Thursday, May 14, 2009

Day Eight at the NPT - A new day and a new draft set of recommendations

My apologies for the delay in blogging the events to Day 8 at the NPT. After an afternoon and a morning of no general discussions in the main conference room, we finally heard back from the delegates regarding the discussions held behind closed doors. After a working paper was tabled by Belgium, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Poland and Turkey the meeting was once again adjourned so that a revised version of the Chair's recommendations could be drafted. These were handed down at about 6pm, allowing delegates and NGO participants alike to spend their evening dissecting the new document. Notably for those of us from ICAN and IPPNW, the reference to a nuclear weapons convention was removed. For in-depth analysis of the difference between the first and second documents from the chair, see the Reaching Critical Will article by Ray Acheson

During the lunchtime break, one of the NGO events was a session on the Medical and Environmental Consequences of Nuclear War. This was put on by IPPNW's US affiliate Physicians for Social Responsibility. I had the opportunity to chair this session and we began with introductory historical remarks by longtime medical activist and author Dr Vic Sidel. We then witnessed a dramatic presentation modeling the impact of both a regional nuclear conflict in South Asia, as well as a full blown war between the US and Russia. Steven Starr and Dr Ira Helfand worked together to present the data and the likely health impact of nuclear war. Much of the data including the brilliant images use are available on, a website Steven has been constructing. In the near future it is hoped that this site will be available in a variety of languages.

Yours from the UN

Ruth Mitchell

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