LOS ANGELES, CA (October 6, 2017) – Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles (PSR-LA) celebrated today’s announcement that the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their work bringing forward the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
PSR-LA is the local affiliate of Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), whose international federation, the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), founded ICAN in 2007. ICAN mobilized more than 400 NGOs across 100 countries to advocate for an international ban against nuclear weapons. The United Nations adopted the landmark treaty on July 7, 2017.
Dr. Robert Dodge, President of Physicians for Social Responsibility Los Angeles and Co-Chairman of the National Physicians for Social Responsibility Security Committee, participated in this summer’s proceedings in New York on the United Nations treaty. “Until now, nuclear weapons were the only indiscriminate weapon of war that have not been banned,” he said, noting that chemical and biological weapons, as well as landmines and cluster munitions, have already been banned. “Nuclear weapons are the greatest threat to our humanity and the U.N. treaty is now our prescription for survival.”
Physicians from PSR worked with ICAN to present scientific data on the medical consequences of nuclear weapons at a series of three intergovernmental conferences in 2013 and 2014, the 2016 U.N. multilateral disarmament forum, and the 2017 U.N. treaty negotiations.
“The international campaign that brought the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons to fruition is starting to transform the way the world thinks about nuclear weapons,” said Jeff Carter, PSR Executive Director. “Against the backdrop of reckless threats of nuclear war from the United States and North Korea, this treaty refocuses our attention on the real, medical consequences and environmental impacts of nuclear weapons.The Nobel Prize bolsters the growing international norm stigmatizing these inhumane weapons of mass destruction and reinforces pressure on the nuclear-armed countries to pursue disarmament. ICAN has created a path to progress that our world direly needs to move beyond the nuclear age.”PSR-LA was founded in 1980 with the recognition that there is little meaningful medical response to nuclear war, and physicians must therefore work under the adage to “prevent what we cannot cure” by eliminating nuclear weapons. In early years, PSR-LA physicians organized a historic conference on the medical consequences of nuclear war in Los Angeles and traveled to meet with their physician counterparts in the Soviet Union other countries. PSR-LA continues to work to bring awareness to health professionals and the public on the dangers of nuclear weapons and policy solutions.
Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles is the largest chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility, the American recipient of the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize.