A plea to all nuclear armed and nuclear dependent states to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons has come from the World Medical Association. The Treaty, which prohibits the development, testing, production, possession, stockpiling, use, or threatened use of nuclear weapons was signed in July by 122 non-nuclear weapon states.
Now the WMA, along with other organisations, is pressing all those states that have nuclear weapons or rely on the nuclear weapons possessed by others to also sign the treaty as soon as it opens for signature at United Nations in New York today (September 20).
The WMA, together with International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, the International Council of Nurses and the World Federation of Public Health Associations, has signed a joint statement welcoming the landmark treaty as ‘a significant forward step towards eliminating the most destructive weapons ever created, and the existential threat nuclear war poses to humanity and to the survival of all life on Earth’.
WMA President Dr. Ketan Desai said: ‘Even a limited nuclear war would inflict a substantial death toll as well as causing cancers, chronic diseases, birth defects, and genetic damage. In addition, it would bring about catastrophic effects on the earth’s ecosystem. This could subsequently decrease the world’s food supply and would put a significant portion of the world’s population at risk of famine.
‘We share the Treaty’s conclusion that the elimination of nuclear weapons is “the only way to guarantee that nuclear weapons are never used again under any circumstances”.
‘The states that currently possess nuclear weapons or rely on the nuclear weapons possessed by others can and must completely and irreversibly dismantle the warheads, nuclear weapons programmes and facilities, and cease all nuclear-weapons-related activities which threaten the security of everyone, including their own citizens’.