WPSR Press Release on the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize 



Media Contacts:
Bruce Amundson, MD, WPSR Board President            (206) 251-0415        jobrucebaa@frontier.com

Lilly Adams, WPSR Security Program Organizer          (206) 547-2630        lilly@wpsr.org


SEATTLE, WA (October 6, 2017) – Today, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their work bringing forward the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Physicians for Social Responsibility’s (PSR) international federation, the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), founded ICAN in 2007. ICAN mobilized more than 400 NGOs across 100 countries to advocate for an international ban against nuclear weapons. The United Nations adopted the landmark treaty on July 7, 2017. Washington PSR (WPSR), PSR’s local affiliate, has been supporting ICAN efforts and pushing the United States to participate in negotiations for this treaty.

These milestones are happening amidst global nuclear turmoil, as tensions rise between the United States and North Korea, and the US administration threatens to pull out of the Iran Nuclear Deal. Though the United States boycotted negotiations for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, 122 countries voted to enact it earlier this year.

“With the treaty’s passage, and the significant support the Nobel Peace Prize gives this treaty, it shines a bright light on the arrogance and irresponsibility of the US and other nuclear-armed nations who continue to both ignore and demean the significance of this fact: two-thirds of the world’s nations have said these weapons are illegal, inhumane, and need to be abolished,” said Bruce Amundson, President of Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility

Physicians from PSR worked with ICAN to present scientific data on the medical consequences of nuclear weapons at a series of three intergovernmental conferences in 2013 and 2014, the 2016 U.N. multilateral disarmament forum, and the 2017 U.N. treaty negotiations.

Here in Washington state, WPSR led the effort to bring 30 diverse groups together in the state-wide Washington Coalition to Stop the New Nuclear Arms Race. The coalition opposes US government plans to spend $1 trillion rebuilding our nuclear weapons arsenal over the next 30 years, and envisions a future safe from the threats posed by nuclear weapons. This issue is particularly relevant in WA, where the largest concentration of deployed nuclear weapons in the US sits just 20 miles from Seattle at the Kitsap-Bangor Naval Base.

Ira Helfand, MD, a PSR board member who serves on the International Steering Group of ICAN, called the treaty “a wakeup call from the rest of the world which has focused worldwide attention on the catastrophic medical consequences that will occur if these weapons are used.” Dr. Helfand described ICAN as “a powerful voice reminding us all of the urgent need to ban and eliminate these weapons as the only reliable way to make sure they are not used.”

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Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility (WPSR), a statewide organization of over 800 members, engages the community to create a healthy, peaceful and sustainable world. WPSR has been engaged in activism to prevent nuclear war for nearly 40 years.

PSR’s international federation, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, received the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize.

Learn more about WPSR at www.wpsr.org and follow us on Twitter at @psr_washington

Read the Nobel Committee's official statement here