IPPNW Board of Directors Statement on
IPPNW Congresses and the Twin Existential Threats
IPPNW recognizes the two existential threats to our planet and all of humanity – nuclear weapons and climate change.
The risk of use of nuclear weapons, either deliberately or by accident, is as high as it’s ever been. 1,800 Russian and US nuclear weapons remain on high alert. Areas of global tension are bristling with these worst of all weapons. Humanitarian and unprecedented catastrophe has been narrowly avoided on multiple occasions. It is imperative that IPPNW continues and strengthens our historic role in preventing such catastrophe. We must strengthen our resolve, our advocacy, and our partnerships. This requires, on occasion, face-to-face discussions.
Climate change is already having disastrous impacts on human health and security; worse is predicted. While less sudden than a nuclear war, its impacts are rapidly advancing. Addressing this demands big reductions in the human activities that are contributing to it, including air travel.
How do we reconcile these competing imperatives – to, on the one hand, attend IPPNW’s key international events, our Congresses, which inspire, invigorate and inform us, and to, on the other, strictly limit our air travel? IPPNW recently held our entire international board meeting online and we will continue such initiatives. Our Congresses are less frequent than previously. We strongly encourage all members to take every possible step to reduce carbon emissions, including by restricting travel. But the strengthening of our efforts for the abolition of nuclear weapons and a more peaceful world qualifies as “essential travel”. Experience tells us repeatedly that IPPNW Congresses generate activity and unity of purpose that is otherwise hard to achieve.
We hope you can join us in Mombasa, Kenya for the 23rd IPPNW World Congress from May 25-29, 2020. You may want to offset your flight’s CO2 footprint with a contribution to an organization such as Atmosfair and/or look at personal lifestyle changes to reduce your carbon emissions.
If you cannot join the congress, please do everything possible to support IPPNW and our goals of a more peaceful and sustainable world without nuclear weapons.