Sign our statement urging the University of Melbourne to end its partnership with weapons maker Lockheed Martin.
Medical Association for Prevention of War urges health professionals, students, professional associations, and health organisations to sign our statement urging an Australian commitment to the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
Chemical and biological weapons, along with nuclear weapons, are termed “weapons of mass destruction” because of their large scale indiscriminate effects, although of these three classes of weapons, nuclear weapons are by far the most destructive.
However there are other weapons that kill on a very large scale every year.
Small arms have a devastating impact on health. They are the major cause of civilian casualties in modern conflicts, and Global Issues estimates that some 300,000 to 500,000 people around the world are killed by them each year. Gun Policy states that there are more than 875 million firearms in the world.
Australia has been continuously at war since 2001, when we joined the US invasion of Afghanistan following the terrorist attacks of September 11 that year. This is the longest period of warfare we have ever been engaged in. We joined the illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003, which increased Australia’s risk as a terrorist target. Australian leaders have continued to commit our troops to counter-productive and ill-advised US military ventures in the Middle East and Afghanistan, which create immense human suffering.
Education, advocacy and campaigning on nuclear weapons issues are core to the work of MAPW. Nuclear weapons represent a major existential threat. No emergency response is possible, and the only ethical approach is to prevent their use.
In 2007, MAPW and IPPNW launched the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear weapons (ICAN). ICAN is the core commitment of MAPW and IPPNW to education of the community as well as advocacy with governments towards a nuclear weapons free world. Along with partners such as the Mayors for Peace international campaign, ICAN is raising a strong international voice for nuclear abolition.
War has enormous costs: in human life, human misery, environmentally and financially.
Currently the Australian government is making massive cuts to foreign aid and reducing funding to diplomacy, while rapidly ramping up spending on weapons and the Australian Defence Force. This increased spending means there is less available for critical social issues like health, education and housing.