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.