War and conflict are major causes of human suffering. They also cause environmental degradation, perpetuate inequalities and undermine democracy. Nuclear bombs and other indiscriminate weapons of mass destruction are incompatible with the public health aims of safety and health protection.
But a vast complex of standing armies, militias, weapons manufacturers, arms traders and politicians promote war, violence and militarism out of self-interest and greed, or because they fail to see better alternatives for resolving conflict and disputes.
Health professionals have a long history of: providing humanitarian relief; facilitating ceasefires and the cessation of conflict; promoting disarmament and peacebuilding; and providing impartial evidence on the perpetration of war crimes.
Medact grew out of the medical peace movement and is the UK affiliate of the Nobel Laureate International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW).
Medact continues to promote disarmament and encourage investment in nonviolent responses to conflict; seek the abolition of nuclear weapons; and reduce the power and influence of the global military-industrial complex. It promotes the universal right to health as a platform for peace building and more effective international diplomacy and cooperation.
To correspond with the recent publication of the IPPNW-Germany paper ‘How Nuclear Power powers the Bomb’, we publish a blog by Frank Boulton outlining the financial, environmental, health and geo-political arguments around nuclear power.
With the DSEI arms fair underway, Daniel Flecknoe and Dr Ahmed Razavi outline the public health impacts of armed conflict, and argue that the UK government’s sale of arms to countries such as Saudi Arabia makes them an accessory to war crimes.
After joining protests outside the DSEI arms fair earlier this month, we are holding a meeting to discuss the arms trade, war and health.
In response to the sentencing of 11 Turkish doctors to 20 months in prison for a statement made against the military offensive in Afrin, Syria, Medact has urged the UK Foreign Secretary to take action. “War is a man-made public health problem.” It is these words,...
Join us for an evening of pizza and banner-making in preparation for raising our voices against the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) – the world’s largest arms fair – taking place in September in London.