Nuclear war humanity’s big health risk

The following letter was published in the Mercury Newspaper, Tasmainia on 25 April 2017

Today we commemorate Anzac Day again and the sacrifices made by many Australians during war. Most veterans I have met are strong advocates for peace, and  striving to reduce the threat of war seems a very appropriate way to honour them. I suspect many Australians are alarmed that our country declined to participate in recent Nuclear Disarmament talks held by the United Nations.This conference was supported by over 120 nations, including all other ASEAN countries, but not by the US, Britain or France and others in possession of nuclear weapons.

The health consequences of nuclear war are dire, and the level of threat is now at its highest since the Cold War, with North Korea threatening to use nuclear weapons, and the US also posturing. Our politicians should be supporting nuclear abolition. To say that these weapons enhance international safety is  analogous to claiming that the right to carry a gun increases personal safety. Nuclear warfare represents one of the greatest threats to international health.

Dr Sally Attrill  Bellerive
(Medical Association for Prevention of War)