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World doctors urge world leaders to join the Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

by Bjorn Hilt

Nuclear weapons are weapons of mass extermination. In light of the terrible humanitarian and environmental effects that such weapons have, doctors and scientists have always warned the global society that such weapons must never be used again, and should be abolished.

This weekend (October 5-6), I had the privilege to represent IPPNW at the general assembly of the World Medical Association in Reykjavik, Iceland. The WMA is a federation of 114 national medical associations from all over the world.

Upon recommendation from their council meeting held in Riga, Latvia in April, the general assembly adopted a new version of previous resolutions pointing at the unacceptable humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons. What is new in this year’s resolution is that the world doctors urge all states to “sign and ratify” the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which was adopted at the UN on July 7 last year and opened for signature on September 26.

Once the ban-treaty is signed and ratified by 50 states (there are currently 69 signatories and 19 ratifications), it will become international law putting both legal and moral pressure on the nuclear-armed states and their allies to fulfill their already existing obligation for nuclear disarmament and abolition.

The new resolution of the World Medical Association in support of the nuclear weapons ban treaty is a very strong signal from the world doctors and a significant milestone on our path to a safer world free from the threat that nuclear weapons pose on humanity.

The full text of the resolution can be found on the WMA website.

Cross-posted from Peace & Health Blog