with the failure of the 189 nations participating to produce an outcome document or a timeline for a Middle East Weapons of Mass Destruction-Free Zone.
PSR members in 8 states participated in the second PSR "Media Wave" of 2015, timed to coincide with the NPT Review Conference. The PSR team generated 12 op-eds, 2 letters-to-the-editor (including the New York Times), 2 local news stories, and 3 radio interviews. The next Media Wave will focus on the 70th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, in early August.
Ira Helfand, MD addressed the Rotary Peace Symposium in Sao Paulo, Brazil on June 4.
Drs. Ira Helfand and Bob Dodge traveled to Sao Paulo to enlist support from Rotary International. According to IPPNW, Rotary is the second largest NGO in the world after the Red Cross/Red Crescent. It has over 1 million members in almost every country on the planet, draws its members from community leaders, has a deep commitment to peace and international cooperation and has addressed the nuclear issue in the past.
On June 7, Chicago PSR board member Peter Orris, MD testified in support of the PSR resolution at the American Medical Association Reference Committee.
On June 9th, at the American Medical Association's (AMA) Annual Conference in Chicago, the AMA adopted a PSR-championed resolution urging "the U.S. and all national governments to continue to work to ban and eliminate nuclear weapons." This effort began when PSR members introduced and advocated for state-level resolutions in Massachusetts, Maine and Maryland. The Maryland and Massachusetts resolutions were adopted and sent up through the system to the AMA annual meeting.
This AMA resolution will help support proposed improvements -- currently under consideration -- to the World Medical Association statement on nuclear weapons.
None of these accomplishments would be possible without the support and participation of members like YOU. THANK YOU to everyone who has pitched in for disarmament in 2015. We are making progress!