The Planetary Health Imperative to Ban and Eradicate Nuclear Weapons
Peter Doherty Institute
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The World Health Organization has concluded that nuclear weapons pose the greatest immediate threat to human health and welfare. They are the only weapons that pose an existential threat to planetary health. Yet rather than disarming, all nuclear-armed states are massively investing in modernising and retaining their arsenals. The dangers of nuclear war breaking out are growing and as high as they have ever been.
Current evidence on the effects of nuclear weapons, and successful approaches to control other indiscriminate and inhumane weapons, underpin the historic UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, adopted by 122 nations on 7 July 2017. In this lecture, Professor Tilman Ruff will explore why the Treaty is a public health good of the highest order. He will show how it provides a path for all states to the eradication of nuclear weapons, a stated aspiration of and legal obligation for all governments, and why all states should join the Treaty and implement it without delay.