May 16, 2008

Dr. Newman’s article, “Taking a Stand Against Nuclear Proliferation: The Pediatrician’s Role,” was published in the May 2008 issue of the prominent medical journal, Pediatrics. Dr. Newman writes from the perspective of a pediatrician and public health physician, and appeals to his colleagues to speak out about the threat to children posed by nuclear weapons, and the need to strengthen the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

Dr. Newman has also been working through the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and recently authored and spearheaded the passage of a resolution opposing new nuclear weapons, and saving the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. The resolution was passed on March 15 at the AAP Annual Leadership Forum, and reads:

Resolved, that the Academy call on the United States and other governments to abandon plans to develop and deploy new nuclear weapons because of the threat they pose to children’s health and be it further Resolved, that the Academy call on the countries of the world to affirm their commitment to a world free of nuclear weapons for the protection of the lives and health of current and future generations of children.

Please see the full text of Dr. Newman’s article here, and the abstract below:

Nuclear weapons pose a grave threat to the health of children.The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which for almost 40 yearshas limited the spread of nuclear weapons, is in danger of unraveling.At the 2000 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference,180 countries, including the United States, agreed on 13 practicalsteps to implement Article VI of the treaty, which calls fornuclear disarmament.

However, the United States has acted incontravention of several of those disarmament steps, with announcedplans to develop new nuclear weapons and to maintain a largenuclear arsenal for decades to come. Pediatricians, workingindividually and through organizations such as the AmericanAcademy of Pediatrics and International Physicians for the Preventionof Nuclear War, can educate the public and elected officialsregarding the devastating and irremediable effects of nuclearweapons on children and the need for policies that comply withand strengthen the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, rather thanundermining it.

For the children of the world, our goal mustbe a nuclear weapons convention (similar to the chemical andbiological weapons conventions) that would prohibit these weaponsglobally.