nuclear articlenuclear articleHistory was made at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on July 7, 2017, when the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weaponswas adopted by a vote of 122 Member States to 1 (The Netherlands, with 1 abstention, Singapore).

This Treaty prohibits development, testing, production, manufacture, acquisition, possession, stockpiling, use, and threat of use of nuclear weapons.

The World Federation of Public Health Associations welcomes this historic Treaty, and urges all states to sign, ratify, and implement it as a key step to safeguard global health.

The long process that it took to get to this point shows the power of joining together and speaking with one voice. While this Treaty can be considered a great achievement, we must continue the fight against nuclear weapons because there is still a lot of work to be done. The nuclear-armed and nuclear-dependent states that are not a part of this Treaty have been provided with practical and flexible ways to comply with these prohibitions once they decide to join. If they persist in defying the norms established by the Treaty, they will be declared as outlaw states.

John Loretz, the program director of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) has stated that, “The nine nuclear-armed states, which refused to participate in these negotiations, are now faced with a stark choice. They can comply with the norms that have been clearly and unambiguously established by the Treaty and eliminate their nuclear weapons, as they should have done decades ago, or they will be stigmatized as outlaw states.” These nine nuclear-armed states are: Russia, the United States, France, China, the United Kingdom, Pakistan, India, Israel, and North Korea. While these nine countries are recognized as owning nuclear weapons, it doesn’t mean that they are the only countries that possess nuclear weapons. Other countries, such as Belgium, Germany, Italy, Turkey, and the Netherlands, deploy and store American nuclear weapons as part of NATO agreements. Other non-nuclear countries, such as South Korea, Canada, and Greece, previously have had similar agreements with the United States. These countries have also been recognized by Loretz, who said, “The states that base their security on the nuclear weapons possessed by other states can either withdraw from extended nuclear deterrence arrangements and cease all military planning and preparation for the use of nuclear weapons, or face similar global condemnation.”

Overall, this Treaty is great for the shared interests of humanity, and it provides a powerful legal, moral, and political tool moving forward. It has been a long and difficult process leading up to this point, and we must continue to work together and speak with one voice to eliminate nuclear weapons entirely in the world.

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dismissed academicsdismissed academicsOn July 3, 2017, the World Federation of Public Health Associations decided to take action against the arbitrary dismissal of thirteen academics from the Dokuz Eylül University in Izmir, Turkey on June 28, 2017.

The Federation demands a withdrawal of the dismissals as a consequence of seven statutory decrees targeting academics that signed the peace declaration of the Academics for Peace group, which has been working since November 2012, to establish peace conditions in Turkey.

WFPHA President, Micheal Moore, addressed this issue by sending three statement letters respectively to Prof. Dr. Adnan Kasman, Medical Faculty Dean Prof. Dr. Oguz Dicle of Dokuz Eyül university in Izmir, as well as the President of The Turkish Council of Higher Education (CoHE) Prof. Dr. Yekta Saraç.

Thousands of Turkish academics that signed the declaration have been dismissed since its publication on January 11, 2016, and hundreds have been jailed. Many of them are highly respected academics that only asserted their freedom of speech and their desire to put an end to State perpetuated violence.

Among them, acclaimed surgeon Prof. Dr. Cem Terzi recently expressed his own opinion regarding the dismissals in the following words, “We are here for the truth and the peace.  We, as academicians, might pay for it. We are ready to pay for the peace…Academics do not obey.

attach xxlLetter to Prof. Dr. Adnan Kasnan

attach xxlLetter to Prof. Dr. Oguz Dicle

attach xxlLetter to Prof. Dr. Yekta Saraç

 

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On Tuesday, 27 June, WFPHA attended the event, "10 Years of Leadership on Global Health: Farewell to Margaret Chan." This event celebrated the many achievements of Dr. Chan during her 10 years as Director-General of the World Health Organization.

At the conclusion of the event, Professor Bettina Borisch of the WFPHA, took a moment to share the Global Charter with Dr. Chan. The Charter aims to bring together the best of all existing public health models, and provide a comprehensive, clear, and flexible framework that can be applied globally, and within individual countries, whether they are low, middle, or high-income.

For more information on the Global Charter, and the many goals that it aims to achieve, please click here.

Cannabis Stock Image 360x240Cannabis Stock Image 360x240 

The President of WFPHA, Michael Moore, recently wrote a letter to the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, on Canada’s proposed legislation to legalize and regulate cannabis.

WFPHA sustains the Government of Canada’s decision to enact legislation to legalize the non-medical production, distribution, and use of cannabis.

President Moore also states that legalizing cannabis does not mean ignoring the significant health risks associated with this substance. The legislation must recognize and consider the real risks associated with cannabis consumption, to ensure that it includes disease/injury prevention, harm reduction approaches, and the means/tools to prevent consumption among children and adolescents.

What Canada does with respect to the legalization of cannabis could be point of reflection for the world.

To view the entire letter, please click here.