Activity report 2005-2006 for IPPNW in Europe.
By Bjørn Hilt, Regional vice president of IPPNW in Europe
In the following countries in Europe IPPNW has active affiliates working in many different ways for the goals of the federation: Austria, Belgium, Czech republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, and Turkey. We also have active individual members in Hungary and Spain. There are active IPPNW student groups at many universities all around Europe, please see www.IPPNW-students.org. It is a goal for IPPNW to strengthen existing affiliates and to extend our activities to even more countries in Europe.
European IPPNW affiliates are taking part in federal campaigns of IPPNW, and are also running several national projects on their own.
In August 2005 IPPNW affiliates all over Europe arranged and took part in ceremonies in remembrance of the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, sixty years ago.
In the last year many affiliates have been involved in the program Dialogues with decision makers in the nuclear weapons states with meetings in London, Paris, and Moscow, and meetings with representatives from NATO and The European Union in Brussels.
European students are running the Nuclear Weapons Inheritance Project, the Palestinian refugee camp project called Recap, and a new program called Target-X.
Some European affiliates are also involved in the federative small arms project Aiming for prevention, in peace work in general, in work for human rights, and in Abolition-2000-Europe. Many Affiliates are also deeply involved in the work to document medical consequences and human suffering resulting from the war in Iraq. Another priority has been to work for a peaceful solution of the conflict regarding Irans nuclear program, and to prevent any use of armed forces against Iran. IPPNW in Europe also prioritizes further initiatives and cooperation with other chapters of IPPNW for a medical road-map for peaceful solutions to confflicts in the Middle-East-region.
In Europe there have been several big events during the last year where IPPNW affiliates have played a leading role focusing on the 20th anniversary of the disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on April 26, 1986.
It is also encouraging that a collaborative project between IPPNW affiliates in Norway, Great Britain, Germany and the Netherlands has gained substantial financial support from the European Union for developing a web-based program for peace education.
It should also be mentioned that European IPPNW affiliates had an immediate outrage of protest when the French president Jacques Chirac in January this year in a speech for the first time for very long stated that France would consider using Nuclear weapons against any country when such use is regarded necessary.
Last, but not least, European affiliates of IPPNW are now preparing to join the upcoming global campaign to be launched by IPPNW and others for a prohibition of all nuclear weapons, for a new Nuclear Weapons Convention.
For the first time in many years, IPPNW affiliates in Europe succeeded in arranging a regional
European meeting in the fall of 2005 in the peace city of Aubagne by Marseille. The meeting was hosted by a local group of the French affiliate AMFPGN and gathered participants from most affiliates in Europe with dear guests from the Mediterranean region, and a lot of students.
The European IPPNW student meeting 2006 was held in Naples on May 11-14.
On September 7-11 the Finnish affiliate will host the 17th World Congress of IPPNW.
In the following you find mostly strongly abbreviates activity reports from European affiliates of IPPNW. For more comprehensive reports, please see the European IPPNW web page www.ippnw-europe.org.
OMEGA IPPNW annual report 2005, short version and abbreviated:
The main activities have been:
· A petition to the parliament regarding the obligations to arm proposed in the EU constitution
· Visits to the embassies of the US, Russia, France, Great Britain, and China before the NPT review conference.
· Monthly meetings with the NGO-Committee- on- Peace im Vienna International Center.
· Invites lecture on the current nuclear situation at the United World College in Duino, Italien.
· Discussions with the Foreign ministry before the NPT review conference with some apparent impact on the positions taken.
· Planning of a post-card project
· Participation at the Bertha von Suttner-Symposium
· Speeches given on the 60th memory day of the Hiroshima bombing at the UN in Vienna.
· Several articles in different newspapers.
· Students participation at the European students meeting in St. Petersburg in April.
· Participation at the European IPPNW meeting in Aubagne in October.
· Co-initiators of initiativs for disarmament and arms control within the EU.
· Continued care for refugees at the OMEA in Graz
Dr. Klaus Renoldner
Association Medicale Pour La Prevention de la Guerre Nucleaire (AMPGN)
Our medical membership is still around 700, plus a number of lay sympathisers. Our quarterly review, apart from a number of papers on technical, climatic, radiobiological, international and IPPNW issues, and reprints of declarations by K. Annan and M. El Baradei, has included original papers from the Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs (who has considerably disappointed us, since then) and an active Euro-deputy (V. de Keyser). It is well received even in unexpected quarters (IAEA). We have pursued our policy of meetings with authorities (several ministries and parliaments), including the Euro-Parliament, either on our own, or with international delegations. In some quarters, our message seems to be better received, at least by the high civil servants concerned. The President of the Belgian Senate has several times shown her support.
Several lectures to medical groups and schools have been organised and more are planned. We participated, along with Abolition 2000 to various demonstrations in favour of peace and nuclear disarmament, both in Brussels and at the site of the American nuclear missiles in Belgium.
We devoted a large amount of energy to mobilize (by letters, calls and personal visits) the French speaking Burgomasters in favour of the "Mayors for Peace" movement. As one of them Nuclear bombs are designed for cities, not for troops scattered in the countryside. This clinched the matter and the result has been excellent; almost one half of them have responded positively and Belgium has (thanks also to our Flemish counterparts) the highest fraction of municipal authorities supporting Mayors for Peace.
IPPNW Finnish affiliate, Physicians for Social Responsibility Finland, Activity report 10.5.06
PSR Finland has nowadays about 950 members, of which more than 50 are students. During the last years we have got many new young members and especially student activities have increased.
PSR Finland has all the time had a very broad agenda for activities. The largest section is development cooperation.
In September 2005 PSR organised an international symposium Health as a Bridge for Peace in Helsinki together with WHO and UN University.
PSR has been active in national discussions about medicine policy and transparency in the relationship between pharmaceutical industry and physicians.
In peace work most activities have concentrated in planning the IPPNW 17th World congress in Helsinki September 2006.
We have also continued to translate and publish books about war and health in Finnish. WHOs report Violence and Health (in Finnish) was distributed to our members and to decisions makers. We also publish a newsletter regularly and we have homepage (in Finnish) www.lsv.fi.
PSR students have been active in organising Peace test-campaign in Finland and they have also been involved in organising the IPPNW student meeting during the coming world congress. Finnish students have been active in international IPPNW student meetings and Ante Pettersson has been one of the regional IPPNW student representatives for Europe.
Kati Juva, chairperson
ASSOCIATION DES MÉDECINS FRANCAIS POUR LA PRÉVENTION DE LA GUERRE NUCLÉAIRE (IPPNW-France) - ANNUAL REPORT (Annual General Meeting)
2005 has been a bad year for the abolition of nuclear weapons. It is has been a year of failure as regards the updating of the NPT, with the acceleration of nuclear proliferation as a consequence. Despite this situation, AMFPGN has not remained inactive and throughout 2005 all of our actions were directed towards changing public opinion:
We have therefore organized several regional meetings and other activities in Nantes (including annual meeting), Provence-Alpes-Cotes d*azur (including IPPNW European regional meeting), Strasbourg (students), and the Paris area (including support for the organization AVEN (the Association of Veterans of Nuclear Tests).
AMFPGN is working constantly in the French coalition for nuclear disarmament. We do all that is possible to maintain the unity of the organisations having signed the call for the elimination of nuclear weapons and to mobilise public opinion. A large proportion of the population already rejects globalisation, and it is up to us to show them that this is leading to nuclear proliferation. We also attended a conference in the French Parliament on US unilateralism, to highlight the consequences of this as regards nuclear energy.
AMFPGN has also been working on the international level with initiatives for the IPPNW Mediterranean commission, and in organizing the European IPPNW meeting in Aubagne.
Abraham Behar, president.
Peace and abolition of nuclear weapons
The main focus was on two big events in 2005: the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference in May and the 60th anniversary of Hiroshima. Groups in Germany concentrated on getting their mayors to become active in the 2020 Vision campaign of the Mayors for Peace and were very successful. Hiroshima Day saw many local events in villages, towns and cities all over Germany. The square opposite the Truman villa in Potsdam, where the order to drop the bombs on Japan has been renamed "Hiroshima Square", thanks to our work with the mayor and the local Green party there.
In January we held a conference on Globalisation, War and Intervention. Prevention of a war on Iran was also a major focus all year.
The German affiliate linked the anniversaries of Hiroshima and Chernobyl by publishing a brochure on the link between nuclear energy and weapons. In April 2006, the Congress "Nuclear Energy Timebomb" was held in Bonn and a report was published on the health effects of Chernobyl 20 years later.
A campaign for the medical treatment of illegal refugees helped to bring this issue to the public consciousness. The third in the Congress series "Medicine and Conscience" will take place in Nuremberg in October 2006.
MEDACT, Activity Report for IPPNW, February 2005 January 2006
Last year the AGM conference was about the skills drain of health workers out of developing countries and Medacts original research on the issue. In the following year there has been an increasing focus on human resources for health and Medacts research still attracts much attention, as it gives evidence of the true economic loss that this movement of health professionals creates.
Medact has a broad set of activities in the following fields (for more information please see www.ippnw-europe.org and www.medact.org.
· WMD & Conflict
· Trident the Big Issue
· Nuclear power opposed
· Violence Conflict & Health
· Monitoring health in Iraq
· Preventing military actions in the Iran conflict
· Afghan health system
· Health & Development
o Global Health Watch launched (www.ghwatch.org)
o Skills Drain original research continues to have an effect
· Medact part of Da Vinci educational programme
· The Right to Health
· Environment and Health
o Global warming
· Refugee Health Network
o Access to health care
· Medicine, Conflict and Survival, the international quarterly journal, celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2005.
ANNUAL REPORT OF AIMPGN (IPPNW-ITALY) ACTIVITY
Even this year AIMPGN cooperated with IPB-Italy to the activity of the Italian chapter of Mayors for Peace. But the most important notice is the organization of the Italian Student Group of IPPNW, leaded by Luca Astarita, from Naples, that helped the organization in Naples of the European Conference of the Students of IPPNW (may 2006). News on: www.ippnw-students.org/Naples. AIMPGN is co-funding with IPPNW chapters of Norway and Great Britain the workshop of the Mediterranean Commission in the World Congress in Helsinki.
NVMP-Dutch affiliate of IPPNW SUMMARY ANNUAL REPORT 2005
One of the most imprortant activities the last couple of years has been the support for the Dutch Mayors for Peace campaign. Together with Dutch coordinator Karel Koster from Eurobom we worked hard to make this campaign succesfull in our country.
We also were succesfull in producing a 'Hiroshima and Nagasaki'-exhibition. The exhibition is show on our website www.nvmp.org. The succesfull Global Health Education project was finalised in 2005 resulting in a CD-rom. They can be seen on our website www.nvmp.org . Our organisation sees these projects as a perfect example of spreading our 'message'. A good and structural organised project with external finance. This is the way we should do our work.
Our board has spent a lot of time during her meetings discussing how we could better reach our members and involve them in an active role in one of our projects. For that purpose we organised several workinggroups concentarting on issues like 'small arms', 'health effects of war', 'depleted uranium (weapons)' and 'conflict-mediation'. These issues have been selected as being our most important topics. Making these workinggroups succesfull however is another hugh task that won't be easy.
Annual report 2005, Norwegian Physicians against Nuclear Weapons (NLA), Norwegian affiliate of IPPNW
NLA has 920 personal members, among them about 800 physicians and 120 medical students. NLA has active student groups in all four Norwegian universities, Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim and Tromsø. You find the NLA web-page on www.legermotatomvapen.no. In 2005 there were three issues of our journal Norske Leger mot Atomvåpen.
NLA has continued a broad set of activities and collaborative projects with other NGOs:
· Participation in Dialogue with decision makers and visits to NP embassies
· Several students taking part in the Nuclear Weapons Inheritance Project
· Recruting mayors for M4P
· Lobbying government, parlamentarians and other organizations before the NPT rev. Conf
· Participation in Aiming for prevention
· Students project on health effects of depleted uranium
· Seminar with the Norwegian Medical Association to mark 60 years after the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
· Seminar in Oslo in connection with the Nuclear-Free Future Award (NFFA) 2005.
· Klaus Melf is appointed a medical member of The International Association of University Presidents (IAUP)s Commission on Disarmament Education, Conflict Resolution and Peace
· Published severel contributions or articles in newspapers.
Tordis Sørensen Høifødt, Leader and IC of NLA.
Annual Report of the SLMK (IPPNW-Sweden) Sept 1, 2004 Aug 31, 2005. A short summary.
SLMK, Svenska Läkare mot Kärnvapen (Swedish Physicians against Nuclear Arms) is the Swedish affiliate of IPPNW. The aim of SLMK is to inform about the medical consequences of nuclear weapons and nuclear war. The ultimate goal is the total abolition of nuclear arms. Membership amounts to 3300 physicians including about 70 medical student members.
At our web page www.slmk.org you will find the study material Learn about Nuclear Weapons in English as well as in Swedish. SLMKs quarterly journal is edited by Jan Larsson and Ulf König. This newsletter also serves as newsletter for our Danish sister affiliate, the DLMK.
Other international and domestic activities include:
· Gunnar Westberg, was elected a new Co-President of IPPNW at the IPPNW Congress in Beijing in September 2004.
· Gunnar Westberg and Hans Levander participated in an IPPNW Regional Conference in Hiroshima, Japan, in August 2005. They went on to North Korea where they met with colleagues from the KANPP, the North Korean affiliate of IPPNW.
· SLMK sent 4 representatives to the NPT Review Conference was held in May 2005. Medical student Jenny Immerstrand, spoke at the demonstration in Central Park.
· SLMK raised nearly $,20,000 for the upstart of a new IPPNW campaign for an international convention against nuclear weapons.
· Organization and participation in Dialogues with Decision-makers, DwDm, including embassy visits.
· Organizing and participating in the International student programs and the Nuclear Weapons Inheritance Project, NWIP. SLMK has sponsored the NWIP project, both through grants from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and through fundraising from its members.
· The student members of SLMK have their focus on international activities. SLMK sent 10 students to the IPPNW European student meeting in S:t Petersburg in April 2005.
· An international NGO conference called Reaching Nuclear Disarmament: New Challenges and Possibilities was held in Stockholm in February 2005. Key-note speaker was Hans Blix.
· Continuing the Life-Link Friendships-Schools program (www.life-link.org)
· Several articles written by SLMK-members have been published in national and local newspapers and journals.
· Continued project on Human Factor and the Risk of Nuclear War.
· The Nepal project. SLMK supports a regional office for IPPNW in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Meit Krakau, Secretary SLMK Frida Sundberg, President SLMK
PSR/IPPNW Switzerland, annual report 2005-2006
A more detailed report in German for the year 2005 may be found on the following internet site: www.ippnw.ch/ippnw_php_files/Jahresbericht_einz.php.
A scientific meeting entitled Health of Liquidators (Clean-up Workers), 20 Years after the Chernobyl Explosion was organized at the University of Bern in November 2005. Prominent researchers from Belarus, Ukraine and Russia presented results of their studies. www.ippnw.ch/content/pdf/06_0233_PSR_Abstracts.pdf.
PSR/IPPNW together with the NGO "Children of Belarus" is actively supporting a research and clinical program in Belarus in order to alleviate the effects of Cs-137 on the health of children. The financial help goes through the Institute Belrad in Minsk and supports the use of pectin to reduce the load of radionuclides in the human body.
Two articles entitled Radioprotection in Switzerland endangered and Radioprotection: Arguments against a possible relaxing of the ICRP rules appeared in the journal for the Swiss physicians (Schweizerische Ärztezeitung / Bulletin des médecins suisses). The two papers found a great echo. After publication of the first paper in January 2005, members of the Board were received by members the Federal Office of Public Health in order to discuss the dispute.
Several cities were gained in the frame of the action of the NGO Mayors for Peace.
Several actions were taken to further the idea of nuclear free zones around the world with a focus on the Middle East.
PSR/IPPNW Switzerland actively participated in several major Swiss cities in the organisation of event and seminars to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl accident.