International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW)

International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW)
66 Union Square, Suite 204
Somerville, MA 02143-3040

International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) was founded in 1980 at the height of the Cold War in order to bridge the east-west political divide and to educate the public about the medical consequences of nuclear war. IPPNW has grown into a federation of national medical organizations with affiliate organizations in 58 countries. In 1985, IPPNW was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts to educate the medical profession, the general public, and political leaders about the medical consequences of nuclear warfare.

In 1991, the organization’s mission was broadened to include the prevention of conventional war and the promotion of non-violent peacebuilding and conflict resolution. The programs and activities of IPPNW are primarily in the areas of research, education, and policy development and design. IPPNW’s Central Office is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. A staff of seven supports the federation efforts.

IPPNW’s Aiming for Prevention campaign responds to the call to action by the World Health Organization that the medical community must bring a public health perspective to issue of armed violence, particularly in the areas of conflict and post-conflict societies, in order to identify risk factors, design effective interventions, and use the data we gather to influence both country and international small arms policies. The public health approach is a critical and currently lacking adjunct to traditional arms control activities. It also enables us to highlight the human face of firearms violence.

Active Aiming for Prevention affiliate programs in the Global South include the following:

Salvadoran Physicians for Social Responsibility (Medicos Salvadorenos para la Responsabilidad Social (MESARES), and the affiliated student group, EMESARES); Congolese Physicians for Peace (CPP); Kenyan Association of Physicians and Medical Workers for Social Responsibility; Society of Nigerian Doctors for the Welfare of Mankind; Ugandan Association of Medical Workers for Health and Environmental Concerns; Zambia Healthworkers for Social Responsibility (ZHSR); Indian Doctors for Peace and Disarmament (IDPD); and Indian Institute for Peace, Disarmament & Environmental Protection (IIPDEP).

In addition, armed violence prevention activities of these affiliates are actively supported by Physicians for Global Survival (Canada), IPPNW/Norway and IPPNW/Finland.

VPA focal person

Maria Valenti
Coordinator, “Aiming for Prevention” International Campaign
A Health Approach to Preventing Small Arms Violence
Tel: +1 617 440 1733 x203
Fax: + 1 617 440 1734

Maria has worked on peace, justice, and environment and health issues for many years and in many capacities. She has been executive director of Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility (GBPSR), the founding chapter of IPPNW's US affiliate, and continues as GBPSR's program director. She founded and directed One Person's Impact, an award-winning environmental and social justice education organization and coordinated a project that was the forerunner to the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard. Maria is a co-author of Generations at Risk: Reproductive Health and the Environment and In Harm's Way: Toxic Threats to Child Development, and has developed nationwide training programs for health professionals on environment and health topics. As coordinator of IPPNW's small arms campaign, "Aiming For Prevention," Maria is working with affiliates and other international organizations to address the public health epidemic of small arms and to help develop advocacy tools that can steer global policies towards the goal of reducing small arms violence.