By Ira Helfand MD
On Oct. 27, the United Nations General Assembly First Committee voted 123 to 38 to commence negotiations next March for a new treaty to prohibit possession of nuclear weapons as the next step towards their complete elimination. The resolution, L.41, specifically cited concerns about “the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons.”
Health professionals have played a key role in promoting passage of this resolution by sounding an urgent alarm about the growing danger of nuclear war. In the last year, relations between the U.S. and Russia have deteriorated, tensions have grown between nuclear armed India and Pakistan, and North Korea has tested its growing nuclear arsenal and missile delivery systems. In this context, the health community has worked, with success, to focus the international debate about nuclear weapons policy on the actual medical consequences — the “humanitarian impact” — that will result if these weapons are used.
Read the rest of Ira’s important article here.
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