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Safeguarding planetary health, banning nuclear weapons, and the first Nobel Peace Prize born in Australia

Nobel Prize Winner Associate Professor Tilman Ruff is keynote speaker at the AMA Leadership Development Dinner on Friday, 25 May 2018 at the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra. He is Co-President of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW, Nobel Peace Prize 1985); and founding international and Australian Chair of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2017 “for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons”.

“The World Health Organisation concluded that nuclear weapons pose the greatest immediate threat to human health and welfare. They are the only weapons to loom as an existential threat over all of us, every day that they exist, ready to fire. Yet rather than disarming as they are obligated, all nuclear-armed states are massively investing in not just retaining, but in modernising their arsenals. And tens of additional states, including Australia, claim to rely on nuclear weapons and assist in preparations for their possible use,” said Associate Professor Tilman Ruff.

“The dangers of nuclear war are as high as they have ever been, and growing. Current evidence of the catastrophic worldwide climate effects and famine that would follow a nuclear war using even a tiny fraction of the global nuclear arsenal, and successful approaches to control of other indiscriminate and inhumane weapons, underpin the historic UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Adopted by 122 nations on 7 July 2017, the Treaty is a planetary health good of the highest order. It provides the only currently defined path to the eradication of nuclear weapons, a stated aspiration of and legal obligation for all governments. As called for by the Council of the World Medical Association this week, all states should join and implement the Treaty without delay.”

 

Written by Tilman Ruff, MB, BS (Hons), FRACP, AM
Keynote speaker at the AMA Leadership Development Dinner 2018

 

2018 AMA Leadership Development Dinner

Tilman Ruff is Associate Professor in the Nossal Institute for Global Health at the University of Melbourne; international medical advisor for Australian Red Cross; Co-President of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW, Nobel Peace Prize 1985); and founding international and Australian Chair of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2017 “for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons”. He headed the IPPNW delegation to and participated throughout the treaty negotiations in New York.

 

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