Health professionals welcome historic UN vote to ban nuclear weapons

 MEDIA RELEASE

Friday 28 October 2016

Health professionals welcome historic UN vote to ban nuclear weapons

The Medical Association for Prevention of War strongly endorses the vote today to support negotiations on a nuclear weapons ban treaty starting in 2017. This happened in New York, with the First Committee of the UN General Assembly voting 123 in favour, 38 against and 16 abstentions.

This historic vote is the first step of many to rid the world of the very worst weapons of mass destruction.  Next the vote will go to the UN General Assembly in December.

This comes after a decade of consistent action by civil society, involving health professionals and many other groups. We particularly congratulate ICANi, the International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear weapons, who have gathered together a coalition of over 440 partner organisations in 98 countries.

ICANi was launched by MAPW  in Melbourne in 2006. By highlighting the appalling humanitarian impacts of any nuclear weapons use, 126 countries signed on to the humanitarian pledge to abolish nuclear weapons.

 “Health professionals around the world have united in demanding a ban on these weapons.”  said Dr Margaret Beavis, President of MAPW.

“Any nuclear war is a humanitarian disaster, and if just 1 % were detonated the subsequent nuclear winter and famine would put two billion lives at risk.”

“It is particularly shameful that Australia chose to vote against this resolution. This goes against bipartisan parliamentary resolutions, and  the clear support for disarmament in the community, as shown in 2014 a Nielsen poll where 84% of Australians want nuclear disarmament”

For comment please contact  :   Dr Margaret Beavis President 0401 99 56 99

             Dr Sue Wareham Vice President  0407 924 152