WMA Statement on Nuclear Weapons
Adopted by the 50th World Medical Assembly, Ottawa, Canada, October 1998
and revised by the 59th WMA General Assembly, Seoul, Korea, October 2008
and by the 66th WMA General Assembly, Moscow, Russia, October 2015
and by the 69th WMA General Assembly, Reykjavik, Iceland, October 2018
The WMA Declarations of Geneva, of Helsinki and of Tokyo make clear the duties and responsibilities of the medical profession to preserve and safeguard the health of the patient and to dedicate itself to the service of humanity. Therefore, and in light of the catastrophic humanitarian consequences that any use of nuclear weapons would have, and the impossibility of a meaningful health and humanitarian response, the WMA considers that it has a duty to work for the elimination of nuclear weapons. To achieve a world free of nuclear weapons is a necessity.
Therefore, the WMA:
- Condemns the development, testing, production, stockpiling, transfer, deployment, threat and use of nuclear weapons;
- Requests all governments to refrain from the development, testing, production, stockpiling, transfer, deployment, threat and use of nuclear weapons and to work in good faith towards the elimination of nuclear weapons;
- Advises all governments that even a limited nuclear war would bring about immense human suffering and substantial death toll together with catastrophic effects on the earth’s ecosystem, which could subsequently decrease the worlds food supply and would put a significant portion of the world’s population at risk of famine;
- Is deeply concerned by plans to retain indefinitely and modernize nuclear arsenals; the absence of progress in nuclear disarmament by nuclear-armed states; and the growing dangers of nuclear war, whether by intent, including cyberattack, inadvertence or accident;
- 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, in calling, as a mission of physicians, on all states to promptly sign, ratify or accede to, and faithfully implement the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons; and
- Requests that all National Medical Associations join the WMA in supporting this Declaration, use available educational resources to educate the general public and to urge their respective governments to work urgently to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons, including by joining and implementing the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.