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ICAN Rosalie Schultz Medical Association for Prevention of War adapted from Tilman Ruff Nossal Institute of Global Health, Uni Melbourne Consultant: Australian.

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Presentation on theme: "ICAN Rosalie Schultz Medical Association for Prevention of War adapted from Tilman Ruff Nossal Institute of Global Health, Uni Melbourne Consultant: Australian."— Presentation transcript:

1 ICAN Rosalie Schultz Medical Association for Prevention of War adapted from Tilman Ruff Nossal Institute of Global Health, Uni Melbourne Consultant: Australian Red Cross, AusAID, UNICEF Medical Association for Prevention of War

2 20th century conflict-related deaths ~216 million –90 million deaths related to political programs USSR 35 million, China 45 million –40 million since 1945 –1990s mass killings Somalia annual death rate 0.5 m Rwanda 0.8 m Bosnia Congo East Timor

3 Rwanda - international failure to act

4 Unprecedented challenges Nuclear weapons are unique Single nuclear weapons have more destructive power than all weapons used in all wars throughout human history

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6 “The nuclear bomb is the most anti-democratic, anti- human, outright evil thing that man has ever made… This world of ours is four thousand, six hundred million years old. It could end in an afternoon.” Arundhati Roy

7 “Small” atomic bombs

8 6 August 1945 US detonated a 15 kiloton uranium gun-type bomb over Hiroshima Deaths - 118,661 Injuries - 78,000

9 Hiroshima in ruins

10 9 August 1945 US detonated a 21 kiloton plutonium implosion bomb over Nagasaki Deaths - 73,884 Injuries - 74, million square meters levelled

11 Hiroshima and Nagasaki Ground temperatures reached about 7,000 degrees C “Black rain” containing radioactive fallout poured down for hours after the explosions

12 The view of the Earth from Apollo 10 (18 May 1969) from 26,000 nautical miles on its journey to the Moon.

13 This is what the world would look like, however, after a large-scale nuclear holocaust.

14 Doomsday Clock moved up to 7 minutes to midnight on 27 Feb same setting as in 1947

15 Doomsday Clock moved up to 5 minutes to midnight on 17 Jan 2007

16 Cost Extravagant military spending continues Over US$1024 billion in 2004 Almost half by US ($478 billion)

17 Opportunity cost The Millenium Development Goals in 2015 would mean: 500 million fewer people in poverty 300 million no longer hungry 30 million less under-5 deaths 2 million less maternal deaths To achieve this aid needs to reach $195 billion US$195 billion is ~20% of current annual world military spending

18 Nuclear terrorism

19 German police confiscated suitcase used to smuggle plutonium from Moscow to Munich

20 According to former Russian National Security Adviser Aleksandr Lebed, Russia is known to have created around 250 suitcase nuclear bombs. However, they have lost track of more than 40 - each of which could kill more than 50,000 persons and possibly trigger a nuclear war. Russian authorities deny there is any cause for concern. Source:

21 Current situation Need for global security is confused with ‘war on terror’ Conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq and potentially Iran attack the symptoms rather than the cause of insecurity

22 Current situation International failure to address root causes of conflict: –Climate change –Competition over resources –Inequity and marginalisation –Global militarisation

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24 Blix (Weapons of Mass Destruction) Commission 2006 “So long as any state has such weapons, others will want them. So long as any such weapons remain in any state’s arsenal, there is a high risk that they will one day be used, by design or accident. Any such use would be catastrophic.” “Over the past decade, there has been a serious and dangerous loss of momentum and direction in disarmament and non- proliferation efforts.”

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27 Nuclear weapon myths Nuclear Weapons have kept the peace for 60 years Governments have Nuclear Weapons so they will never use them Nuclear Weapons maintain security Nuclear Weapons are only bad in the hands of other countries / rogue states The threat of global nuclear war has gone Use of Nuclear Weapons is legitimate under certain conditions Nuclear Weapons provide protection against terrorism

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29 Nuclear weapons facts Nuclear Weapons threaten civilisation Any use poses risks of uncontrollable escalation Disarmament and non-proliferation are inseparable Nuclear Weapons are a unique ‘equaliser’ between the superpower and a terrorist group Nuclear Weapons anywhere diminish security everywhere ICJ 1996: achieving Nuclear Weapons abolition is a legal obligation

30 Challenges 1 Ignorance –A weapon like any other, only bigger Inertia – business as usual Incomprehensibility of scale of disaster Vested interests: –Military – corporate – professional – scientific – bureaucratic Difficulty, pride, political aspects of change on a critical issue Admission of wrong, evil for trillion $ investment over 60 years

31 Challenges 2 Ultimate power symbolism and fear –Great power status esp declining imperial power must - have –Virility, perverse masculinity Political realities –Short time horizon –Serving narrow interests and soundbites Lack of visionary political leadership

32 Nuclear weapons are … The ultimate human rights issue The most urgent survival issue The paramount sustainability issue The worst instruments of terror The ultimate globalisation issue The most critical environmental issue The most critical moral issue The most extreme blasphemy Inseparable from nuclear power production Yet … Big and macho and apparently intractable

33 Nuclear weapons can be abolished Other weapons have been banned: –Dum dum bullets –Chemical Weapons Convention –Biological Weapons Convention –Landmines treaty There is a significant base of nuclear weapons agreements to build on Verification is easier than for chemical weapons Nuclear Weapons abolition has been seriously discussed at the highest levels –UN 1946 –Presidents Gorbachev and Reagan summits

34 International Campaign to Ban Landmines NGO initiated Early involvement of ‘core’ governments – Canada, Norway, Austria, South Africa Includes 1,100 organizations in over 60 countries Mine Ban Treaty on the use, production, stockpiling, sale, transfer or export of anti- personnel mines achieved within 5 years

35 Nuclear weapons can be abolished too Needed: Political leadership + Groundswell of irresistible collective pressure … an International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons


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