We live in one of the most fragile eras since the end of the Cold War. With rising political tension and sharp nuclear rhetorics, the world faces several challenges in its approach to the world’s nuclear arsenal. While making up the largest percentage of the world’s population, being born after the Second World War and the Cold War, today’s youth have never witnessed nuclear weapons being used. However, young people are fully aware of the scale and brutality of nuclear weapons and their potential to destroy our whole civilization and the entire ecosystem of the planet.
The International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA) and the Students Federation of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW Students) understand the imperative role of young people in the maintenance and promotion of peace and security. The World Health Assembly stated that “the role of physicians and other health workers in the preservation and promotion of peace is the most significant factor for the attainment of health for all.” (36. World Health Assembly, 1983). As health students and future health professionals, we recognize and understand our role in building and sustaining peace, and we want to take a lead by example to empower other health professionals to join us in a movement for a safer and nuclear-free world. That is why our two organizations joined forces and created an instrument which empowers young people to fully grasp their potential to advocate for a safer and nuclear-free world through adherence of their respective governments to the Nuclear Ban Treaty.
We are glad to announce the release of the youth advocacy letter to support governments to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Over the past two months, members of our organizations have worked hard to create a template document that youth organizations can adopt, adjust according to instructions and use in their advocacy towards their governments to support them to sign and ratify this treaty. The letter has been divided into two parts – a general introduction which is the same for all regions; and a specific regional section which users of this letter select and attach to the general introduction based on their regional affiliation. You will find all the details and instructions on how to use this letter in the template itself.
We further call upon all youth organizations interested to get involved in peacebuilding processes to join our actions. IFMSA and IPPNW believe that peace is best achieved through a mutual cooperation in the recognition of Sustainable Development Goals 16 and 17 – Peace and Partnerships. Only through a coordinated and multi-professional approach, we will be able to effectively advocate for the abolition of nuclear weapons in all their forms. But for that, we need you to come with us! The future of this world is ours to make, the future is ours to protect – join the movement!
The International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA)
Marian Sedlak – Liaison Officer for Human Rights and Peace Issues
The Students Federation of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW Students)
Kelvin Kibet –