After having served his four years as RVP for IPPNW Europe, Dr. Herman Spanjaard MD from the Netherlands stepped back at the IPPNW congress in Beijing in September 2004. He left the baton to prof. Bjørn Hilt MD from Norway who had been suggested and was elected at the Beijing congress by representatives of the European IPPNW affiliates for a two year term. As his humble successor I thank Herman cordially for all of his great work for our vital mission.
During the last years there has been growth within Europe in Coordination of IPPNW activities. Yet more is needed. The world looks increasingly at Europe, not only as individual member states, and IPPNW also has to reflect that. We therefore try to strengthen the bonds between the currently 19 European IPPNW affiliates as part of the global IPPNW confederation.
For IPPNW in Europe we will try to follow up on the contacts for peace and nuclear security and disarmament with politicians in each country, and with the European Union on all levels. IPPNW in Europe is part of the EU contact group Abolition Europe 2000. We also have activities from several affiliates in our Mediterranean Commission supporting the peace process in the Middle East in trying to maintain a Medical Road Map for Peace in the region. Other European affiliates of IPPNW are focusing also on important questions like nuclear energy topics, small arms campaigns, human rights programs, and anti-war activities. The IPPNW programs for Dialogue with decisions makers, the students Nuclear Weapons Inheritance Project, and many other peace projects are coordinated by European chapters of IPPNW.
Please see the European IPPNW web site www.ippnw-europe.org and the international students web site www.ippnw-students.org.
Below you find brief activity and mission reports from most of the European IPPNW affiliates.
Annual report 2004,
Norwegian Physicians against Nuclear Weapons (NLA)
Norwegian affiliate of IPPNW
(approved at the annual meeting of NLA in Bergen on March 12, 2005)
This is a short version of our annual report. A full annual report in Norwegian can be found in our newsletter "Norske Leger mot Atomvåpen" 2005;Vol 23(No1):and on our web-page www.legermotatomvapen.no.
NLA has 924 personal members, among them about 800 physicians and 120 medical students. You find NLA at the following address:
Norske Leger mot Atomvåpen, v/ Tordis Sørensen Høifødt,
Department of psychiatric research and development, University Hospital of Northern Norway, UNN-Åsgård, 9291 Tromsø, Norway
Phone: +47 77627814(office hours), +47 77699873 (home), +47 95934119 (cell),
Fax: +47 77627741, e-mail: email@example.com
Elected members of the board of the NLA during 2004 have been Tordis Sørensen Høifødt (leader and international councilor, Tromsø), Kjersti Johnsrud (Deputy leader, Oslo), Ingvild Fossgard Sandøy (treasurer, Bergen), Bjørn Hilt (deputy international councilor and from September 2004 Vice President Europe IPPNW, Trondheim), Carl Birger Alm (Voss), Klaus Melf (Tromsø), Anne Alvik, Christin Mørup Ormhaug, Viggo Hansteen, Morten Bremer Mærli, and Per Wium, (all Oslo). Student representatives to the board are Trygve Ottersen (Bergen), Rune Dahl (also international student representative and, Oslo), Runa Halsør (Trondheim), Karoline Skogmo, (Tromsø).
There have been eleven board meetings, ten as telephone meetings, one meeting together in Oslo on March 13. There are approved minutes from all board meetings.
The following are at present members of the advisory council of NLA: Ulrich Abildgaard, Hege Raastad Basmo, Christian Borchgrevink, Odd Steffen Dalgard, Anne Grieg, Kjell Grøttum, Kurt Hanevik, Kristian Hagestad, Hans Asbjørn Holm, Jens Gustav Iversen, Einar Kringlen, Mons Lie, Eiliv Lund, Kirsten Osen, Alexander Pihl, Hans Prydz, Johannes Setekleiv, Hilchen Sommerschild, Per Sundby, Helge Waal, Steinar Westin.
NLA has active student groups in all four Norwegian universities, Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim and Tromsø.
In 2003 there were three issues of our journal "Norske Leger mot Atomvåpen". The journal is distributed to all members, to medical and common libraries, and to some newspapers. The editor was Heidi Grønseth, medical student, Bergen, for the first two issues. Trygve Berge, medical student, Oslo, started as the new editor from number 3/2004.
You find the NLA web-page on www.legermotatomvapen.no. The editor is board member Klaus Melf from Tromsø, and the web-master is Veland, medical student, Oslo.
A group of board members have during 2003 worked on a campaign to reinforce our activities to inform the public about nuclear weapons issues. The work is to be continued.
Annual assembly 2004
The annual assembly 2004 was held in on March 13 in Oslo.
Collaboration with other NGOs
NLA is a member of the Norwegian Peace Council and of Abolition 2000. We have also joined the coalition of several Norwegian political and other organizations called "The Peace Initiative - No War on Iraq". NLA collaborates with "No Nuclear Weapons" (Nei til Atomvåpen) and The national Pugwash committee in arranging meetings and making contacts with MPs and the government on disarmament issues.
Dialogue with decision makers
NLA has joined a Nordic group that has taken responsibility for continuation and coordination of the IPPNW program for Seminars and Dialogue with decision makers in the nuclear weapons states and NATO. The persons responsible for this in our board is Bjørn Hilt. In 2004 NLA NOK 195,000 funding from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign affairs. Bjørn Hilt participated from NLA at a dialogue seminar in London in November 2004. NLA has visited the embassies of the nuclear weapons states in Oslo at the same time as the Dialogue meetings. In 2004 the embassies of France, Britain and Russia.
Nuclear Weapons Inheritance Project
Medical students from NLA are actively contributing to the international student project NWIP in 2004. Rune Dahl took part in dialogue seminar in China in connection with the World Congress in Beijing and workshops at five universities in the USA in November 2004.
Continuing Collateral damage
NLA took part in the launch of the Medact medical report "Enduring effects of war - Health in Iraq 2004". A press release was sent out and the report was distributed to the prime minister, the minister of health and minister of defense and the Norwegian medical Association.
World Congress IPPNW in Beijing, September 16.-19.9.2004
Two students and five persons from the board participated at the congress from NLA.
NLA sponsored one "key-note speaker", Sverre Lodgaard, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs and arranged two workshops: "Children at war" with Elizabeth Jareg, Save the Children and "Nuclear terrorism" with Steinar Høibråten, Research Institute of Defence, Ira Helfand, leader of intensive unit Cooley Dickinson Hospital, USA/ Physician for Social Responsibility and Li Bin, Director of Disarmament program, University of Beijing.
NLA has followed up the campaign from IPPNW central office in mobilizing the public before the NPT RevCon in May 2005. We have recruited Mayors for Peace and made lobbying among politicians. We have also advocated the Norwegian government to support the NAC resolution in October 2004, which they did.
We have made the concept of Smart Security known for Norwegian government, politicians and public through letters and articles in Norwegian Newspapers
During 2004 representatives from NLA participated on 18 international and national meetings about peace and disarmament, and published about 10 contribution as press releases or articles to newspapers and journals. We are also active writing letters and making other forms of contacts to our government and other politicians, and to foreign embassies about nuclear weapons issues, peace and disarmament.
Morten Bremer Mærli made his doctoral dissertation at the Institute of Physics at the University of Oslo with the title:"Crude nukes on the loose? Preventing Nuclear Terrorism by Means of Optimum Nuclear Husbandry, Transparency and Non- Intrusive Material verification".
Tromsø February, 2004
Tordis Sørensen Høifødt
Leader and IC of NLA.
Medact Annual Report 2004/05
When to take action?
The issue debated at our May 2004 conference - 'When, if ever, is it appropriate to take action against people of another state?' - has dominated the international agenda during the past year as the case for making war on Iraq collapsed, threats to take action against potential possessors of nuclear weapons intensified, and it became clear that the international community had made a grave mistake in not taking action to prevent genocide in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Darfur.
Victoria Brittain proposed at the conference that violence should not be addressed as a crisis, but as a long-term structural situation. One reason humanitarian intervention is often problematic is the failure to address the fundamental questions of democracy and redistribution of wealth. This understanding underpins all Medact's work, and has come to prominence during the past year in the issues we have raised for debate and action, as this report shows.
Clearly our work is often overtly reactive, as in the response to the move to invade Iraq - though we are now seeking to put the lessons we have learned from our assessment of the long-term health impacts of war to a broader advocacy purpose. And our involvement in setting up the WMD Awareness Programme came about because of a wake-up call from Nobel Peace Laureate Joseph Rotblat that nuclear weapons presented a danger greater even than that present during the Cold War. In this we aim to draw attention to a vital issue that has become frighteningly dormant.
Sometimes our work is proactive, reflecting a growing understanding of a serious injustice, such as the skills drain of health professionals from developing to the developed countries, which we have investigated and put on the public agenda with international researchers and health professionals from across the world. Similarly, our participation in devising and launching the Global Health Watch - or alternative World Health Report - came about through meetings with health activists from all over the world at the People's Health Assembly in Mumbai, followed by further strategy meetings with partners in London.
Whatever the stimulus to take action on these key health issues, the work is multiplied in effect by the support of numerous partners and colleagues in the UK and elsewhere. This includes many Medact members, who are an invaluable source of expertise and help with advocacy. We also could not achieve what we do without the long-term financial assistance of members and of donors in the UK and abroad.
Violence, Conflict and Health
Third Iraq Health Report
The Iraq Health Monitoring Project continued by publicising an Iraq health update in April 2004 and publishing another full report - Enduring effects of war: health in Iraq 2004 - in November. This time the author, international health consultant Dr Trishan Panch, was able to travel to conduct interviews and collect data in Amman, Jordan. The project was jointly funded by Oxfam, the Polden-Puckham Charitable Foundation and the Lionel Penrose Trust, and was carried out in association with International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War.
Like its predecessors, and thanks to the co-operation of other IPPNW affiliates, the report achieved extensive coverage in the UK and international media. It was presented and debated at a meeting in the House of Commons and at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Count the Casualties campaign
The Iraq report also gave rise to the high profile Count the Casualties campaign launched in December with the support of Crisis Action and other groups. This followed up one of the key recommendations in the Medact report which aimed to hold the UK Government to account for the Iraqi citizens killed since the war on Iraq began in March 2003.
Conferences on conflict and children
Responsibility to Protect
A distinguished group of speakers at Medact's May 2004 conference examined the pros and cons of intervention into another country as set out by the Canadian Government report commissioned by the UN. The key presentations are published in the current issue of Medicine Conflict and Survival (Vol 21, no.1).
Children and Terror
In October, Lynn Barnett gave the first Elisabeth James Memorial lecture on Children and Terror in memory of Elisabeth, who was a much valued member of Medact's Working Group on Violence, Conflict and Health.
Refugee Health Network
2004/5 has been a year of rapidly increasing activity in the Network resulting from the growing difficulty experienced by asylum seekers in general and failed asylum seekers in particular in accessing health care.
Medact has also played an active part in an NGO working group looking into entitlement to health care for refugees and asylum seekers. The group is currently asking the Government to carry out an impact assessment on its withdrawal of secondary health care to failed asylum seekers and the proposed withdrawal of primary care from the same group. We shall continue with this campaign after the election to try to ensure that anyone in the UK who is in need has access to health care.
The email network has been increasingly busy and well used by those seeking out practitioners willing to offer their services pro bono to individuals in dire need. Also popular is a bi-monthly meeting of health workers which has begun in the Medact office to offer a safe space to discuss and review particular areas of practice.
Working for Nuclear disarmament
WMD Awareness Programme
The UK WMD Awareness Programme, of which Medact is an active member, having helped to develop a research and appropriate communications strategy, has gone from strength to strength. The Programme was officially launched by former President Mikhail Gorbachev in September 2004, and now has three key elements: applying research results to provide effective communications on the dangers of WMD, and developing events to reach the widest possible audience; piloting a new section for the school citizenship curriculum on peace and security issues; and developing an interactive website on WMD - www.comeclean.org.uk.
Dialogue with decision-makers
In June 2004 Liz Waterston, Chair of Medact's Nuclear Disarmament Group, joined colleagues from other affiliates of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War to visit Nato and discuss non-proliferation and verification issues. In November Dr Waterston organised an IPPNW dialogue team to meet representatives of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and Ministry of Defence (MOD) in London.
The Director and Deputy Director and members of the Executive Committee have also attended a range of meetings organised by the FCO, MOD, Department for International Development and the newly formed Post-Conflict Reconstruction Unit to discuss how NGOs can influence and sometimes support implementation of government policy in security issues and war prevention.
Health, Poverty and Development
The past year has seen the culmination of a number of initiatives in this area. Lobbying of the World Health Organisation has continued, and at the World Health Assembly in May 2004 Medact and Wemos jointly released a report - Pushing the Boundaries - on the effects on health of the new Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) process in seven low-income countries. Pushing the Boundaries showed that despite strong efforts at implementing pro-poor policies in some countries, health is still marginalised, and the influence of the international financial institutions on government health ministries and their spending is still strong. Despite promises of debt reduction, debt-servicing costs still outweighed health expenditure in some of the countries examined. The report called for a diminution of macro-economic restrictions on government spending on health, more attention to redistribution and socially-inclusive health policies, and more and better co-ordinated aid from donors.
Impact of skills drain
WHO estimates that 1 million more health workers will be needed in Africa if the Millennium Development Goals are to be met by 2015. But at the moment, thousands of health workers are leaving countries in Africa and coming to the UK, despite the widely-admired NHS 'Code of Practice' on recruitment of health workers from the poorest countries. Two new papers were commissioned and eventually released in February 2005, focussing on human rights and alternative policy responses the UK Government could undertake. Foremost amongst these was financial restitution for those low-income countries who are effectively subsidising the NHS through health workers they have trained at their own expense, to be accompanied by greater partnership to build 'incentives to stay' in low-income countries that are short of staff. It was recognised that in today's highly-integrated international health care labour markets, restrictions on movement are likely to be counter-productive and could harm the human rights of health workers. The results of the papers were featured in the Guardian, the Sun, the Financial Times and BMA News Review, as well as in international media outlets.
Global Health Watch
The manuscript for the first edition of the Global Health Watch 2005-2006 was submitted to the publisher at the end of March 2005. Around 100 people and 75 organisations have been involved in drafting and reviewing the manuscript and about. The final product is a high quality, evidence-based report which can be used as a reference tool for academic schools as well as for activists, non-government and government organisations. The Watch will be launched just before the G8 annual summit at Gleneagles, at the People's Health Assembly in Cuenca, Ecuador as well as in London, Geneva, Paris, Malaysia, Former Republic of Yugoslavia and the US. An advocacy document outlining the recommendations and strategies for action of the GHW will be translated into French, German, Spanish and Arabic. Further information about the project and launches can be found at www.ghwatch.org.
Involvement of Students
The partnership between Medact and Medsin was strengthened over the past year thanks to the presence of Medsin President Bryony Whipp for half a day a week in the Medact Office. Her role has been to work on practical ways to engage Medsin and Medact members in discussion with each other; this includes plans to link local Medact and Medsin branches. The introduction of a constitution for Medsin has changed the way it organises itself, with improved transparency and accountability.
Medsin members attended the International Federation of Medical Students conference in Macedonia in August which had the theme 'Violence and Health'. Medact staff and members joined in the Medsin National Conference in Glasgow in October titled 'United Kingdom: the Power to improve health' which tackled topics related to health inequalities both internationally and in the UK.
Through the closer relationship with Medact, Medsin has developed a Medsin Alumni group to provide a way for Medsin members to stay in touch with each other and the issues after graduation.
Medact's well-received Global Health Studies curriculum for medical and nursing (and other) undergraduates is now available for free on the web at www.medact.org.
Medact is acting as a partner in a project implemented by Landmine Action in Sudan, which has been funded by Comic Relief. The second year of the project has seen thousands of landmines, items of unexploded ordinance and small arms ammunition cleared in the Nuba Mountains with deminers recruited and trained from 11 different Nuba tribes. Their work has been publicly recognised by the presentation of a medal by the Joint Military Commission responsible for monitoring the 2002 ceasefire in the Mountains. Landmine Action and its Sudanese partner, the Sudan Landmine Information and Responsive Initiative have also expanded their work into new geographical areas in the Mountains previously controlled by the Sudanese People's Liberation Army. As a long-standing member of the Landmine Action network, Medact is happy to lend its support to this important work.
The new Medact website, launched in September 2004, has received a very positive response from members and non-members alike. The new site provides easier navigation and much more information on current activities and events. It also allows members to join or renew subscriptions online using debit or credit cards. This has proved to be popular, with more than 80% of new members joining by this means. The development of the site is an ongoing project and will continue over the next year.
Medact's international quarterly journal Medicine Conflict and Survival , now a part of the Taylor & Francis publishing group, continues to publish a wide range of authoritative and important articles on the health and security issues about which Medact (and increasingly the wider world) is concerned. Editors Jack Piachaud and Douglas Holdstock are ably assisted by Mary Holdstock and Sukey Field.
Medact's newsletter Communiqué, which comes out every four months, gives current information on the issues which Medact is addressing and suggests action that members can take in support.
Medact's staff team during the year (three full-time, three part-time) were Patricia Morton (FT -Co-ordinator, Global Health Watch), Tim Goodwin (PT - Finance Officer), Gill Reeve ((PT - Deputy Director), Mike Rowson (FT - Executive Director), Moyra Rushby (FT - Office Manager) and Claudia Lema (PT- Global Health Watch). Mike Rowson left Medact at the end of February 2005, and a new Director is being recruited. Sukey Field was employed (PT) by Medicine Conflict and Survival as an editorial assistant. The staff were also joined by a number of short-term project consultants..
Volunteers and Officers
Given the small number of staff it would be impossible to undertake much of Medact's work without the support of the many volunteers, Executive Committee members, President, Vice- Presidents and members. Though far too many to name all individually, a special thanks must go to volunteers Christine Falvey, Mary Holdstock, Gay Lee, Anne Piachaud and Indu Tarkunde. All the current members of the Executive have given a great many hours in a wide variety of roles.
IPPNW Finnish affiliate
Physicians for Social Responsibility - Finland
Some highlights from resent activities (13.5.05)
PSR Finland has from the very beginning accepted a very broad agenda for its activities. Despite of work for peace and security, we have also development co-operation project around the world. During the last few years PSR Finland has grown steadily especially among students and young physicians. Most of the new activists have been interested in development work.
Global Health diploma courses (in co-operation with medical faculties and medical students association) have been organised for medical students for three summers. These have been two months courses with 4 weeks theoretical studies and 4 weeks field work. The students have been partly from Finland and partly from developing world. The Finns have done their field work in the third world, and foreigners in Finland.
PSR has had two ongoing development co-operation projects in Nigeria (an HIV education project and a maternity health project), and several new projects have begun on 2005. Most of the financing to these comes from our Development Aid office FINNIDA.
We have begun the planning of IPPNW 17th world congress in Helsinki September 2006 in good time. Many of the speakers and workshops have already been confirmed. We have also supported the translation of our book War or Health into Russian.
Students of PSR-F have been active in a Peace test -campaign, where students have visited schools and asked questions about violence and conflicts. Afterwards they always have a discussion about the findings and mechanisms of violence. These questionnaires have been repeated for many years and the results have gained much publicity in Finland.
On autumn 2004 we also participated in a campaign against landmines (as you Finland still has them!) by writing a thorough letter-to-the-editor in our main newspaper.
PSR students in Finland have been very active, and they have local groups in nearly all Finnish medical faculties. They have attended the IPPNW students meetings and organised several lectures at their own faculties (e.g. on family violence and on HIV and women). Students have also participated in campaigns against HIV and against hunger. In many of the PSR projects there are always a few students participating in these activities.
Chairperson PSR Finland
IPPNW-ITALIA 2003/2004 REPORT
Italian Medical Association for the Prevention of Nuclear War
1) On February 2004 the AIMPGN facilitated contacts between Mayors for Peace and the Mayor of Rome, Walter Veltroni.
2) On march, 1st, 2004 the AIMPGN participated at and contributed to the foundation of the International Peace Bureau in Italy (IPB-Italia).
3) On march, 17-18, 2004, the President of AIMPGN, Michele Di Paolantonio, participated at the NATO Seminar on Weapons of Mass Destruction hold in Rome, at the NATO Defence College.
4) In September 2004 the AIMPGN participated at the International Seminar on UN Reform arranged in Florence by IPB-Italia in the Aula of the Council of the Municipality of Florence.
5) In October 2004 the AIMPGN participated at the V Summit of Peace Prized Nobel Laureates (Rome, Capitol Hill).
6) The AIMPGN is supporting and contributing by e-mail to the project of the European Seminar of IPPNW Students to be arranged in Naples in 2006.
Silvi Marina May 2005
Michele Di Paolantonio
President and International Councillor of AIMPGN
For the time being IPPNW Spain does not function very well and can not be consider as a real affiliate of IPPNW, but should in fact at present more be considered as an individual person trying to do her best for our vital cause. In this sense, there is not too much to report.
In 2004 I have kept on teaching medical students at the University of Bilbao in Medicine and Peace (30 hours course inspired by and built on the Medical Curriculum prepared by Victor Sidel) in two courses with 30 (academic year 2003-4) and 60 students (academic year 2004-5) respectively.
Among other activities in 2004 I have started to tried try to encourage Spanish mayors to support the Mayors for Peace Appeal. A few mayors joined since then perhaps also as a result of my interventions, and they will continue.
An initiative and inquiries has also been made in relation to the Spanish Government and Spanish parliamentarians to try to influence the position of our government before NPT review conference in 2005.
For the continuation and improvement of IPPNW activities in Spain, I think it is crucial to encourage Spanish medical students to join the international IPPNW student's movement, and to use that as a basis for the reinforcement of the Spanish affiliate.
Bilbao May 2005
Greece affiliate of IPPNW
Greek medical Association for the Protection of the Environment and Against Nuclear und Biochemical Threat
During 2004 there was Athens 2004 Olympics. As we decided in London we managed to create contact of Mayors for Peace and the Mayors of Athens and Olympia and gathered the signatures of acceptance from 18 Mayors wich we send to the Mayors for Peace. I represeted Mayor of Hiroshima in the ceremony of Peace garden in Athens on May. We were among the wellcome committe for the Peace Boat in August and organised 3 ceremonies. There was a big publicity to the MEDACT's review on Iraq (I e-mailed the page of the newspaper). Unfortunately our students are not so active.
Maria Arvaniti Sotiropoulou, M.D.
185 33 Piraeus
IPPNW Report Hungary 2004
1. A student exchange program has been organized since last November. Our country was asked to do it in London during the board meeting in 2003.
It was supposed to be a part of Medical Road Map (Peace bridges?) IPPNW program. It was meant that our country provide one month elective in pediatrics for 2 Palestinian and 2 Israeli students in our medical faculty.
In spite of the lots of efforts (lot of work and anxiety) and letter writing the program has failed. It became obvious at the begining of June 2004.
· Our Medical faculty has changed its positive approach to our plan in the middle of the proces after a serious conflict between two foreign (ended with death one of them) students in our capital,
· it did not happened program planning at the begining (financial need, time schedule of steps)
· after the unfortunate event the university administration started to build a wall of burocracy which was nearly impossible to fulfill,
· the students had no financial support from their own country,
· the students could not get support from other IPPNW organizations,
· the fundraising for this special task was not well organized,
· the students selection process was not properly set up at the begining, it seemed to be questionable later on as well
2. Organization of the "Mapping out a vision for IPPNW's future" workshop in Bejing,
· consultation with different advisers, like with the head of civil organizations,
managing directors, top executves of multinational company institutions,
junior doctor, not long ago medical student, trained by the Norwegian IPPNW,
· library work,
· preparing questionnaires,
· preparing the workshop, (consultations with psychologist, advisers in org. development about the ineractivity of the workshop)
Zita Makó,i Hungary
AMPGN, French speaking IPPNW Belgian branch
Our periodical, served to more than 750 people in Belgium, medics and some others, is listing our activities, meetings on Hiroshima day and other occasional lectures to small groups (medical or others), It has also original contributions from the group and others, experts on medical and political aspects of war, nuclear and other armaments. We also give French translations, not easily obtainable otherwise, of important papers on nuclear disarmament, from IPPNW leaders and others (this past year, from Roy Mc Coy and M. el Baradei, for instance). We also had two substantial papers published in daily newssheets, on pages devoted to "opinions", one on Hiroshima day (by P. Piérart) and another, on the stakes of the NPT revision conference just before it started, by myself and two colleagues (P.d'Huytvetter and A. Ghys) from other Peace movements. Indeed there were very few other press comments on this important meeting, that did not seem to interest a large number of readers! We published in the fall a 16 pages pamphlet on "Errors and illusions about nuclear weapons", listing 15 of them (technical or strategic) and giving each time objective answers and rebukes. For instance, people die essentially by blast and fire, much more than from late cancers; it was not deterrence that assured peace in Europe since 1945, etc. This is widely distributed to our members, and to official and influential Belgium. An English abridged version of this can be found on the Belgian Pugwash site on the web.
This year we have also been very active in the mobilization of burgomasters with the Mayors of Hiroshima movement. More than a third of Belgian local authorities have given positive answers. It seems to be a world record. AMPGN was not alone in this, but we have been one the most active groups. Hundreds of letters, e-mail messages and phone calls, and visits to larger cities have been fruitful. This has been mainly the work of Pierre Pierart, in spite of slowly recovering from a bad attack of Lyme disease, and myself.
Four of us have given several lectures to medical and lay audiences, and we are starting a campaign in hospitals (by posters, ads, etc) to renew a largely aging membership. Our web site has been renewed and is now kept updated. It is much more frequently visited.
We have also had several official meetings with authorities (Ministries of Defence, and Foreign Affairs, Senate and House of representatives, and also at the European Parliament). Several subjects have been discussed, of general (uranium coated shells, etc) or local import. (American bombs on the soil of non nuclear countries).
On the American N- bombs in Belgium, there has been a resolution in the Senate on nuclear disarmament that has made some noise, expressing the opinion of a very large majority of Belgians. Government opinion has veered towards reason and admits now they are there and a delicate issue. The high official (with the rank of ambassador) in charge of this question at the Ministry told us, practically in so many words, that it is our job to mobilize the young generations to force the government to act. They are reluctant to raise it with the US government. As we refused to join the Iraq war, they do not want to make matters worse by other controversial problems so soon afterwards.
I add here a comment I made in answering Peter Wilk's questionnaire yesterday. I think most people (including doctors) less than 50 years old are convinced nuclear weapons, though frightful, are an obsolete problem. Most of them are not aware of the damage (other than long term cancers) it can do and believe that anyway it does not concern Europe for the foreseeable future. We have no potential ennemies left and terrorists seem to be only a police problem. My main concern is how we can mobilize younger doctors again. People tell us: You are right, but is this still an issue? As often as I can, I answer that a weapon on which a hundred billion dollars, if not more, are spent each year is certainly not obsolete in the minds of those who spend such money, anyway. But do people listen?
President AMPGN, French speaking IPPNW Belgian branch
Gezondheidszorg en Vredesvraagstukken, Artsen voor Vrede (NVMP)
NVMP is the Dutch affiliate of IPPNW
The war against Iraq and current situation.
The year 2004 brought no Peace to Iraq, but even more victims than during the war.
NVMP raised attention for the Medact-report 'Enduring effects of war. Health in Iraq 2004'. This caused some media-attention. NVMP wrote letters to Government and Parliament because of the humanitarian catastrophe the war continues to bring to Iraq.
Global Health education
The Global Health Education Project for tomorrow's doctors. The world has become smaller over the past decades .
The present medical curriculum as a whole neglects the international character of health care. NVMP tries to get modules accepted in the medical curriculum by providing educational materials on global health and human rights education, stressing conflict prevention and mediation. Deacons and Professors from medical faculties and affiliated hospitals are asked for their cooperation. The project has experienced some slight setbacks but has got an important impulse again in 2004. A CD-rom has been produced containing lecture materials ready to be used (in Dutch).
Mayors for Peace:
Also a project of major attention was the Mayors for Peace initiative. Cooperating closely with Karel Koster from the Project on European Nuclear Non-Proliferation (PENN) we started to approach all Dutch Mayors trying to make them sign the statement from Mayor Akiba (Hiroshima) which raises attention to article 6, on worldwide nuclear disarmament, from the NPT and working towards the 2020 vision campaign, a timepath to nuclear abolition. This has certainly produced some good results. The number of Mayors for Peace raised and thanks to a decent Hirsohima-exihibition the issue got the attention of the Dutch population.
As in many affiliates we have evaluated the reasons why it is so hard to make clear to politicians, physicians, students and the public in general that nuclear weapons are a danger to the world, now more than ever. We took part in the general discussion within IPPNW and will continue to do this, so that the Board in 2005 may decide on some changes to get our message across more vividly.
In 2004 the students who are part of IFMSA have been very active primarily on Refugees and Peace issues. After several years of very active IPPNW participation it was hard to find new students who would be active in IPPNW's programs. We have made new contacts and made students attentive to the very well kept student website.
Herman Spanjaard, Chair NVMP (Dutch affiliate).
NVMP is the Dutch affiliate of IPPNW
mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
tel.+31 (0)30 272 2940
fax.+31 (0)30 272 3173
3514 HN Utrecht, The Netherlands
Activities For the Danish section of IPPNW (DLMK) for the year 2004
Januar 21: partipitation in Pugwash arrangement i Copenhagen. The
arrangement concerned the overlooked danger from the nuclear weapons.
Our deputy councillor Klaus Arnung spoke on the effect of nuclear
weapons on humans and showed selected pictures from IPPNWs dias on
nuclear weapons. Report on the arrangement in the March nr. of the Info
magazine of the Swedish - Danish affiliates.
March: Councillor Anton Aggernaes participated in a journey arranged by
the newspaper Politiken. It was called The Three Chinas and was headed
by the head editor of Politiken Herbert Pundik. An detailled report of
the journey is found in the october nr. of the Info magazine .
September: Participation in the 16 kongress of the IPPNW in Bejing by
Chairman Povl Revsbech, deputy councillor Jac.Obbekjaer and student
representative Caecilie Buhmann. Report on the congress in the oct. nr.
of the Info-magazine.
Caecilie Buhmann will sent her own report on her activities.
ref.: Jac. Obbekjaer.
Here is a short summary of some of the activities of the Board of PSR/IPPNW Switzerland. A more detailed report in German may be found on the following internet site: www.ippnw.ch/ippnw_php_files/Jahresbericht_einz.php.
Lobbying against the agreement from 1959 between the WHO and the IAEA was actively made by several members of the Board at the WHA in Geneva in May 2004. This led to a meeting between members of the Board with the General Secretary of the WHO, Dr. Lee Jong-wook. The focus of the discussion was on the final report on the Chernobyl accident which is due in 2005. PSR/IPPNW Switzerland fear that data which strongly underestimates the consequences of the accident will be used.
The Board of PSR/IPPNW approached members of the parliament in order to create a central register for monitoring cancers in the human population of Switzerland. The idea was studied by the Federal Council (executive body of the government) and turned down.
PSR/IPPNW together with 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.
Proposal for the final disposal of nuclear waste is a major preoccupation of the Board. A site had been chosen north of the city of Zurich and a few kilometres away from the German border. A rally was organized on the 12th of September 2004 with the participation of numerous prominent politicians and concerned groups. The impact of the rally was a freeze of all activities in relation with the choice of a definitive site for a period of ten years.
The Board is organizing a scientific meeting at the University of Bern on the 11th and 12th of November 2005. The title of the meeting is "The fate of the liquidators: Long term follow up of the true victims of the Chernobyl accident". Speakers will be mainly prominent researchers from Belarus, Ukraine and Russia. The intention is to publish the reports presented at this meeting in peer-reviewed journals.
Report German Affiliate, 2005
Programme activities in Germany are grouped into 5 different groups for better program management: Phase-Out of Nuclear Energy; Peace; Social Responsibility, Public Relations and Organisational Development.
Goals and objectives: Abandon the use of nuclear energy
International Poster Campaign - Facts on Nuclear Energy:
The international poster campaign of IPPNW (International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War), EUROSOLAR (European Association for Renewable Energy) and WISE International (World Information Service on Nuclear Energy) shows how untenable the industry's prophecies are. The eight posters have been translated into 29 languages.
Legal Action against Biblis Nuclear Power Plant:
An ongoing project is preparing the grounds for a legal action to stop one of the German nuclear power reactors
Elbmarsch Research project
A group of German scientists, some of them members of IPPNW, continue to study the impact of low-level radiation close to a nuclear power reactor and nuclear research reactor in Northern Germany where there is a cluster of leukaemia in children
Fundraising, planning and preparation for a conference on health effects of the use of nuclear energy in 2006, 20 years after the accident at the Chernobyl power plant in the Ukraine.
IPPNW Germany articipated nationally and internationally in the campaign to draw attention to the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference in New York in May 2005, which demanded the complete abolition of nuclear weapons by the year 2020. This campaign supported the Mayors for Peace Campaign 2020 Vision. The President of Mayors for Peace, Hiroshimas Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba visited Berlin in January 2005 and spoke with decision makers.
The German campaign "atomwaffenfrei bis 2020" managed to double the number of members for Mayors for Peace in Germany to 250 and collected the signatures of more than 160 mayors for the Declaration of German Mayors calling for abolition by 2020 and the removal of US nuclear weapons from Germany. We developed a poster campaign with seven arguments for a nuclear weapon-free world that Mayors gave their name and face to. This poster campaign was presented to the international delegation of Mayors in New York and can be seen at: www.atomwaffenfrei.de/inhalt/posters.ppt.
German IPPNW participation in New York was high and included students and youth. The students ran the project "Target X" on Times Square, speaking to passers-by about the medical consequences of a nuclear attack on New York. The students also ran a "Nuclear Weapons Inheritance Project" Workshop.
Continual dialogue with German decision makers resulted in the Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer deciding to go himself to New York, where he announced that there should be movement on the question of tactical nuclear weapons in Europe. This was quickly followed by statements by the Defence Minister, Peter Struck, who told the press that he would be bringing up the question of US nuclear weapons in Europe at NATO. Several German Parliamentarians then publicly gave their support to the idea of a removal of these weapons.
Nuclear Awareness Campaign
Inga Blum took over the coordination of the international IPPNW student project "Nuclear Weapons Inheritance Project" (see: www.ippnw-students.org/NWIP) that visited several nuclear weapons states and continued dialogue with students and decision makers. In Germany, the first conceptual ideas were discussed for a nuclear awareness campaign, together with Greenpeace and Pugwash. A meeting in Hamburg with students and youth resulted in the initial ideas for educational materials for schools, to be posted on a web portal. In North Rhein Westphalia, IPPNW and the teacher's trade union are running a competition for schools with the title "No more Hioshimas! No more Nagasakis! For a nuclear weapon-free world." The internet presentation "Nuclear Weapons A-Z" (http://www.atomwaffenA-Z.info) has been developed further and now contains a glossary with definitions of technical terms about nuclear weapons and warfare.
Humanitarian assistance for Iraq
So far 38 children with war injuries and various diseases or deformities with need for special surgery were brought to Germany to receive their treatment and surgery. Some clinics offered treatment, care and service for free; private donations were raised to a large extent by Prof. Ulrich Gottstein and two fundraising activities in cooperation with media provided financial resources.
Part of the donations were spent on medication, medical equipment and instruments and other assistance was sent to hospitals in Baghdad (Al-Mansour Children Hospital and Central Teaching Hospital) and to Basrah (Mother-Child Hospital). English teaching materials (donation from Australia) were sent on to the medical faculty in Baghdad. The main logistical and organizational work has been carried out by Prof. Ulrich Gottstein and Dr. Jabbar Said-Falyh.
As a result of this solidarity and humanitarian work, feelings of anger, disappointment and bitterness among Iraqi families have been reduced and reconciliation and peace-building among the different religious and ethnic groups could begin.
On conse"Summer school"
quences of using depleted uranium (DU) ammunition.
German scientists and Iraqi specialists came together in Amman for a week in February to learn how to best conduct epidemiological studies in their hospitals. Dr. Wolfgang Hoffmann from the Institute for Community Medicine in Greifswald worked with IPPNW Germany to set this summer school up. It is hoped that this course can be repeated in the future.
IPPNW Germany is patron of the annual Peace Film Award which gives a prize to a film from the International "Berlinale" Film Festival for its content in promoting peace. This year the 20th anniversary of this award was celebrated. This year's winner was the film "Turtles can fly" by the Kurdish-Iranian director Bahman Ghobadi. The story is set in a village in Iraqi-Kurdistan, on the border between Iran and Turkey. The villagers are desperately seeking a satellite dish to keep themselves updated on the impending attack of the Americans in Iraq. A young boy nicknamed "Satellite" is in charge of assigning the camp's children to defuse land mines. Arriving from another village comes a mutilated boy, Henkov, with his younger sister and her child. Henkov brings a prophesy: the war is getting closer and closer. "Turtles can fly" gives the story of children living in a land filled with mines, their sorrows, happiness and adventure in a time of war.
Have a little respect
IPPNW Germany started a campaign called "Respect not Disrespect" (achten statt verachten). We demand that illegal refugees without official papers can get access to the medical care that they require. Therefore we are collecting signatures for a petition.
Practice and Engage
We were happy to welcome two students from IPPNW Central India (Nagpur) and one student from IPPNW Japan (Hiroshima) to Germany this year. We are looking forward to a guest from IPPNW Kenya. 12 German students are presently preparing for their p+e stays in 11 countries all over the world. They will do their clinical electives in those countries for one month and will spend another month taking part in social projects.
For the 60 th anniversary of the nuclear bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we have created a new exhibition with pictures from our 2002 brochure and brief texts. The exhibition has 15 posters including 3 on the present nuclear situation and one about IPPNW. The exhibition can be borrowed or bought from the office in Berlin.
New revamped home page
IPPNW Germany has a new look on the internet! See www.ippnw.de. In order to make our web site more user friendly, we have changed the structure of the web site. At the same time we have made it easier for us to update by using an editing programme. This meant that, for instance, we were able to put things up on the home page while in New York at the NPT conference and offer our web site as a resource for journalists looking for the latest information.
A declining IPPNW membership in Germany and low participation in our annual general meeting led to a reorganisation of our annual general meeting. For the first time we combined "business" with a topical seminar, this year's theme being "60 Years later: From Hiroshima and Nagasaki to a New Nuclear Age". Main speakers were Kate Hudson (Chair of CND, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament), Horst-Eberhard Richter, Psychoanalyst, and John Pastore (PSR/USA). On the Sunday, members of our scientific board of advisors gave lectures on the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
IPPNW Austria - Activity Report 2004
Vienna, August 2004
Summary: 1) Introduction
2) Cluster Munition Ambitions
3) Hiroshima Memorial Day
5) Conference on war related injuries
6) CTBT Conference in Vienna 2003
7) Students Activities
ad 1) Introduction
Austrias IPPNW affiliate has a small but active steering committee meeting every month for the coordination of their activities and projects. Once every three months, our journal "OMEGA News" is published, informing IPPNW members, friends and other NGOs about our work.
ad 2) Following the example of the landmines campaign, where austrian NGOs played a significant role, leading to the Ottawa treaty, the Austrian affiliate of the IPPNW is working on convincing the local parliament of the importance of banning cluster munitions as well. Several members of the parliament have shown their interest in this project, which encouraged us to invite other NGOs to provide their support. In fact, this project has become a collaboration of several NGOs striving for the same goal.
ad 3) As every year, members of the IPPNW Austria participated in the Hiroshima Memorial Event directly in front of the St. Stephen's Church in Vienna. Irmela Steinert held an interesting speech on the importance of nuclear disarmament and on what the IPPNW is working on to achieve this goal.
ad 4) IPPNW Member Martin Donner stays in close contact with the office of Vienna's major, Dr. Michael Häupl to make Dr. Häupl participate in or at least express his support for the Majors4Peace initiative.
ad 5) IPPNW Austria at the second world conference on "The Role of Public Health in the Prevention of War-Related Injuries". June 2004
IPPNW was a partner in planning and conducting the conference, along with the US Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, UNICEF and Physicians for Human Rights. Presentations included the following that were all very well received by an audience of nearly 100 people from 35 countries, including representatives from NGOs, government ministries of health, universities, hospitals and other medical institutions.
Austrian IPPNW members participated in a variety of ways, including helping with conference logistics, and conducting walking tours for other attendees. Klaus Renoldner moderated the panel on the Iraq war and welcomed all the IPPNW affiliates to Austria at a luncheon meeting; and Hagen Ernstbrunner participated as a delegate.
ad 6) Klaus Renoldner speaking on behalf of 97 NGOs at the CTBT conference on 5th of September 2003, Vienna, Austria. Dr. Renoldner talked about the direct and indirect effects of nuclear testing on human health, once again demanding that the CTBT entered into force. He pointed out, that many NGOs are very concerned about the US administrations announcements to establish a legal basis for research and development of new types of nuclear weapons, including so called "Mini Nukes".
He noted that 12 key States had not yet signed and/or ratified the CTBT. The present US administration had declared it was not even seeking Senate approval for ratification. The Conference should send a strong message to the remaining 12 CTBT States and urge their prompt signature and ratification without conditions or reservations. States parties should also endorse the continuation of the current global nuclear test explosion moratorium until such time as the CTBT enters into force. Through a strengthened network of NGOs, governments, international bodies and the media, one could promote further initiatives, intensify public discussion and exert broad pressure on the States.
ad 7) Students Activities
IPPNW Austria has a growing students base, represented by an increasing number of active student members. Their activities include active participation at international meetings (European Ippnw Students Meetings, NWIP Preparation Meetings...), preparation of workshops on a variety of topics from the impact of nuclear explosions to palliative care to the benefits of free and open source software for NGOs or the third world.
SLMK annual report 2004
Shortened and translated version.
Full text version (in Swedish) is available in our newsletter.
SLMK is the Swedish affiliate of IPPNW. The aim of the association is to spread knowledge about medical effects of nuclear weapons and contribute to this knowledge through scientific research. Membership is possible for physicians, medical students and teachers at medical schools. SLMK has 3500 members.
Annual meeting 2003, two researchers from Swedish defence research agency lectured.
Several board meetings, specially invited lectures has been; Ime John from IPPNW Nigeria, Professor Peter Wallensteen, peace researcher from Uppsala University. We have also had education on themes as how to communicate with mass media and about dialogues with decision makers.
Exhibitions at medical conferences
Supporting IPPNW financially
Participated in preparations for the world conference in Beijing
Lectured at a peace conference in Amman
Participated in dialogues with decision makers in UK, France, India, Pakistan and Russia, combined with embassy visits in Stockholm.
SLMK students has taken active part in Nuclear Weapons Inheritance Project.
SLMK students participated in IPPNW students meeting in Dublin
Cooperating with the Russian affiliate
Cooperating with the Nepalese affiliate
Published the booklet Human factor and the risk of Nuclear War, printed in English and Russian
Participated in meetings in Athens, Bradford, Berlin, Kyoto and Washington
Participated in NPT prepcom
· Arranged (together with the Finnish affiliate) a weekend education about nuclear weapons, about 50 participants!
· Cooperated with IFMSA at many medical schools.
· Participated in a meeting with president Musharraf from Pakistan
· Published several articles in newspapers
· Website www.slmk.org
· Published educative materials learn about nuclear weapons available at our website in English and Swedish
· Published our newsletter, läkare mot kärnvapen, 6000 copies, 4 issues a year. (in cooperation with the Danish affiliate)
· Manifestations on the Hiroshima day.
Several local groups has taken part in the educational work and other activities.