U.N. General Assembly Must Begin Negotiations On Treaty To Prohibit Global Health Security Threat Of Nuclear Weapons

The Guardian: Banning nuclear weapons is crucial for global health
Ira Helfand and Tilman Ruff, co-presidents of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War; Sir Michael Marmot, president of the World Medical Association; Frances Hughes, CEO of the International Council of Nurses; and Michael Moore, president of the World Federation of Public Health Associations

“…Nuclear weapons release intense ionizing radiation that jeopardizes any immediate survivors; causes acute and long-term illnesses, including cancers, that are often deadly; and leaves a legacy of genetic and intergenerational health harm. … Earlier this year, our federations, the main bodies representing millions of physicians, nurses, and public health professionals around the world, presented these facts to a special U.N. working group on nuclear disarmament. … The working group recommended — by a majority of more than three to one — that the General Assembly mandate negotiations, to start next year, on a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons. … An evidence-based understanding of what nuclear weapons actually do invalidates all arguments for continued possession of these weapons by anyone, and requires that they urgently be prohibited and eliminated as the only course of action commensurate with the existential danger they pose. … Banning and eliminating nuclear weapons is a high global health priority. The General Assembly has the opportunity to move us towards this critical goal. It must not fail to act” (9/28).

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