Nurses and midwives call for a ban on nuclear weapons

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Nurses and other health professionals take a stand to prevent nuclear catastrophe.

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation, the Public Health Association of Australia, the Rehabilitation Medicine Society of Australia and New Zealand and the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, have signed a Healthcare Organisations Statement, initiated by the Medical Association for the Prevention of War (MAPW, Australia), calling on the Australian Government and ALP to sign the UN nuclear weapons ban treaty.

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has also called for Australia to sign the treaty.

The statement says nuclear weapons represent an overwhelming threat to human and environmental health and that the only way to avoid widespread destruction is to abolish them.

“As an organisation of healthcare professionals, we call on the Australian Government to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, and we call on all parliamentarians to work to achieve this essential goal, as we believe it is a key step toward the abolition of the world’s most terrifying devices,” it reads.

ANMF Federal Secretary, Annie Butler, said the country’s largest union felt it was important to take a stand on nuclear weapons.

“With millions of colleagues around the world, including the International Council of Nurses and the World Medical Association, we strongly support the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons,” Ms Butler said.“The Treaty represents a significant step towards eliminating the most destructive weapons ever created. We call on all governments, including our own, to sign and ratify the Treaty.”

This article was originally published in the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association publication, Lamp.

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