Milestones: IPPNW's First Three Decades

Drs. Bernard Lown, James Muller, Eric Chivian and Herb Abrams from the US meet in Geneva with Drs. Eugueni Chazov, Leonid Ilyin, and Mikhail Kuzin from the Soviet Union and agree to organize an international physicians movement to combat the nuclear threat.

IPPNW's First World Congress is held in Airlie, Virginia, and is attended by 80 physicians from 12 countries. The Congress attracts press coverage, generates scientific research, and provides the foundation for building an international movement.

The Second World Congress is held in Cambridge, UK, and is attended by 200 physicians from 31 countries. Soviet television

Soviet and U.S. physicians from IPPNW appear on Soviet television for an unprecedented live, unedited discussion on the consequences of nuclear war. Seen by 100 million Soviet viewers, the program is later broadcast in the US.

IPPNW publishes Last Aid: the Medical Dimension of Nuclear War. The book is translated into several languages and is used at leading medical schools worldwide.

The Third World Congress is held in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and is attended by more than 300 physicians from 43 countries.

The Fourth World Congress is held in Espoo, Finland, and is attended by 500 physicians from 53 countries. The Impact of Nuclear War on Children and Adolescents, an international research study co-sponsored by IPPNW, is presented.

UNESCO honors IPPNW with its Peace Education Prize, citing "especially remarkable activity to inform public activity and mobilize the conscience of mankind for peace."

kids with chalk 1985
During the first tour of IPPNW's new East-West Physicians Campaign, a team of Soviet and US physicians visits five US cities to educate the public about the medical consequences of nuclear war and to promote East-West relations.

The Fifth World Congress of IPPNW is held in Budapest, Hungary, and is attended by 800 physicians from 60 countries. At this time, the federation represents more than 135,000 physicians in 41 national affiliates. New emphasis is placed on the relationship between development and disarmament and the need for a nuclear test ban.

IPPNW formulates a "Medical Prescription," calling for a moratorium on nuclear testing. Weeks later, the USSR announces that it will discontinue its testing program for the rest of the year. IPPNW launches an international campaign for a mutual moratorium.

In December, IPPNW receives the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo. The Nobel Committee commends IPPNW for "considerable service to mankind by spreading authoritative information and in creating an awareness of the catastrophic consequences of atomic warfare."

IPPNW Co-Presidents Lown and Chazov meet with Mikhail Gorbachev and help persuade him to extend the Soviet Union's unilateral moratorium on nuclear weapons testing.

Fifteen hundred physicians from 65 countries examine the moral and ethical aspects of nuclear weapons at IPPNW's Sixth World Congress in Cologne, Germany.

IPPNW leaders travel through the USSR, China, and Japan on the first leg of IPPNW's Global Campaign. Subsequent legs take IPPNW leaders through five continents on their mission to educate physicians and build the movement.

The Seventh World Congress is held in Moscow, USSR, and is attended by more than 2,000 physicians from 70 countries. Representing more than 175,000 physicians, IPPNW is now the fasting growing medical organization in the world.

CSN and Bruce Cockburn 1988
IPPNW co-sponsors the International Scientific Symposium on a Nuclear Test Ban in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Soviet Union conducts the first nuclear test of 1988, triggering protests from IPPNW affiliates as part of the new Cease-Fire campaign. Affiliates continue to protest every single nuclear test.

The Eighth World Congress is held in Montreal, Canada, and is attended by 2,500 physicians from nearly 80 countries.

Crosby, Stills and Nash and Bruce Cockburn, together with musicians from the USSR and Canada perform at IPPNW's Concert for Peace. IPPNW's Concert Tour for Peace begins in Berlin (West). Under the direction of the late Antal Dorati, an international orchestra and chorus perform Beethoven's "Missa Solemnis" in four cities in five days.

In response to a growing crisis created by nuclear weapon manufacture, IPPNW creates the International Commission to Investigate the Health and Environmental Effects of Nuclear Weapons Production.

In December, an earthquake devastates parts of Soviet Armenia. IPPNW secures millions of dollars worth of medical supplies and arranges for medical teams to enter the quake-stricken region.

SatelLife staff 1989
SatelLife is incorporated under the auspices of IPPNW to develop programs using space technology for medical purposes with an emphasis on the developing world.

A new IPPNW publication, Medicine and Nuclear War: A Model Curriculum, helps medical school faculty include information on medicine and nuclear war in their programs.

At IPPNW's Ninth World Congress in October, 3,000 physicians meet in the two cities victimized by the atomic bombs: Hiroshima and Nagasaki.


Citizens of the former Soviet Republic of Kazakhstan protest nuclear weapons testing at the Soviet nuclear testing site near Semipalatinsk in August, 1989.
Photo by Yuri Kuidin.

Together with the Soviet grass-roots movement "Nevada- Semipalatinsk- Moruroa," IPPNW convenes the International Citizens Congress for a Nuclear Test Ban in Alma-Ata and Semipalatinsk, USSR. The historic event revitalizes the Comprehensive Test Ban campaign. SatelLife plans next year's launch of a communications satellite that would provide vital information services to medical communities in the developing world.

IPPNW releases Radioactive Heaven and Earth, the first formal report of IPPNW's International Commission to Investigate the Health and Environmental Consequences of Nuclear Weapons Testing and Production.

SatelLife creates HealthNet, an inexpensive, reliable communication system providing physicians in both hemispheres a means of solving problems together.

More than 1,300 IPPNW activists from 80 nations assemble in Stockholm, Sweden for IPPNW's Tenth Anniversary World Congress.

During the Gulf War, IPPNW sends investigators, publicizes the health effects of the war, advocates for peace, and delivers tons of medical and nutritional supplies.

The second volume of research by the International Commission, Plutonium:Deadly Gold of the Nuclear Age, is published.

IPPNW doctors in refugee camp Medical supplies and equipment are delivered to the former Soviet Union in response to shortages following its breakup.

To help persuade the new nuclear states Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine to give up the nuclear arsenals they inherited from the Soviet Union, IPPNW works with its Russian affiliate on a broad educational and media campaign.

The World Court Project is launched in conjunction with the International Peace Bureau and the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms. The goal of the project is to have the International Court of Justice issue an advisory opinion on the illegality of nuclear weapons.

African affiliates aid refugees from the war in Somalia and help document the health effects of the war.

Mexico City Congress 1993
The Eleventh World Congress takes place in Mexico City, the first in the developing world.

At IPPNW's urging, the World Health Organization votes to petition the World Court for an advisory opinion on the legality of nuclear weapons use.

Demonstrations and letter writing help lead to an extension of the nuclear testing moratorium.

Russian and Japanese affiliates lead the federation's protest against Russian dumping of liquid radioactive waste in violation of a ten year moratorium. This was followed by a world ban on nuclear and industrial waste dumping at sea by the London Convention.

IPPNW works with Medipaz, our Nicaraguan affiliate, to produce a study on The War in Nicaragua: The Effects of Low-Intensity Conflict on an Underdeveloped Country.

World Court Project demo 1994
The United Nations General Assembly requests an advisory opinion from the World Court on the legality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons; 34 national governments submit legal arguments to the Court. IPPNW joins in presenting 110 million citizens' signatures to the Court in opposition to nuclear weapons.

An unprecedented tour by Russian Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (RPPNW) to four principal nuclear weapons sites in the U.S. takes place as part of RPPNW's continuing public education campaign on the nuclear threat.

The Abolition 2000 campaign is launched with the goal of building worldwide support for a signed global agreement by the year 2000 that sets a firm timetable for nuclear abolition.

At a top-level NPT symposium, IPPNW's case for nuclear abolition is received enthusiastically by an audience that included diplomats, disarmament experts, and the public.

A senior IPPNW delegation travels to Paris to meet in person with high-level French officials to protest planned nuclear tests in the South Pacific.

The release of Nuclear Wastelands, the magnum opus of IPPNW's International Commission, is publicly lauded as the most comprehensive and authoritative reference on the devastating health and environmental effects of fifty years of nuclear weapons production.

Chinese physicians join IPPNW, giving it an affiliate in every nuclear weapons state. Abolition 2000 -- Handbook for a World Without Nuclear Weapons is released to help physician-activists develop their dialogue and non-confrontational communication skills for use with governments and decision-makers.

Lachlan Forrow 1996
IPPNW releases the first report of a new information series: Global Health Watch. Crude Nuclear Weapons: Proliferation and the Terrorist Threat evaluates the risks and potential consequences of nuclear terrorism in a world where fissile materials could fall into the hands of terrorists.

The 12th World Congress is held at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts (USA). The theme of the Congress is Peace Through Health: Agenda for the New Millennium.

Dr. Ron McCoy, IPPNW Co-President, sits on the prestigious Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.

IPPNW helps push through a final agreement on the long-awaited Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

landmine amputee 1997
IPPNW produces the comprehensive report Landmines: A Global Health Crisis, the second in the Global Health Watch series. IPPNW joins commission of Nobel Peace Laureates to promote an International Code of Conduct on Arms Transfers.

As part of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, IPPNW celebrates the award of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize to Jody Williams and the ICBL.

Medicine & Global Survival and Medicine, Conflict and Survival are designated IPPNW journals.

Efforts to secure an international agreement on the elimination of nuclear weapons by the year 2000 were advanced in a Geneva meeting among NGOs, including IPPNW, and dozens of state representatives to the UN Conference on Disarmament.

North Asia conference With IPPNW support, the Middle Powers Initiative is launched -- an effort by several NGOs to mobilize the influence of key non-nuclear states to press the nuclear powers on disarmament issues.

IPPNW organizes its first ever North Asia regional meeting to address critical nuclear security issues among Japan, China, and the Koreas.

The Australian affiliate holds the 13th World Congress in Melbourne.

IPPNW organizes a major conference on landmines in Moscow with the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. This is the first such forum held in Russia, a major manufacturer of landmines.

IPPNW works with IALANA, the International Peace Bureau, and other peace, disarmament, and human rights groups to help organize the Hague Appeal for Peace; IPPNW members conduct workshops and IPPNW medical students organize a 10-day training session on peace and disarmament issues.

IPPNW publishes Everything Secure? Myths and Realities of Nuclear Disarmament.
India delegation
Security and Survival: The Case for a Nuclear Weapons Convention is produced by IPPNW in cooperation with the Lawyers Committee for Nuclear Policy and the International Network of Engineers and Scientists Against Proliferation. The book, released at the UN during the Non-Proliferation Treaty PrepCom, is a valuable organizing tool in the campaign for nuclear abolition.

IPPNW leaders meet with India's Prime Minister to call for nuclear abolition. Bombing Bombay: The Effects of Nuclear Weapons and a Case Study of of a Hypothetical Explosion is released in South Asia to help activists campaign for nuclear abolition.

IPPNW asserts a strong presence at the 2000 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Review Conference, organizing key NGO disarmament panels and helping to develop "13 Steps" toward nuclear disarmament. The five nuclear weapon states that are signatories to the NPT commit themselves to an "unequivocal undertaking" to eliminate nuclear weapons as required by Article 6.

North Asia regional meeting

North Asia regional meeting at the 14th World Congress: an historic gathering of affiliates from North and South Korea, China, and Japan.

Thousands of IPPNW physicians and supporters campaign against US plans to deploy a national missile defense system that threatens to overturn the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty and ignite a new nuclear arms race. Affiliates in countries on which the US depends for deployment of the NMD system are especially active participants in the campaign.

More than 400 physicians, health workers, medical students, scientists, political leaders, and IPPNW supporters from nearly 50 countries met in Paris in June to chart IPPNW’s course for the 21st century and celebrate 20 years of activism to prevent nuclear war and promote peace. A new federation campaign around the medical consequences of the proliferation of small arms is introduced to Congress participants as a major element of IPPNW's war prevention mission.

Delegations comprising physicians, medical students, and staff from nearly a dozen countries meet in November with parliamentarians, defense and disarmament ministers, and embassy representatives in London and Paris as part of the Dialogues with Decisionmakers program. US national missile defenses and British and French NPT obligations are focal points of the meetings.

IPPNW's "Stop Star Wars" campaign against the proposed national missile defense system gains momentum, with a forum on the Pine Gap installation in Australia; a Canadian mass transit and Internet youth-outreach campaign called "Bombs Away"; participation by the French affiliate in a European roundtable discussion on the weaponization of space; placement of a full-page ad protesting NMD in Swedish newspapers, timed to coincide with a visit by George W. Bush; and a range of other activities in Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, and the UK.

Following the September 11 attacks in the US, IPPNW placed renewed emphasis on its longstanding concern with nuclear terrorism, the proliferation of fissile materials, and the possibility that commercial nuclear power plants could become terrorist targets.

The Dialogues With Decisionmakers program fielded new delegations to Moscow in May, for a week-long series of meetings at defense and security ministries, the State Duma, a major medical research institute, and other peace and disarmament NGOs.

"Aiming For Prevention," IPPNW's international medical conference on small arms, gun violence, and injury, took place in Helsinki in September and marked the official launch of a global campaign on the medical and public health effects of the small arms pandemic. The conference issued a medical call to action, endorsing the need for "a comprehensive educational campaign to inform our professions, our students, and the public about the multiple causes and the devastating consequences of small arms violence."

IPPNW affiliates in Africa and Russia collected data on the health effects of antipersonnel landmines for the Landmines Monitor; conducted workshops on mine awareness and the treatment of mine-related injuries; and worked for universal accession to the Mine Ban Treaty.

IPPNW's 15th World Congress-"The Summit for Survival"-takes place in Washington, DC. The Congress places the threat of nuclear war into the broader framework of issues including landmines, small arms, and global environmental damage, all driven by global inequities and the yawning gap between the Global North and the Global South. The keynote address, a critique of the policy of extended deterrence and a call for an international campaign to abolish nuclear weapons, is given by Pugwash founder Sir Joseph Rotblat.

IPPNW, the World Health Organization, the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Physicians for Human Rights, and UNICEF collaborate on the first conference on "The Role of Public Health in Preventing War-Related Injury," a pre-conferences to the 2002 World Injury Conference in Montreal. The same organizations will organize a second conference in Vienna in 2004.

PSR/IPPNW-Switzerland organizes an international symposium on the dangers of nuclear energy. The proceedings are published by IPPNW as a Global Health Watch Report entitled Rethinking Nuclear Energy and Democracy After September 11, 2001.

As the Bush administration prepares for war against Iraq, IPPNW gathers nearly 1,000 signatures from doctors and health professionals on a petition calling for resolution of the conflict through non-military measures and the rule of law. The UK affiliate, Medact, publishes Collateral Damage: The health and environmental costs of war on Iraq, the first in what will become a series of assessments of the impact of the war on health and social services. Criticized upon publication for overstating casualty projections, the estimates turn out to be very close to the mark. Later in the year, Medact releases a followup report, Continuing Collateral Damage, which validates the earlier projections and documents the obstacles to post-war reconstruction.

A major new report on the medical consequences of nuclear-armed earth-penetrating weapons-so-called bunker busters-concludes that a nuclear EPW with a yield less than one-tenth of that of the nuclear weapon used on Hiroshima or Nagasaki could result in fatal doses of radiation to tens of thousands of victims, and could lead to weakening the restraints against the use of nuclear weapons of greater yield.

Small arms activists participate in the 1st Biennial Meeting of States to begin measuring the progress nations have made toward achieving the goals set out in the UN Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons.

"Peace Through Health," IPPNW's 16th World Congress, takes place in September in Beijing-the first time a major medical conference on nuclear abolition and the prevention of war has ever been sanctioned by the Chinese Society of Radiological Medicine and Protection and the Chinese Medical Association. The Beijing Declaration calls nuclear war "a real possibility" in an age of unjust globalization, and condemns the development of new generations of nuclear weapons and policies that explicitly allow their use in a wide set of circumstances.

Medact publishes Enduring Effects of War: Health in Iraq 2004, the third in a series of reports on the impact of the US and UK-led invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq. The new study assesses the impact of the war, independent reports of 100,000 or more deaths, and the ensuing period of insecurity on health, the health care system and health reconstruction initiatives.

In commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the US atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, IPPNW issues the Hiroshima Peace Declaration at its 5th North Asia Regional Meeting. Citing the failure of the 2005 NPT Review Conference and the continuing refusal of the nuclear weapons states to implement their Article VI disarmament commitments, physicians and medical students from 13 countries call for the establishment of a nuclear-weapons-free zone in Northeast Asia.

Affiliate leaders from Africa, South Asia, and Latin America gather at the United Nations for the Second Biennial Meeting of States on the Programme of Action (UNPoA) on Small Arms, and announce the formation of the new International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) Public Health Network (PHN), coordinated by IPPNW as part of Aiming for Prevention.

IPPNW celebrates is 25th anniversary at an event in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Highlights include talks by Founding Co-President Bernard Lown, antinuclear activist Daniel Ellsberg, and singer-songwriter James Taylor.

The Paasitorni Center in Helsinki, Finland is the site of IPPNW's 17th World Congress-"Mission of Physicians: War or Health?" Congress participants renew their commitment to the prevention of war and "the establishment of global security frameworks based on health and human rights," and they call for the abolition of nuclear weapons as "an imperative human security goal that can no longer be postponed."

Medact publishes Britain's New Nuclear Weapons - Illegal, Indiscriminate and Catastrophic for Health in response to a UK government white paper recommending the replacement of Trident with a new strategic nuclear weapon system. British physicians say the estimated £76 billion cost of the new system would be better spent on improving public health.

IPPNW-Germany and the German Society for Radiation Protection produce a new study on the health effects of the Chernobyl catastrophe and release it at an international conference to mark the 20th anniversary of the tragedy.

IPPNW and the Institute for Security Studies organize the pre-conference to the 2006 World Injury Conference in Durban, South Africa entitled "Driving change: Developing Firearm Policies for Safer Societies." Aiming for Prevention activists conduct a training program in Nairobi, Kenya for physicians from five African countries as part of an IPPNW-sponsored multinational hospital-based research pilot study on injury due to firearm violence.

Nine doctors and other health professionals, including members of Medact, are arrested outside the Trident Submarine Base at Faslane, in Scotland, during a demonstration against the UK's plans to replace Trident with a new nuclear weapon system.

At the Preparatory Committee meeting for the 2010 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review in Vienna, IPPNW launches ICAN-the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. ICAN events in Australia, Canada, South Asia, the US, and throughout Europe bring global visibility to the goal of a nuclear-weapons-free world. The focal point of the campaign is a revised and updated Model Nuclear Weapons Convention, included in Securing Our Survival, published jointly with IALANA, and INESAP.

IPPNW and PSR publish a paper on the climate and health effects of regional nuclear war, based on scientific research conducted by climate scientists O. B. Toon, Alan Robock and others who collaborated on the nuclear winter studies in the 1980s. "An assessment of the extent of projected global famine resulting from limited, regional nuclear war," concludes that as many as one billion people could die as a result of the nuclear famine caused by the detonation of 100 Hiroshima-sized nuclear weapons.

In collaboration with the Royal Society of Medicine, IPPNW organizes an international medical conference on nuclear weapons. The Final Pandemic: Preventing Proliferation and Achieving Abolition presents important new scientific data on the climate effects of regional nuclear war; on the health impacts of exposure to radiation; on the health and environmental consequences of nuclear testing and uranium mining; and on the proliferation risks resulting from the use of highly enriched uranium in medical isotope production. A revised and updated monograph on "Medicine and Nuclear War" is launched at the conference, while medical students organize a Target X installation and a candlelight procession through London's Trafalgar Square.

Physicians for Social Responsibility and Indian Doctors for Peace and Development issue a joint statement opposing the US-India nuclear technology agreement, and campaign against it throughout the year.

Doctors and medical students from IPPNW's Swedish affiliate, SLMK, meet with colleagues in Tehran and in Pyongyang-important instances of physician-to-physician diplomacy at a time of heightened concern about nuclear proliferation. IPPNW Co-President Ime John returns to Iran a few months later to speak with members of the Society of Chemical Weapons Victims Support (SCWVS) and to promote the common goals of IPPNW and Mayors for Peace.

ICAN gains momentum during its first full year, gaining endorsements from the Dalai Lama, Hans Blix, and Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba, among others. The Model Nuclear Weapons Convention is introduced as a working document of the NPT at the 2008 PrepCom in Geneva, where IPPNW doctors brief diplomats on the climate and health consequences of nuclear war.

The 18th World Congress in Delhi focuses on India's pivotal role in achieving global nuclear disarmament, and on the importance of sustainable, equitable development to health and security. IPPNW leaders meet with Prime Minister Singh and with President Patel and present each with a copy of Securing Our Survival.

Founding Co-President Bernard Lown publishes Prescription for Survival: A Doctor's Journey to End Nuclear Madness, a memoir of the early history of IPPNW.

Aiming for Prevention researchers produce special sections on small arms violence for the international peer-reviewed Journal of Public Health Policy and for Medicine Conflict & Survival. IPPNW members participate in the 9th World Conference on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion, in Merida, Mexico, and in the 3rd Biennial Meeting of States, where the present compelling papers on the human dimensions of armed violence.

IPPNW organizes a Medical Appeal to the new US President, Barack Obama, and to Russian President Dmitri Medvedev signed by more than 300 of the world's top physicians, who call on the leaders of the largest nuclear powers to "end the nuclear weapons era once and for all."

800 doctors, students and fellow activists gathered at the IPPNW World Congress in Basel, Switzerland from around the world to mark IPPNW's 30th anniversary by recommitting themselves to preventing nuclear catastrophe.

IPPNW was elected to help steer the Control Arms Campaign. Aiming for Prevention activists brought their medical expertise to Safety 2010, Violence Prevention Alliance annual meeting in Rome, and recommended a public health action plan at the UN Biennial Meeting of States.

IPPNW engages in widespread public education activities and media work to offer a medical and public health perspective on the nuclear reactor crisis in Fukushima, Japan. A special edition of Medicine & Global Survival—feature articles, commentaries and first-hand accounts.

Ulrich Gottstein of IPPNW Germany, one of IPPNW's earliest and most distinguished leaders, is honored by the German Medical Association.

IPPNW returns to Hiroshima for its 20th World Congress, where hundreds of health professionals and activists from over 30 countries discuss the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons and learn about ICAN's plan to campaign for a treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons. Medical students lead a 500km bike tour for peace from Nagasaki to Hiroshima.

Physicians and medical students bring IPPNW's public health message about armed violence to a UN conference on the Arms Trade Treaty. Aiming for Prevention activists also speak at the UN Programme of Action PrepCom.

A historic Arms Trade Treaty is passed at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. The treaty, for which IPPNW has campaigned as the public health voice, sets clear rules for all global transfers of weapons and ammunition.

IPPNW experts present the medical and environmental facts about nuclear weapons and nuclear war to delegations from more than 130 countries at the First International Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons (HINW), held in Oslo in March. ICAN organizes a parallel civil society conference attended by 500 activists. The conference marks the beginning of a new, humanitarian-based initiative to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons, with leadership from non-nuclear-weapon states and civil society partners. ICAN calls for the commencement of negotiations on a treaty banning nuclear weapons, with or without participation by the nuclear-armed states

In June, co-president Ira Helfand participates in an unprecedented discussion about nuclear weapons with Israeli parliamentarians at the Knesset. Dr. Helfand described the effects and outcome of a limited nuclear war on the world climate and human population, then debated the nuclear situation in Israel, which does not officially admit to possessing nuclear weapons.

At the 13th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Warsaw, IPPNW calls for outlawing and eliminating nuclear weapons as a humanitarian imperative, in a statement endorsed by 10 other participating Laureates.

IPPNW’s Finnish affiliate holds an international conference in Helsinki, focusing on countries that had either nuclear weapons or advanced nuclear weapon development programs and renounced them. The proceedings of Nuclear Exits were later published as a special issue of the journal Medicine, Conflict and Survival.

A revised and updated edition of Nuclear Famine concludes that more than two billion people—a quarter of the world’s population—would be at risk of starvation in the event of a limited, regional nuclear war.

The global arms trade and the devastation caused by small arms are the focus of an international IPPNW congress in Villingen-Schwenningen, Germany. Participants in Human Target demonstrate outside the headquarters of Hechler and Koch, one of the world's largest manufacturers and suppliers of guns.

IPPNW plays a key role at two international conferences on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons in Nayarit, Mexico, in February and in Vienna, Austria in December. A new IPPNW campaign kit presents the essential facts about the medical, environmental, and humanitarian effects of nuclear weapons and nuclear war. At the conclusion of the Vienna conference, Austria launches a Humanitarian Pledge that will initiate a political process for a new treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons.

The 21st IPPNW World Congress is held in Astana, Kazakhstan.

In September, IPPNW, PSR, and Pax Christi International submit an amicus curiae brief to the US federal court in support of a lawsuit brought by the Republic of the Marshall Islands, claiming that the US and the other eight nuclear-armed states are legally required to comply with their nuclear disarmament obligations. The Marshall Islands launches similar suits against all nine nuclear-armed States in the International Court of Justice.

After more than a decade of campaigning by thousands worldwide, the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) becomes international law.

IPPNW Germany launches the “We refuse to be enemies” project, in response to the conflict in Ukraine. Hundreds of people post photos on Facebook and other social media sites, holding placards declaring “#refusetobe enemies.” IPPNW warns that the crisis could escalate to the use of nuclear weapons, and calls on all parties to bring the conflict to an end.

IPPNW calls for ratification of the international agreement with Iran to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons and criticizes the existing nuclear-armed states for failing to fulfill their disarmament obligations and for spending hundreds of billions of dollars on modernization programs that assume a role for nuclear weapons for the rest of this century.

In July, an international team of IPPNW medical students, young doctors, and other activists climb to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the world's highest free-standing mountain, to raise awareness about the humanitarian and health effects of nuclear weapons and uranium mining in Africa.

Peer-reviewed journal Injury Prevention publishes results of South-North Project on Violence Prevention, an IPPNW victim assistance project in Zambia.

At its General Assembly in October, the World Medical Association adopts a powerful new resolution condemning nuclear weapons and urging national medical associations to call on their governments to work for prohibition and elimination. IPPNW’s nuclear famine findings are cited as a key piece of humanitarian evidence.

Co-President Ira Helfand delivers a TEDx talk in Vail, Colorado called “Can we prevent nuclear war?

Leading Dutch health professionals, organized by IPPNW’s affiliate NVMP, warn against the dangers of nuclear weapons in a medical appeal published on the BMJ blog. Over the next few months, affiliates in Norway and Germany organize similar appeals.

IPPNW, the World Medical Association, the World Federation of Public Health Associations, and the International Council of Nurses submit a joint working paper—“The health and humanitarian case for banning and eliminating nuclear weapons”—to the UN Open-Ended Working Group on nuclear disarmament (OEWG) in Geneva. The four leading international federations call collectively for urgent action to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons as “the only course of action commensurate with the existential danger they pose.” Co-presidents Ira Helfand and Tilman Ruff speak at the OEWG on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons. The OEWG recommends that the UN convene negotiations on a new treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons.

In October, IPPNW, the WMA, the ICN, and the WFPHA co-author an editorial in The Guardian calling for a ban treaty on health and humanitarian grounds. As the First Committee prepares to vote on the ban treaty resolution, IPPNW releases a statement signed by 17 Nobel Laureates, including 15 Peace Laureates, urging the UN “to ensure that negotiations on a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons commence in 2017.” The General Assembly authorizes a negotiating conference to commence in March 2017, open to all States and blockable by none.

IPPNW leaders and activists join more than 100 other ICAN campaigners as civil society participants in negotiations on a historic Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The Treaty is adopted by an overwhelming majority of states on July 7.

ICAN receives the Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts to raise awareness about the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons and for its role in helping to achieve the Ban Treaty.