FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Elana Simon, Communications Manager
NEW YORK, NY – Despite a misguided boycott by the U.S. and other nuclear-armed countries, today the UN adopted a treaty banning nuclear weapons worldwide. Jeff Carter, the Executive Director of Physicians for Social Responsibility—an organization that mobilizes health professionals to address the gravest dangers to human health—released the following statement:
“The adoption of the nuclear weapons ban treaty marks an historic turning point in the centuries-old battle to eliminate all weapons of mass destruction. Nuclear weapons are suicidal, indiscriminate killing machines that risk delivering a catastrophic shock to our interconnected planet. Moreover, the ongoing development, production, and testing of these weapons continues to inflict grave health consequences to those communities across America that are host to noxious production sites and neglected radioactive waste.
“The ban treaty is a direly needed corrective measure that should motivate nuclear-armed countries to move more aggressively toward abolition. Right now, the U.S. government defies its existing disarmament obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty by planning to fund an extensive buildup of its nuclear arsenal. The ban treaty is the start of a new worldwide movement that gives the United States an opportunity to break from its self-destructive nuclear weapons policy.
“In the twenty-first century, we can no longer pretend that these doomsday devices are instruments of security. The active conscience of the American health community calls on the United States to sign the nuclear weapons ban treaty to ensure that we safeguard our world for the next generation. It’s past time that we part from this untenable path. Prohibiting and eliminating these weapons of mass destruction is the only responsible course of action for U.S. nuclear weapons policy.”
More than 130 nations participated in the negotiations. The nuclear ban treaty will enter into force after it is brought to the UN General Assembly and 50 nations ratify the treaty.
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.