Health Through Peace 2017 (logo)

Joint Medact Forum and IPPNW World Congress

Health Through Peace 2017

Confronting War, Militarisation and Global Insecurity as an International Health Community

Monday 4th – Wednesday 6th September, 2017

In September 2017, Medact and the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) are bringing together health and peace organisations from across the world to debate, educate and advocate for peace-building, social justice, and demilitarisation. We will be discussing the root causes of war, conflict and violence across expert-led panels, workshops and academic sessions.

Health Through Peace 2017 provides a unique opportunity for delegates to join hundreds of health care providers, students and peace activists at the University of York. Across a three-day programme, you will have the chance to network with key organisations and leaders in the fields of peace, health and nuclear abolition.

Registration is now open.



The latest programme for the central three days of the conference, Monday 4th – Wednesday 6th September 2017, is available below.

Please be aware that we will be continually developing this programme over the coming months – and more details will be added as sessions and speakers are confirmed.

There will be further congressional meetings for IPPNW delegates on Sunday 3rd and Thursday 7th September. For more information on these please contact your regional affiliate.

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(please select a day to view)

Day One – Monday 4th September

1A – Welcome Plenary

0930 – 1100

The Humanitarian Initiative and the Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty

Negotiations on a new treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons will commence in March 2017. By the time we meet in York, we should know much more about the elements of the treaty and its prospects for completion and adoption. How will the ban treaty address the medical and scientific evidence about the consequences of nuclear weapons? Will it fill the “legal gap” identified in the Humanitarian Pledge? How can the treaty be used to place additional pressure on the nuclear-armed states to eliminate their arsenals?

Dr Tilman Ruff Nossal Institute for Global Health, University of Melbourne

Dr Ira Helfand IPPNWBeatrice Fihn ICANAmbassador Miguel Ruiz Cabañas Undersecretary for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights, MexicoDr Rebecca Johnson Acronym InstituteHelen Durham ICRCNick Ritchie University of YorkAmbassador Miguel Ruiz Cabañas Undersecretary for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights, Mexico



1B – Second Plenary

1145 – 1300

From prohibition to elimination of nuclear weapons – strategic next steps

State parties to the ban treaty, in partnership with civil society, will face a number of implementation challenges. What positive steps can non-nuclear-armed States take to advance nuclear disarmament? What strategies can be developed within the nuclear-armed States to enforce the new prohibitions? Is there a separate set of strategies in States that are not themselves nuclear-armed, but that enable the nuclear-armed States to avoid their disarmament obligations? How can IPPNW’s medical message further contribute to these next steps?

John Loretz IPPNWXanthe Hall IPPNW Germany

Dr Bob Dodge IPPNW USADr Anastasia Medvedeva IPPNW RussiaKate Hudson CND-UKArun Mitra IPPNW South AsiaDr Alex Rosen IPPNW GermanyAkira Kawasaki IPPNW JapanCarlos Umana IPPNW Latin America


1C – Afternoon Plenary

1400 – 1600

The structural drivers of war, conflict and violence

Peace cannot be achieved by merely opposing war. This session examines why the peace movement must also mobilise against the drivers of conflict and violence including rising levels of authoritarianism, nationalism and xenophobia; economic inequality; climate change and ecological degradation.

Professor Sir Andrew Haines London School of Hygiene and Tropical MedicineMax Lawson OxfamDr Alexander Butchart World Health Organisation


1D – IPPNW Regional Meetings

1630 – 1830

IPPNW will host their regional meetings – incorporating governance, elections for choice of Regional Vice-Presidents, and reports.
There will be time for non-IPPNW delegates to view posters, stalls and meet each other.

Congress Dinner at the National Railway Museum

There will be a full congress dinner hosted at York’s National Railway Museum.

Day Two – Tuesday 5th September

2A – First Plenary Panel Discussion

0900 – 1030

Preventing war and violence – the democratic and civic challenges of peacebuilding

This session will present the perspectives of leading civic thinkers about the challenges facing civic organisations and the general public in building peace.

Dr Kate Pickett University of York

Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu Professor Nina Caspersen University of York Ben Griffin Veterans for Peace Professor Paul Rogers Oxford Research Group



2B – Second Plenary Panel Discussion

1100 – 1300

Counter-terrorism and the erosion of ethics and International Humanitarian Law

Fifteen years since a “war on terror” was declared by the United States, we can clearly see evidence of an erosion of international humanitarian law norms in the practice of targeted bombings of hospitals; attacks on humanitarian workers; detention without trial and torture; and extra-judicial killings. This session will examine the flouting of IHL and ethical norms by western democracies, and how this has encouraged other regimes to new levels of repression and corruption. The international health community has an important contribution to make in defending and reasserting the critical role of IHL and ethical norms in the conduct of war, conflict and violence; and strengthening the mandate and agency of the UN in upholding international law.

Andre Heller Perache Médecins Sans Frontières Dr Ghassam Abu-Sittah American University of Beirut, with others TBA


2C/D – Parallel Academic Sessions

1400 – 1730

with break

Nuclear famine

Details TBA*

New weapons and technologies

Details TBA*

Health and security

Details TBA*

Gender and conflict

Details TBA*

International humanitarian law and health under fire

Details TBA*

International security and the history of warfare

Details TBA*

The ban treaty and international humanitarian law

Details TBA*

The atomic weapons establishment

Details TBA*

Climate change and conflict

Details TBA*


Details TBA*

Militarism and culture

Details TBA*

* If you are interested in making a contribution to the academic programme, please see the call for papers
Closing date for submissions: 31st March
The full programme will then be released in May

Evening Film Screening:

The Shadow World – Inside the Global Arms Trade

Followed by a panel Q & A with the book’s author Andrew Feinstein

Day Three – Wednesday 6th September

3A – Morning Plenary

0930 – 1100

Building the progressive health movement

This session will provide a series of examples of how individuals and organisations from the health community can act to build peace and resist the drivers of violence.

Dr Daniel Bassey IPPNW Co-President

Dr Chiara Bodini (TBC) People’s Health Movement, EuropeJohn Middleton Faculty for Public Health



3B – First Parallel Workshops

1130 – 1300
3Bi - Ban treaty implementation: nuclear-armed states
3Bii - Don't bank on the bomb: a divestment-worthy campaign

Details TBA

3Biii - Campaigning against Trident in Parliament and within political parties (part 1)

Parliament may have voted to replace Trident in 2016, but the issue is by no means closed. There remain a significant number of MPs who oppose the move and continue to hold the Government to account and raise these important issues. In addition, the Labour Party and Liberal Democrats have recently undertaken Trident policy reviews and both parties have strong grass-roots anti-Trident sentiment. This session will explore how to help shift attitudes and policy on Trident.

Kate Hudson CND-UK

3Biv - Gender and peacebuilding (part 1)

Details TBA

3Bv - Progressive publishing
3Bvi - Mobilising against war and conflict (part 1)

Details TBA

3Bvii - Rethinking security in an age of rising nationalism and migration

Details TBA

with more TBA


3C – Second Parallel Workshops

1400 – 1530
3Ci - Ban treaty implementation: nuclear-dependent states
3Cii - Flashpoints for nuclear war: where and how have the risks increased?

Details TBA

3Ciii - Campaigning against Trident within trade unions (part 2)

The vast majority of trade unions, including the TUC and Scottish TUC, oppose nuclear weapons and want to see the money that’s currently spent on Trident invested in social priority areas such as health and education. There is also strong support for a defence diversification agency and policy to put in place sustainable employment alternatives across the economy. This session will explore current thinking and research on diversification and how the unions can make a difference.

3Civ - Gender and peacebuilding (part 2)

Details TBA

3Cv - Militarisation and conflict (part 1)

Details TBA

3Cvi - Mobilising against war and conflict (part 2)

Details TBA

with more TBA


3D – Third Parallel Workshops

1545 – 1700
3Di - IPPNW's medical message: moving from prohibition to elimination
3Dii - 21st century nuclear arsenals: who's building what? Who will pay the price?

Details TBC

3Diii - Campaigning against Trident in civil society (part 3)

A wide range of organisations across civil society oppose nuclear weapons and joined CND in campaigning against the replacement of Trident. Faith groups, local authority representatives, trade unions, anti-austerity groups, and many other groups have been campaigning throughout the country. Each group has a unique perspective on how to reach different audiences and make their voice heard. This session will explore how to extend this alliance and reach out into wider sections of society.

3Div - Gender and peacebuilding (part 3)

Details TBA

3Dv - Militarisation and conflict (part 2)

Details TBA

3Dvi - Mobilising against war and conflict (part 3)

Details TBA

with more TBA

Closing Plenary

Details TBA


The Conference will take place at the University of York, Heslington West Campus.

The full address is:

Central Hall
University of York
North Yorkshire
YO10 5DD

If you are choosing to use public transport, the nearest train station is York Railway Station. Once disembarking at York, the 44 or 66 bus to the University are the most convenient way to get to the campus. Alternatively there is a taxi stand at the station.

The nearest major airports are Leeds Bradford Airport (30 miles away) or Manchester Airport (85 miles away). From Leeds Bradford Airport it is easiest to get a taxi transfer, but from Manchester there is a direct train from Manchester Airport to York railway station.


On-Site Accommodation

On-site accommodation will be located at James College on the Heslington West campus.

This will be available to book during the registration process at a very reasonable cost.

A mixture of ensuite and shared bathroom rooms will be available to book and will include free wifi and tea/coffee making facilities. Your booking will also include a full Deliciously Yorkshire breakfast and evening meal.

Should you wish to dine out and experience the city of York, self catering options are also available.

Other Accommodation Options

If you would prefer not to stay on campus, or if you require a double/twin bedroom, York has a wealth of accommodation options. The Visit York website lists many of these.

Unless you are driving, hotels that are a short walk from the 44 or 66 bus routes to the University are the most convenient.


Open online Wednesday, 19 October 2016  – Friday, 25 August 2017

Conference Fees

Conference fees include all refreshments and lunch. Supporter tickets provide delegates the opportunity to help us subsidise the attendance of people with limited financial means.

RatesGeneralMedact MemberStudentSupporter
Conference – 1 day£70.00£65.00£40.00£150.00
Conference – 2 days£140.00£130.00£80.00£300.00
Conference – 3 days£179.00£166.00£102.00£350.00
IPPNW Council – 2 days£112.00£106.00£64.00  N/A
Conference – 3 days and IPPNW Council –  2 days£391.00£324.00£166.00£600.00

Accommodation Fees

Fees are per person per night. Ensuite and Shared bathroom rates include breakfast and dinner. Lunch, tea and coffee for all delegates is included in the conference fee above.

Ensuite and meals£80.00£65.00
Shared bathroom and meals£60.00£50.00

To register, please visit the booking page.


For any enquires related to registration, please contact the registration organisers via:

Medact C/O Mosaic Events Ltd. Tower House Mill Lane, off Askham Fields Lane Askham Bryan York, UK, YO23 3NU

Tel: (+44) 01904 702165


Call for Papers

We are now accepting submissions of abstracts for oral and poster presentations relating to the following themes and topics:
Drivers of War and ConflictThe Conduct and Consequences of War, Conflict and ViolencePeacebuilding and Conflict Resolution
Militarism and cultures of violenceThe refugee and migrant crisisArms control and disarmament
Structural violence and neoliberal globalisation as a driver of war and conflictHealth care under fireMediation and conflict resolution
Racism, hate, misogyny and the rise of the rightGender, violence and conflictGender and peacebuilding
The military industrial complex and the arms tradeHealth effectsInstitution-building and sustainable peace
Global governance and mitigating violent conflictEthics and contemporary war, including new weapons and technologiesAtrocity prevention and the future of the ‘responsibility to protect’
Climate change and conflictThe securitisation of healthCivil society and peacebuilding

To submit an abstract, or a suggestion for a session theme or topic, please complete a copy of the following form:

Call for Papers Form

Once completed, please email to:

York & North Yorkshire

  • Like stepping back into the middle ages, the overhanging timber-framed houses and traditional shopfronts of The Shambles makes it one of the UK’s most historic (and picturesque) streets.
  • You can’t miss York Minster, one of the largest cathedrals in Northern Europe and also one of the most beautiful Gothic churches in the world.
  • There’s Viking heritage too, as York – then called Jorvik – was once the capital of a Viking territory. You can head back in time to learn more and experience the sights, sounds and smells of the time at the immersive Jorvik Viking Centre.
  • Uncover 300 years of railway history, climb aboard restored locomotives and browse some of the 1 million train-related artefacts at the free National Railway Museum.

With hundreds of things to do and places to visit in and around the historic city of York and North Yorkshire.

Please visit for more information and to plan your trip.

IPPNW Bike Tour

The IPPNW Student body will be organising a bike tour from Faslane in Scotland – where the UK’s Trident Nuclear submarines are based – to the conference in York.

The route includes the famous Coasts & Castles path from Edinburgh to Newcastle – one of the most well-loved routes of the UK’s National Cycle Network.

August 26th – September 2nd

For more details and to register, visit: the IPPNW Student Movement site

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