Medical leaders urge all states to sign nuclear weapons treaty

By agency reporter
May 1, 2018

Deep concern about nuclear armed states who have decided to modernise their nuclear weapons and retain them indefinitely, has been expressed by the World Medical Association (WMA).

At their Council meeting in Riga, Latvia, delegates from the WMA called for the elimination of nuclear weapons worldwide and urged all states to promptly sign and implement the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Delegates from almost 40 national medical associations expressed their strong concern about the growing threat of nuclear war and spoke about the catastrophic consequences of these weapons on human health and the environment.

WMA President Dr Yoshitake Yokokura said: ‘It is our duty as physicians to preserve life, to safeguard the health of patients and to dedicate ourselves to the service of humanity. Members of the WMA have a responsibility to remind their governments of the devastating and long-term health consequences of using nuclear weapons and to urge them in the strongest possible terms to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons.

‘We join with others in the international community in urging all states to sign, ratify and implement the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons’.

The resolution reads;

"The duties of physicians are to preserve life and safeguard the health of the patient and to dedicate themselves to the service of humanity.

"Concerned about current global discussions on nuclear proliferation and given the catastrophic consequences of these weapons on human health and the environment, the World Medical Association (WMA) and its Constituent Members consider that they have a responsibility to work for the elimination of nuclear weapons worldwide.

"The WMA is deeply concerned by plans to retain indefinitely and modernise nuclear arsenals; the absence of progress in nuclear disarmament by nuclear-armed states; and the growing threat of nuclear war.

"The WMA welcomes the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, and joins with others in the international community, including the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, and a large majority of UN member states. Consistent with our mission as physicians, the WMA calls on all states to promptly sign, ratify or accede to, and faithfully implement the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons;

"Emphasising the devastating long-term health consequences, the WMA and its Constituent Members urge governments to work immediately to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons."

* World Medical Association https://www.wma.net/

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