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International Physicians For The Prevention Of Nuclear War


IPPNW is the only international medical organization dedicated to preventing nuclear war and abolishing nuclear weapons. We recognize that the catastrophic health and environmental consequences of a nuclear war are at the extreme end of a continuum of armed violence that undermines health and security. IPPNW is committed to ending war and advancing understanding of the causes of armed conflict from a public health perspective.



IPPNW is a non-partisan federation of national medical organizations in 62 countries, representing tens of thousands of doctors, medical students, other health workers, and concerned citizens who share the common goal of creating a more peaceful and secure world freed from the threat of nuclear annihilation.


Founded in 1980, IPPNW was an inspiration born of the Cold War. With the world divided into two militarized camps poised on the brink of nuclear war, a small group of Soviet and American doctors took a leap of faith. They reasoned that their common interest in survival was more powerful than the ideological divides between them. They believed that their obligation as physicians included a common commitment to the prevention of nuclear war.

In its first five years, IPPNW, working closely with its US affiliate Physicians for Social Responsibility and IPPNW-Russia, educated health professionals, political leaders, and the public about the medical and environmental consequences of nuclear warfare. For this effort, which united physicians across the Cold War divide, IPPNW was awarded the UNESCO Peace Education Prize in 1984 and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985.


* International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)

* Aiming For Prevention: An International Campaign to Prevent Small Arms Violence

* Medical Student Leadership Development


* Created an international medical movement to disseminate factual information about the consequences of nuclear warfare worldwide, receiving the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize for this effort.
* Promoted Soviet-American dialogue at the height of the Cold War by organizing Soviet and American doctors to bring a non-partisan anti-nuclear message to the people of both countries, reaching millions.
* Helped stop underground nuclear testing by influencing the Soviet Union to initiate and extend a unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing from 1985-1987.
* Organized the International Citizens Congress for a Nuclear Test Ban in Kazakhstan, a key event that led to the 1991 closing of the Soviet Union's principal test site at Semipalatinsk. * Helped lead an international lobbying effort in support of a nuclear test ban.
* Created SatelLife, a health development project that provides state-of-the-art communications technology to exchange critically needed medical information between the North and the South.
* Established an International Commission to Investigate the Health and Environmental Effects of Nuclear Weapons Production and Testing and worked with the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research to document these effects.
* Co-founded the World Court Project with the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms and the International Peace Bureau that secured a landmark ruling from the International Court of Justice confirming the illegality of the threat and use of nuclear weapons.
* Helped launch the Middle Powers Initiative to mobilize key non-nuclear weapons states to encourage the leaders of the nuclear weapons states to commit themselves to the elimination of nuclear weapons.


As a father of two, Michael Christ is worried about the future of his young girls. As IPPNW's Executive Director, he is convinced that physicians and health workers worldwide have a major role to play in ensuring that coming generations are protected from the effects of war and the threat of nuclear destruction. Michael joined the organization in 1988 with a background in environmental economics and political activism. He describes his visits to Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1989, and to the downwind community of Karaul near the former Soviet nuclear test site in Kazakhstan in 1990, as "life changing." Michael led IPPNW's World Court Project to persuade the World Health Organization and the United Nations to challenge the legality of nuclear weapons at the International Court of Justice. As Director of Programs from 1996 to 1998, he was responsible for numerous projects and campaigns on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament and helped to launch IPPNW's landmines campaign. Michael was appointed Executive Director in January 1998.


Ime John, MD, MPH
IPPNW Co-President
Kano, Nigeria

Sergei Kolesnikov, MD
IPPNW Co-President
Moscow, Russia

Vappu Taipale, MD
IPPNW Co-President
Helsinki, Finland

Walter Odhiambo, MD
Regional Vice President --AFRICA
Nairobi, Kenya

Caecilie Buhmann, MD
Regional Vice President -- EUROPE
Copenhagen, Denmark

Jans Fromow-Guerra , MD
Regional Vice President -- LATIN AMERICA
Mexico City, Mexico

Ahmed Mahmoud Geneid, MD
Regional Co-Vice President -- MIDDLE EAST
Ismailia, Egypt

Michael A. Dworkind, MD
Regional Vice President -- NORTH AMERICA
Montreal, Canada

Shizuteru Usui, MD
Regional Vice President -- NORTH ASIA
Hiroshima, Japan

Vladimir Garkavenko, MD, PhD, MBA
Regional Vice President -- RUSSIA/CIS
Moscow, Russia

Livtar Singh Chawla, MD
Regional Vice President -- SOUTH ASIA
Ludhiana, India

Ruth Mitchell , MD
Regional Vice President -- SOUTHEAST ASIA / PACIFIC
Adelaide, Australia

Khagendra Dahal, MD
Kathmandu, Nepal

Bjørn Hilt, MD
Chair of IPPNW Board
Trondheim, Norway

Ron McCoy, MD
Selangor, Malaysia

Tilman Ruff, MB, BS (Hons), FRACP
Victoria, Australia

Gunnar Westberg, MD
Goteborg, Sweden

Peter Wilk , MD
Maine, USA

Agyeno Ehase
Jos, Nigeria

Wenjing Tao
Stockholm, Sweden

Michael Christ
Executive Director
Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

Herman Spanjaard , MD
Speaker of the International Council
Halfweg, The Netherlands

Ira Helfand, MD
Deputy Speaker IC, Treasurer, Secretary
Massachusetts, USA

Andi Nidecker , MD
2010 World Congress Secretary
Basel, Switzerland


United States




66-70 Union Square, #204

Somerville, MA 02143

Phone: (617) 440-1733

EIN: 04-2702110

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