As the IPPNW 19th World Congress commences in earnest today, medicos, students and fellow activists from around the world gather in Basel to discuss the vital importance of the work for peace.

IPPNW, now in its third decade, has provided a strong and sustained voice for peace, not just through the medical community around the world but through the non-government community working on these issues. Campaigns like the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear weapons (ICAN) and Aiming for Prevention (the wonderful small arms campaign) have been successfully launched from the solid foundation of IPPNW.

As an activist with some years of association with IPPNW, I delight in seeing this organisation continue to offer so much energy to the broader movement for peace. The advocacy towards a Nuclear Weapons Convention, supported by IPPNW since the first Model Nuclear Weapons Convention was produced in the mid-1990’s, continues to be an integral part of the conversations at this Congress. As delegates gather, ICAN is urging them to don a red wristband with the words “NWC (for Nuclear Weapons Convention) NOW WE CAN!” Every voice is needed on this push for a Convention or Treaty to finally ban these ultimate weapons of mass destruction, and as the government voices increasingly chime in on the calls also, IPPNW members around the world are needed to help to advocate and lobby for this. Visit to learn more…the Model NWC is provided in 7 languages on the site.

Finally, my compliments to the Swiss affiliate of IPPNW for their superb hosting of this wonderful and momentous event. It has been a warm and well coordinated beginning to the Congress, with the energy and vitality of the students giving a great entree to the work of the days to come.