1985 IPPNW Nobel Peace Prize, Stockholm:
On the left, IPPNW Co-President, Professor Bernard Lown, USA;
In the center, IPPNW Vice-President, Professor Ernesto Kahan;
On the right, IPPNW Co-President, Professor Yevgeny Chazov, USSR
Translation and publication of the GGHA book “Gandhica” (2019)
In Spanish language:
Coauthor of the GGHA “Antinuclear Manifesto” (2020):
Kazakhstan, Astana 2010:
The First Forum of Spiritual Culture of a Harmonious Civilization.
GHA and Ernesto Kahan:
Global Harmony Association HONORARY Vice-President
GHA Board Member
World Harmony/Peace AcademyGeneral Directorate Vice-chair
The Global Harmony Association highest Honorary Title: World Harmony Gandhian Creator:
The XXXII World Congress of Poets (WCP), September 4-8, 2012, Israel, 1st Vice-President:
Congratulations for Ernesto Kahan on his 81th birthday
December 2, 2021
Congratulations for Ernesto Kahan on his 80th birthday
December 2, 2020
Congratulations for Ernesto Kahan on his 79th birthday
December 2, 2019
University Professor - Poet – Physician
President- Israeli Association Writers. Spanish Branch
Vice President- World Academy of Arts and Culture USA
Former Vice President of IPPNW (Nobel Peace Prize)
Vice President Intl Forum for Literature and Culture of Peace
In it were published his two valuable peace articles:
1.Principle of Tolerance of Global Peace. Chapter 6, p. 192-195, with poem “Tolerance”.
2.War Crimes against Humanity in the 20th and 21st Centuries. The Facts of Genocide. Chapter 12, p. 499-503.
THE HIPPOCRATIC OATH
AND THE THREAT OF NUCLEAR WAR.
"I pledge, in order to protect the welfare of the human being, never to use nuclear energy for destructive purposes and I shall devote my life as a physician to fight against disease, poverty, ignorance, and nuclear war". This statement was proposed by Prof Marcel Assael at a meeting of the Israel Association of Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War as a universal amendment to the Hippocratic Oath. The meeting was held at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem on Jan 29, in the presence of Prof Bernard Lown, co-president of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, and a group of organisers of the newly created Israel Committee for the Prevention of Nuclear War. The focus of the meeting was the responsibility of physicians in the maintenance of human rights.
For physicians to accept the nuclear arms race is immoral and unethical because it means contributing directly to the danger of total extinction of life on our planet in the event of nuclear war, and burdening our conscience and acquiescing in the death of about 15 million children every year because food, vaccines, and safe drinking water are lacking since the money needed to supply them is being used to expand the nuclear arsenal. Such acquiescence, whether passive or active, is simply a betrayal of our profession. Medical responsibility of physicians implies the protection of life and health above all other things. The Hippocratic Oath states: "I will apply dietetic measures in the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgement, I will keep them from harm and injustice"; and "whatever houses I may visit, I will come for the benefit of the sick, remaining free of all intentional injustice, of all mischief..." The age of high technology, however, makes it a necessity to provide physicians with a more explicit guide for their professional path, especially when civilisation is in peril. For this reason,
Professor Assael’s proposal is relevant to our times. The danger of nuclear war impelled a group of physicians to found IPPNW in order to educate their colleagues and the 1202 public about this urgent matter. Neither the physicians who are involved in efforts to prevent nuclear war nor the Nobel committee, which bestowed the 1985 Nobel peace prize on IPPNW, believe that nuclear confrontation will be prevented only because an effective medical organisation exists. Endeavours towards this aim, like many others in preventive medicine, are not under the exclusive jurisdiction of physicians. Crusades against poverty, malnutrition, pollution of soil, air, and water, illiteracy, delinquency, and drug addiction, are examples of activities which the health agencies must coordinate with other socioeconomic sectors in order to protect the physical, biological, and social environment. Israeli journalists, authors, social workers, parents, kibbutz members, and many others, directly influenced by IPPNW’s Medical Prescription Campaign and IPPNW’s Message to My Patient, understood the need to join physicians in the crusade against nuclear destruction. Their answer was the foundation of the Israel Committee for the Prevention of Nuclear War in April, 1986.
Chairman, Israel Association of Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War
Personal page: https://peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=338
Kahan, E., “THE HIPPOCRATIC OATH AND THE THREAT OF NUCLEAR WAR”, 1986, Israel, The Lancet: V327 (8491), 1201-1202: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/
Confessions in Our Time: Gandhian Spirit
For many years, I have written essays and papers about the urgent need for a World global agreement based on harmony; today,
with the purpose of attracting more people; I decided to write it in the form of a letter.
Dear cohabitant on Earth;
A day of unbearable heat and, while on television there were repeated announcements requesting everyone to preserve water, which, despite the existence of desalination plants, was increasingly scarce. I was walking through the park near the university and looking at the grass that had a yellowish tinge.
I sat on a bench in front of a many hundred-years-old tree, one of those that, due to their age, lived through the history of revolutions, wars, technological advances and dictatorial leaders who inflamed confused multitudes. The tree brought to mind existential thoughts about the present and future of life on planet Earth, because I belong to a complex generation of human beings existing among times of violent wars of domination, the development of amazing new technological techniques, including atomic weapons for the final destruction of civilization, supercomputers, industrial globalization, artificial intelligence, and the capacity to produce resources to eliminate hunger in the world. We are a generation that lives with dilemmas that question the future of humanity and all biology.
While I analyzed all this, I felt that my body was flooded with endorphins, which are the internal substances that react to strong emotional reactions of pain, love, joy, exaltation of nature, or crises of my own identity - reactions that provoke changes in my breathing and probably in blood pressure. Immediately, I felt my eyes and face were flooded with tears that were accompanying my sadness.
I remembered Elon Musk, the well-known person that founded PayPal, the electric vehicle and battery company Tesla and the private space corporation Space X, who commented that we are facing an immense threat:artificial intelligence. "Which is like those stories in which someone summons the devil" It was clear to me, that this is similar to the saying of Albert Einstein "We must think in a different way so that humanity survives"
The trunk of that centennial tree told me that we are living in an historical period in which commitment and education are necessary to achieve tolerance to save the positive aspects of our civilization as social progress in freedom, care for ecology, peace and harmony.
Yes, my dear co habitant on Earth, to obtain survival on Earth, we must obtain comprehensive peace in the world, and for that, we must reach a global agreement based on harmony, and of course using tolerance and respecting the dignity of the people.
Today many intellectuals of the world are offering robust determination to work with the heart for a more humane and just world, a world that is less violent, healthier, and also protective of the environment. That is, a work struggling for tolerance, harmony and universal peace, or in other words, for the dignity of man.
I was looking at the horizon and convinced myself that if we manage to educate those who deny or question the need for peace, it will be not a utopia. However, if we will not achieve it, and then life on Earth will disappear as the consequence of the use of atomic weapons, the universe will continue, since permanently it confronts explosions and collisions of stars and even galaxies. The question is, given the danger of using modern genocidal weapons, have we the ethical right to be indifferent? I at least will not.
The conclusion is simple: It is necessary to enlist ourselves in a crusade for harmony for peace. It is not easy but it is not a utopia. Political leaders, intellectuals, artists, journalists, educators and the public in general must act in such a way.
After that, I walked and put together my thoughts on modern leaders and, inescapably, on Mahatma Gandhi, to whom I wrote the following poem:
“An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind.”
(Author's drawing on this topic is published in the book’s "Applications".
At this time, one hundred and fifty years from your birth.
The “shofar” (horn) sounds
to celebrate your life,
your teaching; the never ending way to act:
“Whenever one is confronted with an opponent,
One has to conquer him with love.”
Yes, Gandhi ji
If people could understand that with the use of love
they will achieve more than with the use of hate…!
When such a shofar sounds announcing a New Hebrew Year,
reaches the heart of everyone
provoking painful feelings of the undesirable acts
for the good of the world.
Yes, Gandhi ji
Our poetic art is like this horn,
for a new world in harmonious peace.
Yes, like flowers born to seed a green future
for deserts and thorns,
for the most beautiful things, we can give them:
Freedom - tolerance - respect - health
- love - study - art - justice in peace...
Your friend, Poet Rabindranath Tagore,
was the lyrical voice of the "man within the heart".
To both of you, I embrace that union and plead:
Be always our torches of knowledge;
So often forgotten;
Unite the hands, and
be the bridges of hope and the necessary forgiveness
encompassing a world,
that will be only one, or in replacement, none.
Gandhi, Gandhi ji
*Prof. Emeritus Dr. Ernesto Kahan MD University Professor - Poet – Physician
Tel Aviv University, Israel.
Academician - Real European Academy of Doctors. International Editorial Board
Academician - International Academy of Sciences, Technology, Education and Humanities (AICTEH) - Spain
Academic Director of Health Courses - Galilee Institute
Honorary President- Israeli Association Writers. Spanish Branch
Albert Schweitzer Peace Award
1st Vice President - World Academy of Arts and Culture – WAAC/WCP
Former Vice President of IPPNW (Association awarded the Nobel Peace Prize) and the actual president of the Israeli Branch
Honorary President United Nations of LettersApril 2019
Vice President Intl Forum for Literature and Culture of Peace (IFLAC)
Israel President. Global Harmony Association (GHA)
Ernesto Kahan: Congratulations on his 77th birthday:
About Global Peace Science
In our difficult times, Global Harmony Association offers an important philosophical vision of peace from harmony.
Its “Global Peace Science” is the alternative to war and new military force, which threats life on the Earth.
Prof. Emeritus Dr. Ernesto Kahan, Poet, Physician,
Tel Aviv University, Israel.
Former Vice President of IPPNW,
Association awarded the Nobel Peace Prize
WORLD HARMONY CREATOR
In solidarity with International Women's Day, I attach my
allusive painting-poetry against gender violence
Happy new year - new times. May they be a continuation of our friendship, poetry, health and more peace and harmony between people and nations.
Prof. Emeritus Dr. Ernesto Kahan MD University Professor - Poet Physician 31/12/16
Tel Aviv University, Israel.
25th of November is the international day against violence against women. In the Arab population in the Middle East there is also a plague called "Death in defense of the honor of the family", by which relatives in general brothers, murder a woman who had some romance that they consider not honorable and throw the cadaver in the wasteland. This year and only in Israel they killed a dozen. Criminal Barbarians!
My poem of homage and respect to women.
(2015 - Ernesto Kahan, 2nd Prize International Contest Poetry. Poem Day of liberation and respect for women UMECEP - World Union of Writers for Culture, Ecology and Peace)
Flowers, gifts and, kisses every day of life, are expression of love and friendship between human lovers and friends, are food and breeze in the hot summer and warm caresses in winter. on the international day of women's liberation, I want to thank the glorious, courageous, emerging women who changed society and join the forces that took their banners and are on the way. There is also a Valentine's Day sex love day. How beautiful life could be without dictatorships, injustices, hatred, aggression to all without exception, without hunger, without racism of all kinds, without destruction of the Earth, without wars...!
On the International Day of Liberation and Respect for Women
"And with pain you shall give birth, much pain"!
"And with pain, your memories, ay, they will be!"!
In centuries of silence ...
My love in love
Do not fulfill submission,
Come proud to sow,
The new freedom
Let's plant ...
Because the columns are already moving,
they are thirsty…
Ernesto Kahan © March 8, 2015
Dear Leo and all
In Israel we are very grateful to Russia, Greece, Italy, Cyprus and other countries for the important help to fight the terrible fires produced by incendiary terrorists The whole country is burning, trees, forests, houses, placid animals ... we do not sleep or rest. My wife and I wet the plants to make them a barrier to the flames. There are 80,000 evacuees
Oh Israel with so many pains I am so
sorry as land and water are our mother
Earth's gift to us. I know humans do not
understand we are one family. I am so
sad for this. one day we will
learn to live and love together and then
all this will be obsolete. Brothers and
Sisters can we not hold hands?
Can we not try? Science shows us we
are one. God bless all life....
Sent from my iPhone
Nina Meyerhof .. Pres.
Children of the Earth
802-578-6990 / 802-862-1936
On Nov. 26, 2016
Many thanks for your congratulations. Attached a note about this subject. Forsure GHA is in my
comments in the Real European Academy of Doctors
Ref: Real European Academy of Doctors and Lloret Excellence Forum
I am pleased to address you in order to inform first, that due to an operation of an eye and then my stay in Europe to take my degree of honorary member of the Royal Academy of European Doctors and participate the Forum of Excellence Lloret it was for me, been impossible to take care of my mail and other communications. From now on I hope to read and reply to emails conserved by my email server. If you have something urgent that has not been respond, I beg you let me know.
The aforementioned Forum is a global event of the highest level, where presidents of nations, Nobel Prize winners, astronauts, the most renowned chefs in the world, and dozens of leaders that light up the sky of universal science, technology and culture. The issue that I presented in the Forum was related to human rights and the recent immigration wave of refugees.
I want to thank Professor Dr. JosÃ© RamÃ³n Calvo for inviting me and for being such an efficient organizer and the creator of the Forum which is already being recognized as a world center for updates and discussions with enormous impact for the welfare of humanity and its habitat. I also thank Professor Dr. Calvo for having organized my lecture at the International University Catalan and my interviews with the Spanish written and televised press. Rarely in my long years of experience I could appreciate such excellence and superbly prepare event. Congratulations!
The European Royal Academy of Doctors is a centenarian-old and glorious institution, with full of energy, vitality and leadership. I feel much honored to be in it and satisfied with the responsibilities that consequently touch me and accept, such as being part of the Honorable International Editorial Board for the collection of texts on Medical Humanities Editorial Ediberun.
CONGRATULATIONS PROF ERNESTO KAHAN, NAMED ACADEMIC "EUROPEAN ACADEMY OF DOCTORS"
with his beloved wife and soul friends Higorca Gomez and husband (Barcelona)
MANY CONGRATULATIONS TO THIS GREAT MAN OF MANY MAJOR TITLES AND GREAT EXAMPLE OF LIFE
AND GUIDE IN PATH OF PEACE AROUND THE WORLD, APPLAUSES FROM ALL LATIN AMERICA COMMUNITY ,
AMBASSADORS OF PEACE ARE PROUS,, IFLAC ORG AS , VICE DIR,
PRINCIPAL MEMBER BOARD GLOBAL HARMONY ASSOCIATION
AND MANY OTHERS WORLD ORGANIZATIONS OF PEACE.
CONGRATULATION! HUGE CONGRATULATIONS PROFESOR.
BROTHER OF US ALL!!
Real European Academy of Doctors.
Ernesto Kahan’s message
Excellency Mr. President of the Royal Academy of European Doctors
Excellency's and Gentlemen, Rectors Magnificent
Excellency Mr. President of the Association Labour Promotion
Ladies and Gentlemen.
I appreciate the distinction of being raised as Honorary Member of The academy. I assume this designation with full social responsibility.
As a physician and professor of medicine I published a Decalogue to Modern Physician [i]: "The physician should be promoting humanism and humanist. You must love deep and generously individual patients and the population of all peoples, ethnic groups, genders, races, beliefs and social status. Should
love and respect the healthy and diseased human body. You should ask all days for their knowledge and learn. You should ask every day what they feel their patients and learn. You should ask every day what are the dangers to their patients and humanity are. Should participate responsibly, ethically and socially and generating dialogues and proposals for humanity dignified and secure life. The focus is anthropocentric.
We, academics, doctors, leaders in the fields of science, technique and art, are dedicated to the study and promotion of knowledge; we are the natural recipients of such social responsibility and must be guides to orient in the paths of humanity, its marked traps, political and economic interests of groups or individuals and the existence of confusing and obscure routes. This social responsibility is clearly expressed in the article "3 e" "on the activities of the Academy" the Statute of the European Royal Academy of Doctors saying "Serve the cause of Peace, through closer cooperation relations between
all scientific academies of the world"
It is necessary to clarify, if peace is the total elimination of conflicts or simply the absence of violent war. If is the elimination of conflicts, it surely cannot be achieved and will peace will be a utopia. If instead is the absence of violent war, peace can be achieve through education and completed by political agreements.
In the article entitled wars and major conflicts of the 20th century [ii] is it says that century was the most violent, bloody and costly in terms of wars, of all human history. Indeed, 160 million people were killed in this period [iii].
In the UN report on war victims in XX [iv] century, it is cited Matthew White. These victims were murdered 203 million, with 37 million soldiers, 27 million civilians in combat, 81 million genocides and 58 million in intentional famine.
Takis Ioannides, a known journalist and poet of Greece, asked me EPIKAIRA an interview for the newspaper (Overtime) New Smyrna Athens [v] "What is the state of harmony and peace today in our planet "My answer was:" Our society is at a crossroads existential road. on the one hand, is very efficient use of resources natural, but on the other, such use is jeopardizing the continuity of life on our planet. on one hand, new intensive technologies and production systems allow us to obtain a raising the quality of life for all mankind, but on the other, new conflicts are threatening to use weapons of mass destruction,
primarily nuclear, and thus potentially destroying our civilization and life on Earth ".
Man never in its history been so powerful as to dominate today nature and was never so close to destroying itself and the nature. At present the US has about 7,200 weapons nuclear and Russia 6,000.
Nor never it was realized so many technological and scientific advances by man, but in the world there is much inequality of opportunity and terrible misery.
Eighty-one percent of the world's people live in countries less developed with an annual income of US $ 3,580 (US dollars) per year, while the remaining 19 have an income of over US $ 22,060; 48 live on less than 2 US $ and 20 with less than 1 US $ per day; 47 do not have access to basic health; 25 live in homes or are unworthy; 17 do no have access to drinking water; 16 cannot read or write; 14 are malnourished; only one has access to secondary or higher education. In the world every day 24,000 people die of hunger - one every 3.6 seconds. Three of them are children under five.
Philosophers of all ages discussed issues: What is war? And, what war does? Some theories are deterministic and by that war is inevitable. The opposite determinism theory is the called pacifism in which war is the result of man, and therefore it is possible to avoid war through education.
All this philosophical discussion that was sustainable in the past becomes problematic today precisely because of the existence of weapons of mass destruction that are threaten the continuity of life on the planet ("Nuclear winter"). It is necessary then, to promote the possibility of achieving peace.
not by the solution of conflicts by way of hegemony, or the defeat of the enemy that in the present state, because it is impossible without generating a irreparable universal catastrophe. The only thing left to achieve is some kind of harmonious agreement between the parties. A pact based on tolerance
which allows coexistence with differences and somehow, with contradictions. In this regard it is worth noting the position of the institution GHA - Global Harmony Association.
Without peace there will be no life
Without peace there will be no harmony
Without tolerance there will be harmony
Without a culture of peace there will be no tolerance
Without education there will be no culture of peace
Without democracy there will be no education
Without education there will be dependence, war and pain
The END OF LIFE!
In other words: To achieve survival on Earth we must achieve a comprehensive peace in the world; To achieve comprehensive peace in the
world we must get a global agreement based on harmony; for a global agreement (A NEW CONTRACT) based on harmony we must have tolerance and respect for the dignity of people; Without tolerance also associations will be destroyed.
Today many world intellectuals offer our determination to work with the heart for a more humane and just, less violent world healthier and environmental protection. That is a deal for tolerance, harmony and universal peace or in other words, by dignity.
Thank you. I am proud to be received in this house.
Ioannides T. Interview to Ernesto Kahan. Newspaper EPIKAIRA (Extra Time) of New Smyrna of Athens. May 28, 2009.
Poetical biographical sketch of the Dr. Ernesto Kahan:
Dear Dr. Leo Semashko.
Dear Dr. Subhash Chandra.
Dear GHA members,
Ernesto Kahan takes in his lucid mind
and in the sublime beats of his spirit
the desired PEACE that is dying in pain.
Ernesto Kahan writes in radiating light
and in the dreamed shades of his echo
such a PEACE that his soul inspires.
He encourages in the perfumes of the future
and in the sublime nectar of love
a Peace that smiles to us in HARMONY.
Jose Maria LOPERA (Spain).
(Spanish poet of peace and harmony.)
Our Dearest Friend Ernesto
GHA is happy to congratulate you with your 75 birth day and wish you strong health, new poetic and peacemaking achievements and also still 75 years of life! We highly appreciate your great peace activity during 10 years in the GHA, which recognized you in the Highest Honorary Title "WORLD HARMONY CREATOR" in 2010: http://peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=513
You have made a great contribution to each of the GHA 8 books and in the majority of its 50 projects of global peace for 10 years. This is partly reflected on your personal page on the site "Peace from Harmony
http://peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=338. This page is waiting for your new poems and peacekeeping ideas. With love and best wishes for peace from harmony through science, art, education and religion
December 2 2015
Trees of divinity
(Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King)
By Ernesto Kahan© 2012
The sky and these divine greens
are daily contemplating all..
Witnesses of time,
Mother Earth, its peace and war.
Forest of beloved imagination,
inviting you poet, to the new spirituality
symphony of peace,perpetual love.
Trees of divinity, perhaps expecting you, poet, and your lyre,
perhaps having urgency to tell the immensity,
perhaps penetrating in the world of the blind.
Do you want to take a walk in this forest
and to recall the green silence of love?
To be into the harmony of this secret
and to feel the coupled species alive?
Yes, yes, and to be transported in a dream,
like those of Mahatma Gandhi,
Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King.
PROF. ERNESTO KAHAN short CV
Prof. Ernesto Kahan. Israeli - Argentine. Born December 2, 1940, and educated in Argentina (University of Buenos Aires) and in USA (University of Washington). Medical doctor, university professor and poet. Vice President of the World Academy of Arts and Culture. Professor at universities in Argentina, Israel, Peru, Dominican Rep., Mexico, USA and Spain.
Dr. Ernesto Kahan served as Director General of the Ministry of Health in Argentina before migrating to Israel during the military coup in Argentina in 1976. In Israel was Deputy Director of Rabin Medical Center, Head of the Department of Epidemiology at the Institute for Occupational Health of Tel Aviv University, and Director of the Medical Academic Branch of the International Institute. In 1998 was nominated by the World Bank as head of the evaluation staff for primary health care programs for Ecuador. Dr Kahan is well known in numerous International Medical Associations related to Epidemiology, Cancer, Public Health and Human Rights. President of AIELC - Israel Association of Writers - Spanish Branch.
Author 7 books and more than 200 articles in international Magazines. Poems of his book Paxaporte" were translated into 11 languages. His book "GENOCIDE" written with Taki Yuriko (in three languages), generated the prize "Golden Key of Literature Hanchon Culture, and was acclaimed in many festivals. Compiler of the Anthology "Los Escritores del Alba", Editorial Certeza, Spain. Selected for 20 editions of the book "Nueva Poesía hispanoamericana" of Lord Byròn editors, a publication in which the most noticeable exponents of our contemporary poetry in Spanish are included. Universal Anthology "POESIA IBEROAMERICANA SIGLO XXI"; 4 editions of the "Stand@rt World Anthology of Contemporary Poets"; "Contemporary Poetry" in Chinese and English, Hangchon Literature Complete Collection Vol. III and XII, and many other publications.
Founder of the Association of Physicians for Peace in Israel, Uruguay, Chile and Bolivia; Vice-President of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War- IPPNW, (1985 Nobel Peace Laureate organization), President of the Literary Group "BRASEGO". Vice President of the International Forum for the Literature and Culture of Peace (IFLAC). Editor of Literature for Peace in "Palabras Diversas" http://www.palabrasdiversas.com/palabras/home.asp.Vice President of the XXV World Congress of Poets, Los Angeles 2005, Vice President of the XXVI World Congress of Poets Mongolia 2006. Vice President of the XXVI World Congress of Poets Mexico 2008. 2008, Associated President UHE- UNION HISPANOAMERICAN WRITERS
Diploma of “Illustrious or Honor Visitant” by
- 1995 - Parliament Department- Uruguay
- 1995 – City of Arequipa - Peru
- 1998 - Pan American Organization – World Health Organization, Catholic University, Medical College. Quito Ecuador
- 1998 – Parliament of Otavalo – Ecuador
- 2006 – Government of Hatillo – Puerto Rico
- 2007 – Parliament of Entre Rios – Argentina
- 2007 – City of Victoria – Argentina
- 2008 -Member of Honor of the Society of Art of Bolivia
- 1985 – Delegate to the Nobel Peace Prize Reception in Oslo to International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War- IPPNW
- 1991 - Schweitzer Peace Award “for his courageous work for peace in the Middle East”.
- 1996 - “Peace Ambassador of the Youth of Uruguay”.
- 1999 - “Award in Public Health HECTOR ABAD GOMEZ”, “In recognition for his work in benefit of mankind”.
- 2002 - “Rector’s Medal” of University of Chile “For Dr Kahan distinguished merits and relevant human conditions”.
- 2002 - Honorary Degree of Doctor in Literature.
- 2004 - "Excellency in Health person of the year 2004" by the Global Organization for Excellency in Health.
- 2005 - World Congress of Poets Gold Medallion for "poetic excellence ("his imagination is engulfed existential and spiritual concerns, with surrealistic inclinations and cosmic explorations – Kahan is a poet without parallel") and great contribution to the Brotherhood and peace through Poetry".
- 2005 – Ambassador of Poets of the World in Israel
- 2006 - Ambassadeur de la Paix-Universal Peace Ambassador GENEVE CAPITALE MONDIALE de la PAIX.
- 2006 - "Golden Key of Literature Hanchon Culture, Korea.
- 2006 - "Ernesto Kahan awarded as Best Poet" by the International Writers Association. USA
- 2006 – Honorary Doctor. Mongolian Academy of Sciences, The Ulaanbaattar University - Mongolia
- 2007 - Awarded "Ernesto Kahan, Best Internet Culture and Poetry – 2007" by International Association of Writers and Artists USA
- 2008 - Awarded "Ernesto Kahan, Best poem 2008 – YOM HA'SHOAH – The Holocaust day" by International Association of Writers and Artists USA
- 2008 - Honorary Doctor. Alas Peruanas University – Peru
- 2008 - Literary Ambassador in Israel of the Association of Writers and Artistsof the Orb, “ASEADLO”.
Prof. Ernesto Kahan
Hanita 7/2, Kfar Sava 44405,
Spirituality, harmony, poetry and medicine
By Prof. Dr. Ernesto Kahan*
Whereas medicine, already from Hippocrates, has the mission to protect health and defend the life of the people, independently of their conditions of race, sex, ethnic group, nationality, etc.; Poetry seeks for the elevation of life. Poetry, like other arts, each one with its language, looks for the generation of emotions. It looks for the reaction of our body to the expressions of pain, love, joy, exaltation of the nature, history, or concerning our own identity… Our body reacts with changes in its sanguineous pressure, temperature, brightness of the eyes, muscles of the face, excretion of hormones, production of tears and saliva, tension of the sexual organs, breathing… all the body.Lately we faced the discovery of the existence of endorphins that are internal substances that produce those corporal emotional reactions.
Poetry, music, dance, painting, sculpture… each one, as I said, with a different language of expression, tries to stimulate our emotions and for that they look for to touch the fibers of our more intimate and deep feelings of our life. For those reasons poetry is a key value in life and medicine is a key value in life.
After 46 years from my doctorate in medicine; and at the arrival to my 7th decade; my thoughts acquire form of legacies and testaments, in special for my students who I love deeply. It is indeed their existence, the reason for me to write this present message, which is the result of a life dedicated to the health of the people and to humanism from my medical profession and as a poet.
In most essays about poetry, it is used an historical approach because in each historical period the form and content of poetry follows the related particular characteristics.And… What a special period is the present one!
Our current society is at a transcendental crossroads. on one hand, the use of natural resources is very efficient, but on the other, that same use is endangering the continuity of life on our planet. on one hand, new technology and systems of intensive production permit us to obtain an elevation in the quality of life for all humanity, but on the other, new conflicts are threatening to use weapons of mass destruction, mainly atomic, and with it the potential destruction of our civilization and life on Earth.[i] on one hand, the massive development of the media is carrying all the social-economic-political-cultural events to the television screens and Internet of the private computers of the inhabitants of all corners of the world, but on the other, financial or governmental interests are manipulating these same media, deforming the news, creating nonexistent realities and “brain-washing” the audience. on one hand, human rights have gained the power of international law, and democracy is the most accepted form of government, but on the other, individuals are in danger of losing their dignity completely by being transformed into “cogs in a machine” by the economic corporations and the dominant governments. on one hand, the fall of the absolutist states has provided people of different countries with the opportunity to dissent, but on the other, the new techniques of propaganda via communication are transforming them into manipulated “flocks of sheep”.On one hand, science penetrates into the “secrets” of life and the universe, but on the other, the pseudo sciences, superstition, fraud and fundamentalist and irrational thought have acquired economic and political power, and promote fanaticism and intolerance. Terrorist movements, which are proclaiming the arrival of the “end of times”, are using extremist fanaticism in order to be justified and to create panic.
We should find in spirituality and humanism, the potentiality to orient the dialogue between science and art, through ways that will guide the present globalized society towards rails of survival and progress. We also, writers in general and poets in particular, have be the lyric voice of the peoples and be part of their reality, participating in such a dialogue. How can we scientists manage to contribute to the development of science and technology for the progress of humanity, if we are separated from the main philosophical, cultural, and social dilemmas?We need such a dialogue and inter discipline collaboration.
Both, scientists and the artists should be responsible and free thinkers, ethically and socially. Both must sustain mutual dialogues and proposals for a more secure and dignified society.The focus is anthropocentric.
I, as professor of medicine and poet, sustain that all doctors must be humanist and promote spiritualism and peace. We must love deeply and generously all the individual patients and the population of all countries, ethnic groups, sexes, races, beliefs and social condition. We must love and respect any healthy and ill human body. We must ask every day for our knowledge and to learn more. We must ask every day for the factors that put in danger the health and life of our patients and all humankind and, we must participate with responsibly, both ethical as social, in the generation of dialogues and proposals for a better worthy and safe life for the human race. I see this also as a great challenge for modern medicine. Health professionals and specially those who are obliged by the Hippocratic Oath must have a more comprehensive and ecological vision.
In the current world, after all the greatest technological and scientific advancements, there is still much inequality of opportunities and terrible misery.Today, we write and publish in Web pages and magazines of literature, but we do not reach at the population, since only a very small part of it can read and write and have access to Internet.
Due to the separation between the scientific objectivism and the artistic subjectivism that occurred during the modern epoch, each of these groups began to analyze the problems of society in an independent angle and without interacting among them.Furthermore, the different methodology utilized and the separated development of linguistic expressions of communication, were factors for the current lack of dialogue between science and art.The search for harmony and peace is a strong way for the success of such a dialogue. The ABC of harmony world textbook it is presented the scientific sociological theory. As a doctor of medicine and peace worker, I can highlight the importance of ABC of harmony to achieve world peace. Harmony is the deepest factor for the universal peace. But it will be effective only if people will know how to achieve and develop social harmony. In this respect, this textbook is very important by providing such knowledge.
* Prof. Emeritus Dr. Ernesto Kahan of Tel Aviv University is Poet – Physician.
1st Vice President & Secretary General- World Academy of Arts and Culture USA
Former Vice President of IPPNW (Association awarded the Nobel Peace Prize)
President of IPPNW Israel
1st Vice President of the Global Harmony Association (GHA)
GHA Highest honorary title: WORLD HARMONY CREATOR
Co-President -UHE- International Union of Hispano-American Writers
[i] [i] T Ioannides. Interview to Ernesto Kahan. Newspaper EPIKAIRA (Extra Time) of New Smyrna of Athens. May 28, 2009.
November 3, 2011
Dear Leo and all
I strongly support to declare Dr Abdul Kalam as World Harmony Creator
Dr Abdul Kalam is a great poet, spiritual person, democratic and very nice. I had the opportunity to know him in 2009 in India and in 2010 in Taiwan.
Inspired by him I wrote the following poem:
Peace and Prosperity
Ernesto Kahan, Taiwan 2010
I am going to search the youth decade,
their dreams, their prospect and hope...
I am going to walk with the lyric of the poet Abdul Kalam,
embracing his shining vision of nature in spring
and sparking new fresh air in love.
Oh magnificent symphony of harmony
and novel lights illuminating the routes of the dreamed blue sky.
Oh those tolerant days for the youth… for the human race!!!
I am going to ask what did I learn from that decade and
how will we be elevated to that hill
to receive the light from the brilliant star and
to care for our injured natural being,
…… to get the answer:
-…walking with you my loved one,
with you, loved tolerance and pure heart, as were touched by poet Yu Hsi…
through the roads of education and the culture for peace.
Thanks, Leo and all friends of the big family - GHA for your support and immense love.
I know that any progress and development that our great Association will achieve, will be the result of our related common agreement and collaboration and an effort of mutual responsibilities assumed.
We all are friends and guests of our mother house - Earth, a beautiful and fragile world enriched by so many races and cultures of our sisters and brothers, poets, doctors, teachers, and partners for the care of that big garden.
Receive a hug of love for the new beginning year. Air of harmony for peace, bread, education, freedom and health in all the corners and music and poetry in the soul.
Thanks for the greetings you sent by mail. Received also roses perfumed with the words of our friendship.
GHA - 1st Vice-President
December 26, 2010
I am happy to report that I received about 20 positive responses for Prof. Ernesto Kahan as the GHA First Vice-President. I have not received any negative response. Therefore, the GHA approved Prof. Ernesto Kahan (Israel, personal page: http://peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=338) as the GHA First Vice President since December 24, 2010.
I am happy to congratulate Ernesto, my brother in spirit, with the high election and wish him success in his new post and a friendly work together to guide the GHA.
We are all very hopeful that Ernesto, with his brilliant qualities and as an eminent world person achieves the new successes in GHA recognition in the world, primarily in the UNESCO, the UN, governments, international foundations and international civil society as a whole.
Many members of the GHA is not limited to a simple "YES", so I can not resist to quote some revelations about Ernesto, which fill us with pride for this high harmonious personality:
Marie ROBERT (France): Ernesto must be appreciated for the wonderful human being he is, so generous, so simple, so clear, so luminous! And I love Ernesto for his wonderful heart and intelligent spirit… He was the Vice-president of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, an organization recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985… BUT FIRST, ERNESTO WANTS TO BE OUR FRIEND, OUR BROTHER, OUR LOVER OF LIFE as a simple human being at the service of the best thoughts…
Susana Roberts (Argentina): Great!! This a kind of e.mail you deserve Dr Ernesto..a long very nice email with such profound recognition for who you really are and give to all of people along your life as good teacher of Peace..
Claude Véziau (Canada): Dear Ernesto, every word in these testimonies are well deserved. May I, in spite of my rare participation, express my best sentiments to you for all of your untiering work to fulfill the dream of everlasting peace and harmony on our planet.
Guy Crequie (France): He is worthy of this honor and responsibility; this, because he is large by the spirit, and large by the heart.
Kae Morii (Japan):Dr. Ernesto Kahan! Yes! on his great humanity and I respect all, especially I was impressed so much in his visiting in this summer. In all round, he is really intellectual, moderate, gentle, excellent, generous, and grand man who can view for world peace.
Tholana Chakravarthy (India): the BEST OPTION for Presidentship to steer the Peace boat of GHA is none other than Prof. Ernesto Kahan.
Ammar Banni (Algeria): Leo chose Ernesto as president who takes over for harmony and peace. I think I met them both, I find such an ideal complement ! It's a great idea…
Dimitris P. Kraniotis (Greece):Leo, Your suggestion for my friend Ernesto Kahan as the GHA First Vice President is the best choice. I agree for your proposal.
Laj Utreja (USA): I fully support the nomination of Prof. Ernesto Kahan as the GHA First Vice-President. I can’t think of anyone more deserving for this position. He is a true representative of a harmonious civilization.
All these and similar brilliant references, especially: "He is a true representative of a harmonious civilization" reaffirm his highest honorary title GHA: World Harmony Creator and the correctness of our choice as the GHA First Vice-president!
Dear Ernesto: I wish you a Happy New Year, good health and success in the GHA!
Merry Christmas to all those who celebrate it today!
Best harmony wishes,
Dr. Leo Semashko
Global Harmony Association (GHA)
Since 2005, GHA is an international NGO uniting more 400 members in 48 countries and more than one million participants from the GHA collective members in 80 countries.
GHA Founder and President is Dr. Leo Semashko
Address: 7/4-42 Ho-Shi-Min Street, St. Petersburg, 194356, Russia
Telephone: +7 (812) 597-65-71, Web: www.peacefromharmony.org
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
GHA-USA President is Dr. Laj Utreja
Address: 122 Foxhound Drive, Madison, AL
Telephone: 256-604-6927e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
GHA Mission is: to peace from harmony
Or: pave a conscious way for harmonious civilization
December 2, 2010
GHA recognizes in the Highest Honorary Title
World Harmony Creator
Professor Emeritus, MD MPH, Poet, Writer & Physician
World Academy of Arts and Culture Vice President
Albert Schweitzer Peace Award 1991
Former Vice President of IPPNW (Org. awarded Nobel Peace Prize 1985)
For his great spiritual contribution into global harmonious peace-making and for active participation in many of the GHA 20 projects in four books:
Ernesto Kahan is fully devoted to the GHA Mission and modern turn from a culture of industrialism to a culture of harmonism through his activity for harmonious peace as the world famous poet, physician and “Genocide” coauthor.
Ernesto Kahan’s personal page on the section “World Harmony Persons” of GHA website “Peace from Harmony” is: http://www.peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=338.
Dr. Leo Semashko,
Dr. Laj Utreja,
Everlasting Peace from A-Genocide of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The nomination of Hiroshima/Nagasaki for the Nobel Peace Prize
Prof. Ernesto Kahan*,
University of Tokyo August 2, 2010
Ladies and gentlemen:
It is for me a great privilege to be part of this Conference prepared by the International Peace Culture Forum, and devoted to maybe the most urgent and important problem of our time: To eliminate the threat of nuclear war and to achieve a peace framework for humankind that will respond to the XXI century's characteristics and needs.
Since I am a physician I will consider the issue as a disease, and thus I will present its history, diagnosis, prognosis, treatment and, recommendations for the personnel that should provide the care; in the present case, we my friends and all mankind. Concerning this last aspect I will try to answer a frequent question: What can an individual do to change the situation if he feels his power is insignificant?
Slides: Photo of the A Bomb – Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 1945 - Medical effects in short and long term
Masao Tomonaga, former International director of Japan International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War – JIPPNW and Professor in Nagasaki University, wrote on 2006 in his Foreword for the book entitled Genocide by Kahan E and Taki Yi: Sixty years have passed since the atomic bombs destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Nuclear weapons have increased in number from two to thirty thousand, (Today at 2010 figures are little different as you will see immediately) and these are now hanging as a threat over the heads of all the citizens of this planet. The number of nuclear powers is still increasing, and the world in the 21st century is now struggling with terrorism.
Nuclear Weapons proliferation - Nuclear weapons states 2010 - Nuclear Overkill in the 2003-4 = 2.667 World War II – Photos of new nuclear heads – Intercontinental missiles – Spiral of false security – mistakes
In the current world, after all the greatest technological and scientific advancements, there is still much inequality of opportunities and terrible misery. Eighty-one percent of the inhabitants of the world live in developing countries with an annual income of 3,580 US$ (American dollars) per year, while the remaining 19% have an income of 22.060 US$; 48% live with less than 2 US$ and 20% with less than 1 US$ for a day; 47% do not have access to basic health; 25% do not live in houses or these are not acceptable by any basic standard; 17% do not have access to drinking water; 16% do not know how to read and write; 14% suffer from malnutrition; and only one % has access to secondary or higher education. Today, we write and publish in Web pages and magazines of literature, but we do not reach at the population, since less than 10% have access to Internet.
Slides: Destruction before detonation - Each day, in different parts of the world, 24,000 people die of hunger (one every 3.6 seconds. Three out of four of them are children under five).
I am going to cite a fragment of the Statement on the 5th Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates signed in Rome under the auspices of the President of the Italian Republic in November of 2004ii. I feel proud that the organization International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, of which I was vice president, is one of the signatories: […] "Millions of people become victims of hunger and disease, and entire nations suffer from feelings of frustration and despair. This creates fertile ground for extremism and terrorism. The stability and future of the entire human community are thus jeopardized." […] "Unacceptable violence is occurring daily against women and children...” "As Nobel Laureates, we believe that the world community needs urgently to address the challenges of poverty and sustainable development…” "Children remain our most important neglected treasure. Their protection, security and 3 health should be the highest priority. Children everywhere deserve to be educated in and for peace. There is no excuse for neglecting their safety and welfare and, particularly, for their suffering in war.” "We call for the reduction of military expenditures and for conclusion of a treaty that would control arms trade and prohibit sales of arms where they could be used to violate international human rights standards and humanitarian law.”, "[…] for a new international order that rejects brute force, respects ethnic, cultural, and political diversity and affirms justice, compassion, and human solidarity. …" "We, the Nobel Peace Laureates and Laureate organizations, pledge to work for the realization of these goals and are calling on governments and people everywhere to join us.”
Slides: Nuclear Winter
Figure 1. Pyramid based on insecurity, fear, and distrust. The continued existence of nuclear weapons, the increasing trade in conventional arms, and growing societal violence produce this pyramid and perpetuate a culture of violence
All violence in society and among nations - all wars, - are based on insecurity and intolerance. All conflicts that are not resolved non-violently perpetuate a vicious cycle. only nations working together on the basis of equity, justice, empowerment of their peoples and the sharing of global resources can ensure common security and world peace. This is 4 the unifying paradigm of IPPNW's mission in the North and South, East and Westiii.
Figure 2. Pyramid based on common security, trust and growing societal culture of peace
Our civilization never, in all its history, was under two real opposed feasibilities. on one hand, by the use of atomic weapons or slowly by the destruction of the environment, it faces the possibility to completely exterminate the life on Earth. But on the other hand, since human society reached the necessary level of development, it is now possible to totally eliminate hunger in the world - what seemed incredible just few years ago- and also to achieve a universal contract of harmony that will assure the peaceful relationship among the countries. This neither could be possible to predict during the II World War, or during the called "Cold War".
The conclusion is simple: It is necessary to enroll ourselves in the campaign towards harmony for this kind of contract, which although is not an easy job, is not at all a utopia.
What harmony means?
For me harmony is the state of equilibrium among the component of a system that by nature, tend to entropy. It can be achieve by tolerance which is a kind of negotiated acceptance by each component or by groups of the components of the system. Harmony should be the basis for the peaceful coexistence among nations and political agreements. Harmony can never be eternal and complete, but is essential in the present stage of our civilization if mankind have to survive.
To the previous question: What can an individual do to change the situation if he feels his power is insignificant? I answer: The refusal of stigmas is the first step to achieve real peace agreements, the second occurs when sincerely one side understand the needs of the considered enemy and the third, is generated when these feelings are transmitted to him. All the rest it comes naturally or with aid from facilitators. Thus, it is clear that the process begins in our mind.
Role of Japan and Japanese people
I agree with Professor Hideo Nakazawa, the president of the executive of Peace on Earth Project, who in the Project Protocol for the International Peace Culture Forum. A New Approach to Peace, wrote: "In view of the current situation, Japan is now expected to take the leading role in seeking the realization of a world free of nuclear weapons whilst bringing about a close cooperation between the global community as well as working in cooperation with government and civic society.
Under this framework I, in common with Poet and Philosopher Guy Crequie, proposed for the Nobel Prize 2010, the organization Mayors for Peace and their President and Vice president Mayors of the city of Hiroshima and Nagasaki respectively. It is important to remember that this Prize is regulated by the Nobel testament, that establish that the Prize should not be awarded to victims or people who die, but to a person and/ or an organization, or both, that did an exceptional job to promote peace. Was for that reason that Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War was awarded that in 1985 and for the same rational we proposed Mayors for Peace for the 2010 prize, considering the great work they are performing for total nuclear disarmament by the year 2020.
Now I am in Japan to honor the victims of the A bomb 65 years ago, and to promise you not to rest until nuclear disarmament and peace will be achieved. My presence here is also in order to make a proposal for the creation of a new universal movement based on a declaration that we can sign today.
i Kahan E and Taki Y. Genocide, p. 4-9 Nihon Tosho Center Co., LTD, Tokyo © 2006 ISBN4-10001-7.
ii Statement of the 5th Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates. November 12, 2004, Rome, Italy. http://www.afsc.org/about/nobel/laureate-summit-statement.htm
iii L. Forrow and E. Kahan (p. 337); in War and Public Health edited by Barry S. Levi & Victor W. Sidel, copyright 1997 by Oxford University Press, Inc. New York, 1997, 2nd Ed 2000
* Prof. Emeritus Dr. Ernesto Kahan MD MPH.
University Professor - Poet – Physician
President- Israeli Association of Writers. Spanish Branch
Vice President- World Academy of Arts and Culture USA
Former Vice President of IPPNW (Nobel Peace Prize) and the actual president of the Israeli Branch
Honorary President of SIPEA – International Society of Poets Writers and Artists
Vice President Intl Forum for Literature and Culture of Peace (IFLAC)
President -UHE- UNION HISPANOAMERICAN WRITERS.
Vice President. Global Harmony Association (GHA)
Sixty five years after the atomic destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
August 2010 Ernesto Kahan*
I am returning from Japan, were I has been invited by the University of Tokyo through the Professor Hideo Nakasawa, to give a conference, I also formed part of a distinguished delegation of poets organized by the Japanese poet Kae Morii and a group of poets members of the following organizations of poets in Japan: Shijinkaigi, Pen Club and Association of Poets of Japan. The members of the delegation were poets Guy Crequie (France), Laura Hernández (Mexico), Celia Altschuler (Puerto Rico), Victoria Romero (Mexico), Marie Robert (France) and Christopher Charles (Haiti).
On August 6, in an emotional ceremony we remembered with pain the 65 years of the atomic destruction of Hiroshima and on August 9 the corresponded one in Nagasaki.
In spite of the idiomatic differences, Japanese poets, Japanese university professors and the members of the delegation, feel united in a single fraternal hug. The expressive demonstrations of poetry, dance, songs and messages of all the participants were extraordinarily emotional, artistically and important. I will never forget that.
During the events in which also participated Hibakushas artists – survivors of the massacre, we were tears looking at the past, and firmly decided to act together while seeing the present, so that not similar such anti-human acts be repeated. In the ceremony we were surrounded by the survivors and their relatives. To them my love and to the politicians of the world, the strongly request for disarmament.
Mayor of Hiroshima reaffirmed the program of the Mayors by the Peace, a group of more than 4000 mayors of the world that fight for the total abolition of nuclear weapons by the year 2020. Sadly and in the meantime we will continue living in uncertainty and with great insecurity.
In each one of the ceremonies, on the exact time that recalls those of the explosions, it was sounded a bell and all attendants keep painful silence. After that hundreds of doves were liberated.
Mayor of Hiroshima on August 6, and the one of Nagasaki on 9th respectively, the government of Japan, the Secretary General of the United Nations and, representatives of survivors and of children gave significant messages. The last of these messages were addressed to mankind asking for a future that will permit them to smile without fear. That message impacted me a lot and thinking in it, I built two poems "Tanka".
In Hiroshima y Nagasaki
-Water, water please!
My son is dying with pain
in Hiroshima ruined…
A drop of water
until the end of this end
-Oh my mom, my mom!
Water and aid for this fire
my skin is in pain
in Nagasaki injured
Could I, will smile again?
I had the opportunity to participate in numerous commemorative events of poetry, presentation of testimonies from survivors, interviews in the press, conferences and, presentations of artists that touched deeply my heart. My special recognition to the presidents of the Association of Poets Shijinkaigi, Hiroshi Akimura and of the Association of Poets Aoigawa, to the poets and friends that received us with fraternal friendship and great performances: Poet Kae Morii, Poet Hiroshi Isshiki, Poet and Philosopher Aki Wakunai, former and surviving Poet director of the Japanese Association of Poets Toshihiro Motomura, Poet Chicae Taniguchi, Poet Atsuko Minato, Poet and Harpist Luon Makana, Poet and Filmmaker Akira Takenami, Prof. Hideo Kawasawa, Dr. Nobuo Sakura and Keiko Sakura. As well as to the Museums of Peace of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and to the Survivors Elders House of the Atomic Bomb in Nagasaki.
My message delivered to the press in the interviews that I did in Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, was the following one
Message for the Media
Honoring the victims of the A bomb 65 years ago by universal nuclear abolition
Prof. Ernesto Kahan*
Our current society is at a transcendental crossroads. on one hand, the use of natural resources is very efficient, but on the other, that same use is endangering the continuity of life on our planet. on one hand, new technology and systems of intensive production permit us to obtain an elevation in the quality of life for all humanity, but on the other, new conflicts are threatening to use weapons of mass destruction, mainly atomic, and with it the potential destruction of our civilization and life on Earth. on one hand, science penetrates into the “secrets” of life and the universe, but on the other, the pseudo sciences, superstition, fraud and fundamentalist and irrational thought have acquired economic and political power, and promote fanaticism, terrorism and intolerance.
At present 16% of the world population do not know how to read and write; 14% suffer from malnutrition; and only one % has access to secondary or higher education. Today, we write and publish in Web pages and magazines of literature, but we do not reach at the population, since less than 10% have access to Internet. For scientists and writers the option is clear: To be a locked group in the laboratories or in elites and separated from the culture and the social needs of the population, or to be dedicated to mankind with a humanist attitude and in dialogue with other intellectuals.
Now I am in Japan to honor the victims of the A bomb 65 years ago, and to promise not to rest until nuclear disarmament and peace will be achieved.
Considering the great activity and campaign for a total universal nuclear disarmament by the year 2020; myself in common with Poet and Philosopher Guy Crequie, proposed for the Nobel Prize 2010, the organization Mayors for Peace and their President and Vice president Mayors of the city of Hiroshima and Nagasaki respectively.
* Prof. Emeritus Dr. Ernesto Kahan MD MPH.
University Professor - Poet – Physician
President- Israeli Association of Writers. Spanish Branch
Vice President- World Academy of Arts and Culture USA
Former Vice President of IPPNW (Organization awarded the Nobel Peace Prize) and the actual president of the Israeli Branch
Honorary President of SIPEA – International Society of Poets Writers and Artists
Vice President Intl Forum for Literature and Culture of Peace (IFLAC)
President -UHE- UNION HISPANOAMERICAN WRITERS.
Vice President. Global Harmony Association (GHA)
Petition to promote the Organization called Mayors for Peace, its President and Vice President, respectively Dr. Tadatoshi Akiba, Mayor of Hiroshima (Japan) andMr. Tomihisa Taue, Mayor of Nagasaki (Japan) for the Nobel Peace Prize
January 28, 2010
According to Alfred Nobel's will, "the prize should be awarded to individuals or groups that have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses" [i] By those words Egil Aarvik, Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, initiated his speech on the occasion of the award of the Nobel Peace Prize for 1985, to the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War – IPPNW.
The organizers of this petition, Professor Ernesto Kahan and Philosopher Guy Crequie, understand that the Organization "Mayors for Peace", its President and Vice President, respectively Dr. Tadatoshi Akiba, Mayor of Hiroshima (Japan) andMr. Tomihisa Taue, Mayor of Nagasaki (Japan), gathered all the conditions to merit such a prestigious distinction that influences the world politics.Accordingly, we call to peace institutions, international and national, of all countries to join us in this petition.Professor Kahan is a former vice-president of IPPNW and guest at the ceremony of presentation of the Nobel Prize in 1985, along with Philosopher Créquie, (both leaders of several organizations of writers and professionals for the culture of peace), invite such institutions, to join this petition.
In order to describe the organization Mayors for Peace, we transcribe the section "About us" from the WEB Page of this NGO .[ii]
"The Mayors for Peace, through close cooperation among the cities, strives to raise international public awareness regarding the need to abolish nuclear weapons and contributes to the realization of genuine and lasting world peace by working to eliminate starvation and poverty, assist refugees fleeing local conflict, support human rights, protect the environment, and solve the other problems that threaten peaceful coexistence within the human family."
"In August 1945, atomic bombs instantaneously reduced the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to rubble, taking hundreds of thousands of precious lives. Today, more than sixty years after the war, thousands of citizens still suffer the devastating aftereffects of radiation and unfathomable emotional pain. To prevent any repetition of the A-bomb tragedy, the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have continually sought to tell the world about the inhumane cruelty of nuclear weapons and have consistently urged that nuclear weapons be abolished.
On June 24, 1982, at the 2nd UN Special Session on Disarmament held at UN Headquarters in New York, then Mayor Takeshi Araki of Hiroshima proposed a new Program to Promote the Solidarity of Cities toward the Total Abolition of Nuclear Weapons. This proposal offered cities a way to transcend national borders and work together to press for nuclear abolition. Subsequently, the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki called on mayors around the world to support this program.
The Mayors for Peace is composed of cities around the world that have formally expressed support for the program Mayor Araki announced in 1982. As of January 1, 2010, membership stood at 3,488 cities in 134 countries and regions. In March 1990, the Mayors Conference was officially registered as a UN NGO related to the Department of Public Information. In May 1991, it became a Category II NGO (currently called a NGO in "Special Consultative Status") registered with the Economic and Social Council."
REASONS FOR THE PETITION
Never human civilization was as the present, with the capability to achieve that all the population of the planet can have food, water to drink and to be washed, access to education, mass media and services for the health.This goal that was impossible during almost all historical times; today it is achievable because of the existence of the necessary resources to reach it. But also, never as in the present, has our society had the existing capability to destroy everything completely, including to erase life on the planet - for that it is enough to continue with the nuclear arms race and the indiscriminate use and criminal of the natural resources.The demonstration of that is already known.
We can call to the morale or to the call of justice, and in their name, to demand for a more responsible human conduct, but surely our call will be very little attended by the ones that have the power to make changes.Whereas, the campaign that is being carried out successfully by Mayors for Peace, in favor of the cooperation between the governments of the cities and its citizens, to commonly work for peace and to achieve a universal nuclear disarmament, has transcend the borders and injected new optimism.Such a campaign comes accompanied by sufficient information and produces an elevation of a global responsible conscience.
The achievement of the Nobel Peace Prize by this NGO will enlarge the universal recognition for such constructive work for the cause of peace and will stimulate the hope of the communities and its local governments to create new bridges for the assumption of responsibility by the future of the human civilization.
January 28, 2010
Prof. Emeritus Dr. Ernesto Kahan MD MPH
University Professor - Poet – Physician
Tel Aviv University, Israel.
President- Israeli Association Writers. Spanish Branch
Former Vice President of IPPNW. The actual president of the Israeli Branch
Honorary President of SIPEA – Intl Society of Poets Writers and Artists A.C.
Vice President Intl Forum for Literature and Culture of Peace (IFLAC)
President -UHE- UNION HISPANOAMERICAN WRITERS.
Vice Director of General Directorate Global Harmony Association (GHA)
7 Hanita Street, apt 2. Kfar Saba 44405. Israel
Poet, philosopher and singer French for peace
Messenger of Culture of Peace – "Manifest 2000"
Prize winner of the European Academy of arts
Doctor Honoris Causa - World Academy of Arts and Culture
53 rue Auguste Renoir 69200
VENISSIEUX -France tel: 33/ 04 78 70 80 85
ASSOCIATIONS AND INDIVIDUALS WHICH JOINED THIS PETITION
Name of individual or NGO
International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War – IPPNW
UHE- UNION HISPANOAMERICAN WRITERS
Intl Forum for Literature and Culture of Peace (IFLAC)
Global Harmony Association (GHA)
International Society of Poets Writers and Artists A.C.
TRIP TO HARMONY
by Ernesto Kahan © in our house, Planet Earth, June 21, 2009 (Global Harmony Day) to all my beloved brothers in the responsible poetry world
Brothers with words that are passing through the "Narrow Door",
my Global Harmony partners.
Receive my terms and let us take a trip of letters in enjoined,
In love with the poor, hanged by the kites that
years ago we used to fly with the free seagulls
and the butterflies in dance.
without the "Campus Martius",
Mars, the Roman Warrior God,
of misery and war.
Words that cry, brother!
Because injured women are endlessly battered
by their "masters"
and murdered with stones painted by "Sharia"
in arenas of lapidation.
Words with thorns in our teeth
because those that go to bed with hunger,
children lost, dying, dried…
Take a trip through the Earth,
through the towns all,
the genocides, the ones that are being bled
Through the photo of a boy condemned,
(They say he stole, violated the "divine law")
They are destroying him,
his arm beneath the wheel of a passing truck.
Oh my brother!
A trip through the crematoriums of the Holocaust,
That the beast should not reach, never again!
A trip through Hiroshima
That the beast should not reappear ever again!
A trip through the misery
That the beast should not continue, never more!
A trip through freedom
That they should not infringe!
A trip through parks
That are waiting for the sun and happiness!
A trip through work
To which, singing, we should arrive!
How many things sound badly to me, today!
Filth and justified crime!
I need you my brother for this trip.
I cannot avoid it… I am crying.
Your words and mine!
Your words and mine with poems of peace and life
for us to continue our walk.
For a trip with no barriers,
that will discover lies,
false "redeemers" that flatter to the sin,
racist fanatics without masks,
A trip through the world,
through all the fields,
all languages, dark and pale,
to provoke laughter in the old
and to dance with disabled.
A trip with poets that global harmony expand
With words… Yours and mine…
June 21, 2009
Trip to Harmony: it is a poem full of reflection to never forget and less to file but bear in mind it before our eyes every day of the existence. This trip over our planet towards the achievement of such a longed human global harmony begins with the nostalgia from when we were children and still pure air was breathed. Here our dearest Dr Ernesto not only betrays with deep words his pain and of all when he expresses the happened in genocide and those who happen at present and of these bad people in charge at the expense of the power and the corruption more violence in all forms on the earth. Because of it, we need brothers for this trip without barriers with more heroic words and the human love from all to continue on the road, where poets expand the global harmony.
It is excellent poem from the beginning at the end of every word. Today when there is more sadness for what it happens in the world, there is much more for doing from the creativity in the fight ofthis harmony.
I follow embraced to the fight during this trip to each and every of the one that creates a small action every day to give, to expand love and not to lower the arms in the creation of this harmony that joins us as souls embarked in a peregrination of races, cultures and languages with the same purpose: not more wars and violence on the earth.. To follow the trip he makes a call: "With your and my words" Yes dearest Dr. Ernesto, creating more harmony until the sound of the inner harmonious language be the alone one..
Best wishes in this day with the light of the internal Peace creating Harmony.
June 22, 2009
Ceasefire at Eight O'clock: City Landscape
Nine minutes have gone by. on the horizon, silence
The tree that brushes my balcony sings with goldfinches and new hues
I hear them in my core, my deepest core
The source of the breeze presaging life
And I walk slowly not to awake the forces of sin
I keep on walking. Walking is the way I feel reality
Walking and watching TV.
No mushroom clouds in Haifa, no explosions in Tyre
And on the border... Oh, the border! Tension but Cease-fire.
I walk slowly. Dreaming of those two towns by the sea
Oh the sea rhythmically in love with them!
Walk to absorb the silences of The Pastoral
But man is man and does not forget
In the North each sings his belief in victory
In the South a missile, reminder of war lingering
I walk back in a roundabout way
And arrive at my cup of coffee
Aroma of mornings for those who awake with plans and projects
Smell of grief for those inconsolable in mourning
The parents who bury their soldier sons
A chain of tanks wends its way home
An endless queue of strategists knocks on press doors
In offices of political parties, speeches are prepared
Workers transport spades and cement to reconstruct the city
New commissions, new evaluation committees
And preparation for the next war.
The city awakes to pursue its human evolution
Witness of gregariousness lacking in compassion
Soft winds of the Mediterranean
Soldiers embrace at Eight Forty
And me, I carry on walking
And David Grossman, writer of peace, will bury his son this afternoon
Yet not his writings
And I have another sociable coffee in town
And when I am convinced that the cease-fire is undeniable
With the bread fresh out of the oven
I will turn up the sound of The Pastoral.
The bombs remain silent. How good that is!
Yet are being stored in the city.
Landscape of gregarious man
From yesterday we started to count.
Tel-Aviv, August 2006
Yom ha' SHOAH – The Holocaust Day
Silence..!All is empty,
what I see too…
Today, first of May,
I am silent, do not want to speak.
I remember 1940,
conflicts, maps and strategies.
Europe at war
its soldiers fighting
No, no for the Jews
for them extermination and agony
German doctors, "euthanasia"
Holocaust - SHOAH:
Crime and pain,
each second in a struggle
not to be gassed...
Today it is 1st of May,
neo World, neo Europe,
neo irrational hate.
My thoughts fly and crash
against an imaginary wall
return without asking me.
I keep on silent...
dried eyes, in silence...
Six million murdered...
Survivors who can not cry...
Dried eyes looking at nothing...
I am silent,
do not want to speak.
Today is 1st of May, 2005.
Ernesto Kahan © Genocidio, p.39 Ed Nihon Tosho Center, Tokio 2006
ALZHEIMER: SHADOW AND DARKNESS
like the leaves
of a tree
from the gold
and so the past…
Oh the words!
Oh those wanted
in a desperate
never ending search!
Oh the one
in the garden!
Again at home!
For an instant,
Until an end
to a look,
From Kahan E in 5 Poets 3 Continents. XXV th WCP stand@art 2005
CHINGGIS KHAAN AND I
I a modest man,
look at the waves of the ocean,
one after one,
touch the water… trillions of atoms… essence of life!
ritual rhythm of the sea.
Look at the invisible …
close my eyes… breathe…
I feel the immensity inside…
today… what it was… once upon a time…
here… there… far away…
In Mongolia I see Temujin,
birth of a man,
hero of the steppes of Khuriltai
unifying the Mongols to become the Khaan,
conqueror and builder of a great empire,
Today is Monday, 2005
another day in the South of Earth
without work, no water, no rainbow,
panic and terror
Today the exiled cry the absence of motherland;
despite the feast of technology,
no freedom no dignity for all,
today, another rape, another war…
I am alone…
Today a new man …
closes his eyes breathes what he feels:
music, poetry, history, food, machines,
liberty and hope,
here… there… now… and then…
Today desire is simple for the simple women and men:
talent to the group,
a dialogue of respect…
the beauty of life.
Nobody above the law!
between nations walk and
as some say it was on the Silk Road
during the "Mongol Peace"
Today, I look at the ocean waves, one after one,
touch the water…
that essence of life trillions of atoms!
immense sea, immense time for a modest man
I look at the history of humankind,
Chinggis Khaan and his empire.
I read the books of the "Occident":
"l' antéchrist", "le terreur organisée"…
I read other sources
I see people and merchants
from Florence, from Venice… enjoying the Mongol Empire:
freedom of religion and trade,
cultural diversity, medicine and mail.
The truth is playing "hide and seek"
- the truthfulness of the biased tale -
was that freedom the prelude?
a new era replacing the Middle Ages.
I am… here… there,
under the 1- onE blue sky…
I look at the invisible…
close my eyes
is a dove,
Now, I have it
in my hands,
Ernesto Kahan, January 2002
© Ernesto Kahan and Taki Yuriko. GenocideNihon Tosho Center, 2006
“They put my hands on the ground and cut them quickly the left first… I fell over on the ground...” Issatu Kargbo, 13 years. Sierra Leone*. *War Wounds in Africa an ugly civil war leaves permanent scars; Time Magazine, USA, 1999
Pure beautiful hands
you had arms
to embrace the world
to sing on Earth.
Before the dawn,
soldiers of the war
appeared as a dream
like a storm
set fire to the town
and village death and you
thirteen years old,
covered with fright
Chopped off her hands
lay on the ground
“Ellos pusieron mis manos en el suelo y las cortaron rápido, primero la izquierda ... me desmayé en la tierra...” Issatu Kargbo, 13 años. Sierra Leone*. *War Wounds in Africa an ugly civil war leaves permanent scars. Revista Time, EEUU; 1999
Puras tus bellas manos,
puras tus manos tiernas.
Las tenías en tus brazos
para abrazar al mundo
y cantar en la Tierra.
Antes del alba, Issatu,
cayeron como del sueño
los soldados de la guerra
que incendiaron en el pueblo
los silencios y las fiestas.
Cayeron cual tormenta
por arriba y por abajo.
Cayeron con furia siniestra
y todo se puso rojo
y fue muerte la aldea.
Y tu Issatu, a los trece años,
toda cubierta de espanto,
sin huida y sin llanto,
debiste poner tus manos
y en el suelo te las cortaron.@……..@
Dr. Ernesto Kahan
中譯 : 龔華(Karen Kung)
大屠殺事件 - 猶太人的浩劫，
Ernesto Kahan, 往下一站的旅途中
Mnemosyne and my trip
You touched my orgasm Mnemosyne!
Mother of muses,
in contemplative secret
in training in fields of quiet meditation
You touched, yes! The plasma in texts
you took my death towards life
doing my resigns of the beginning to begin
You touched so that I can touch!
And listen the silence
and see the invisible
and penetrate with the magic that deceives
into the apocalypse of social crime.
You are dreams of a dreamer
orgasm of words erased by the wind
of the morning without dreams
after the childbirths,
the protection of the wharves,
the holocaust - SHOAH,
same train of death
Ernesto Kahan, in trip to the next station
THE ROLE OF HUMANISM IN THE INTERACTION BETWEEN ART AND SCIENCE
Dr. Prof. Ernesto Kahan.Israel, October, 2008
ccording to the Dictionary of The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, "Humanism" is defined as:
·A system of thought that rejects religious beliefs and centers on humans and their values, capacities, and worth.
·Concern with the interests, needs, and welfare of humans
·Medicine The concept that concern for human interests, values, and dignity is of the utmost importance to the care of the sick.
·The study of the humanities; learning in the liberal arts.
·Humanism A cultural and intellectual movement of the Renaissance that emphasized secular concerns as a result of the rediscovery and study of the literature, art, and civilization of ancient Greece and Rome.
All these variations have in common the attitude based on an integrative conception of the human values, and that will be the emphasis of this presentation.
Professor Alejandro Goic Goic, President of the Chilean Academy of Medicine comments that "Whatever the meaning given to the term humanism, what it seems to be in the heart of this concept is the anthropocentrism or human centrality, that is to say, a system of ideas whose substantive worry is the human being […].Humanists physicians are those that promote respect for the patient and stimulate their moral and spiritual improvement." 
The majority of philosophers and historians agree that modern humanism was born, or to put it better, reborn, in Europe as part of the moral, political, social, cultural, economic revolution and esthetics, called the Renaissance.This revolution is certainly one of the most significant in the history of the human civilization, and although there is not a specific date indicating the start of the Renaissance, the texts relate, that it was between 1350 and 1550 that the western European society recognized the transformation of the old medieval civilization.This was called Renaissance; if had been baptized as "humanist" in 1860 by J. Burckhardt when he published "The civilization of the Renaissance in Italy", it is possible that today that would be its name.
In Italy, using Latin words, in contrast to the Literoe sacroe of scholasticism, they started to give the name Literoe humaniores, to the classic literature of Rome and the imitation and reproduction of its literary style.
Such a period of total renewal of the arts, science, commerce and society that promoted the study of the classics of the antiquity, put the focus on man and, by instituting reason as its source of knowledge (Rationalism), facilitated the more impressive technological and scientific progress of human history.
This far-reaching revolution, that occurred first in the city of Florence and after that was expanded all over Europe and the world, had its origin in the existence of dramatic events relatively coincident that touched mankind and questioned the then accepted immutable "truths".In the XIII century, Marco Polo of Venice travelled to China and spent 17 years as a member of the Imperial Court of the Mongol Emperor Kublai Khan.Then he returned to Italy and wrote his memories in a book that awoke in the Europeans large expectations and desires to travel and to do business.Marco Polo found many incredible situations for the Europeans of the Middle Age.In the Mongol Empire, that was the most extensive in terms of territorial expansion registered in history, (see map) and especially during the reign of Mongke initiated in 1251, the woman had more independence than in the Christian or Islamic society, there was diplomatic immunity, the employees of the government and the monks were not obliged to carry out works in communal projects, teachers and doctors were exempt from paying taxes, there was religious tolerance, the princes were prohibited from giving orders that were not approved by the Imperial Government, the cities had autonomy and the soldiers and civil rulers could not enter areas out of their jurisdiction, all the military campaigns had to be performed without destroying the agriculture or the cities, and above all, what amazed the visiting European merchants, was that there was free commerce with respect to private property.
Another event that caused turmoil in the Europe of those times was what was known as the plague, also called "the black death", during which 1/3 of the population of Europe (20 out of 70 million) died in an epidemic that indiscriminately attacked rich and poor, kings and plebeians, compatriots and priests, religious and heretics.The world then asked questions on the value of protection of religion and the legitimacy of the refusal of the humanistic philosophies of ancient Greek-Roman culture: Aristotle, Plato, Socrates, Epicurus, Cicero, Seneca and others.
The renaissance of humanism completely transformed society, producing large economic, political, and social changes that through the French Revolution and the American Continental Revolutions, introduced the concept of liberal democracy.Even more, it is valid to ask if the "discovery" of America was not the result of the interaction among such humanist ideas and the new scientific, cosmologic, geographical and commercial motivations.
At that time scientific people worked independently from the power of religious establishment and developed a methodology for the investigation of the reality and acceptance of knowledge.Although it is outside of the objective of this essay to analyze such a scientific methodology, I would say that in summary it is constituted by four steps,, a) Observation and description of the situation or phenomena, b) Generation of a hypothesis that rationally explain the observed, c) Prediction of the existence or mechanism of other phenomena, in light of the new hypothesis and d) Execution of experiments for the verification of the hypothesis.
Philosopher Mario Bunge, who is a member of the Society for the Advance of the Critical Thought, an institution "that promotes the use of the reason and of the critical thought against credulity and paranormal affirmations"; recently published an article related to pseudo sciences, to which recognizes as possessing at least two of the following characteristics:"- It invokes ethereal or supernatural entities inaccessible to the empirical examination, - It is credulous (does not submit its speculations to any trial), - It is dogmatic (does not change its principles when they fail neither as a consequence of new finds), - Rejects criticism, - Does not find nor utilize general laws.- Its principles are incompatible with some of the more basic principles of science and, - Does not interact with any science, - Is easy: does not require a long period of learning, - Is only interested in what can have practical use: does not seek for the disinterested truth, - Keeps out of the scientific community.Scientists, on the other hand, submit their ideas to the criticism of their peers".I want to emphasize that that type of characteristics were exactly those prevailing during the so-called Middle Ages and ceased to be recognized as science when the modern scientific revolutions took place.
During the Scientific Revolution of the XVII century, in which emerged great minds like Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler and Newton, the empirical attitude of observation of any phenomena was defended.Later, during the Scientific Revolution of the XX century, was initiated the criteria in which the theory, formulated from mathematic postulates, is the starting point for the interpretation of the observable phenomena.Both revolutions caused the logarithmic development of science and technology that modified completely the life and the expectations of humanity.
Nevertheless, in the current world, after all the greatest technological and scientific advancements, there is still much inequality of opportunities and terrible misery.Eighty-one percent of the inhabitants of the world live in developing countries with an annual income of 3,580 US$ (American dollars) per year, while the remaining 19% have an income of 22.060 US$; 48% live with less than 2 US$ and 20% with less than 1 US$ for a day; 47% do not have access to basic health; 25% do not live in houses or these are not acceptable by any basic standard; 17% do not have access to drinking water; 16% do not know how to read and write; 14% suffer from malnutrition; and only one % has access to secondary or higher education.Today, we write and publish in Web pages and magazines of literature, but we do not reach at the population, since less than 10% have access to Internet.
I am going to cite a fragment of the Statement on the 5th Summit
of Nobel Peace Laureates signed in Rome under the auspices of the President of the Italian Republic in November of 2004.I feel proud that the organization International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, of which I was vice president, is one of the signatories: […] "Millions of people become victims of hunger and disease, and entire nations suffer from feelings of frustration and despair. This creates fertile ground for extremism and terrorism. The stability and future of the entire human community are thus jeopardized." […] "Unacceptable violence is occurring daily against women and children...”"As Nobel Laureates, we believe that the world community needs urgently to address the challenges of poverty and sustainable development…”"Children remain our most important neglected treasure. Their protection, security and health should be the highest priority. Children everywhere deserve to be educated in and for peace. There is no excuse for neglecting their safety and welfare and, particularly, for their suffering in war.”"We call for the reduction of military expenditures and for conclusion of a treaty that would control arms trade and prohibit sales of arms where they could be used to violate international human rights standards and humanitarian law.”, "[…] for a new international order that rejects brute force, respects ethnic, cultural, and political diversity and affirms justice, compassion, and human solidarity. …" "We, the Nobel Peace Laureates and Laureate organizations, pledge to work for the realization of these goals and are calling on governments and people everywhere to join us.”
This is a call that has a special meaning for scientists and artists who find in humanism the integrative vital conception of human values and a field for a positive interaction.
In the Renaissance scientists and artists were integrated and had a common field of action.Leonardo da Vinci was born in 1452 and died in 1519; he was a painter, sculptor, architect, physics, cosmologist, geologist, engineer and anatomist.In that epoch the prestige of the artists was superior to that of the scientists, and the latter were under the stimulus of the humanist spirit of the artists. Many times they visited the artists when they wanted to know about the beauty of the human body.In 1549 Vesalio, the most renowned doctor of the Renaissance, commented that he did not worry that many painters and sculptors were present at his dissections, neither, "despite their air of superiority, I feel less important than they."
Subsequently, due to the separation between the scientific objectivism and the artistic subjectivism that occurred during the modern epoch, each of these groups began to analyze the problems of society in an independent angle and without interacting among them.Furthermore, the different methodology utilized and the separated development of linguistic expressions of communication, were factors for the current lack of dialogue between science and art.
In the World Conference on Science, under the auspices of UNESCO in Budapest, July 1999 scientists declared that they concede "that scientific research and the use of scientific knowledge should respect human rights and the dignity of human beings, in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the light of the Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights".
The Humanist Manifesto 2000 of the International Academy of Humanism, is calling in favor of a new planetary humanism.In the Preamble it is declared that "Humanism is an ethical, scientific, and philosophical outlook that has changed the world. Its heritage traces back to the philosophers and poets of ancient Greece and Rome, Confucian China, and the Charvaka movement in classical India. Humanist artists, writers, scientists, and thinkers have been shaping the modern era for over half a millennium. Indeed, humanism and modernism have often seemed synonymous for humanist ideas and values express a renewed confidence in the power of human beings to solve their own problems and conquer uncharted frontiers."The same manifesto commented that modern humanism that emerged during the Renaissance, contributed to the development of the modern science.During the Illustration germinated new ideals of social justice and inspired the democratic revolutions of our time.The humanism has collaborated in the construction of a new perspective ethics that underlines the values of the liberty and the happiness, as well as the virtues of the universal human rights. And adds "The signatories of this manifesto believe that the humanism has a lot that to offer the humanity with a view toward confronting the problems of the 21st century" […] We Need to renew the thought, if we want to face the global society that is emerging now, and to renew the thought is exactly the distinctive seal of the humanism. […] "
Our current society is at a transcendental crossroads. on one hand, the use of natural resources is very efficient, but on the other, that same use is endangering the continuity of life on our planet. on one hand, new technology and systems of intensive production permit us to obtain an elevation in the quality of life for all humanity, but on the other, new conflicts are threatening the use of weapons of mass destruction, mainly atomic, and with it the potential destruction of our civilization and life on Earth. on one hand, the massive development of the media is carrying all the social-economic-political-cultural events to the television screens and Internet of the private computers of the inhabitants of all corners of the world, but on the other, financial or governmental interests are manipulating these same media, deforming the news, creating nonexistent realities and “brain-washing” the audience. on one hand, human rights have gained the power of international law, and democracy is the most accepted form of government, but on the other, individuals are in danger of losing their dignity completely by being transformed into “cogs in a machine” by the economic corporations and the dominant governments. on one hand, the fall of the absolutist states has provided people of different countries with the opportunity to dissent, but on the other, the new techniques of propaganda via communication are transforming them into manipulated “flocks of sheep”. on one hand, science penetrates into the “secrets” of life and the universe, but on the other, the pseudo sciences, superstition, fraud and fundamentalist and irrational thought have acquired economic and political power, and promote fanaticism and intolerance. Terrorist movements that are claiming the arrival of the “end of times” use the same extremist fanaticism as religion in order to be justified and to create panic.
We should ask, if in humanism, we can find the potentiality to orient the dialogue between science and art, through ways that will guide the present globalized society towards rails of survival and progress. We also must ask: How can we, writers in general and poets in particular, be the lyric voice of the peoples and be part of their reality, without participating in such a dialogue?How can we scientists manage to contribute to the development of science and technology for the progress of humanity, if we are separated from the main philosophical, cultural, and social dilemmas?The answers, or better said "the answer" is evident, and does not offer any other alternative than the positive to these questions.
For us artists the option is simple:To be an elitist group separated from science, or to be dedicated to the people providing them with art beauty, love, voices of justice and our dialogue with science; that is to say with the humanist attitude.
For scientists the option is also clear: To be a locked group in the laboratories dedicated to super specialization and separated from the culture and the social needs of the population, or to be dedicated to humanity with a humanist attitude and in dialogue with artists and the philosophers.
Both the scientist and the artist should be responsible and free thinking ethically and socially. Both must sustain mutual dialogues and proposals for a more secure and dignified society.The focus is anthropocentric.
I am a professor of medicine. I believe that doctors should be humanists and promoters of humanism.We should love deep and generously the individual patients and the populations of all the nations, ethnic groups, sexes, races, beliefs and social conditions.We should love and respect both the healthy human body and the sick.We should ask every day for new knowledge and to learn.We should ask every day what the patients feel, and to learn.We should ask every day what are the dangers for the patients and for all humankind.We should participate with social responsibility, ethical behavior, and generating dialogues and proposals for a more secure and dignified society.The focus is anthropocentric.
MY MEDICAL DILEMMA
How to make melody
with ill beating hearts
and bring, for a moment,
smiling hopes for despair
and love with my drugs?
How to keep the perfume
hidden in every soul
and the words yet not said,
when all is gone… dark…?
 Prof. Ernesto Kahan. Tel Aviv University, Israel
Vice President- World Academy of Arts and Culture
President-Israel Physicians for Peace and Preservation of the Environment
& Former Vice President of IPPNW (Organization awarded Nobel Peace Prize 1985)
Vice President-IFLAC (Intl Forum for Literature and Culture of Peace)
President Assistant UHE Hispano American Writers Union
President of AIELC - Israeli Association of Writers. Spanish Branch
 Dictionary of The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
2006 Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. http://www.bartleby.com/61/
 Grandes médicos humanistas" (Editorial Universitaria, Santiago de Chile, 2004
 Wilson, E. Bright. An Introduction to Scientific Research (McGraw-Hill, 1952).
 Kuhn, Thomas. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Univ. of Chicago Press, 1962).
"Preventing Nuclear War" by L. Follow, E. Kahan, from War and Public Health edited by Barry S. Levi & Victor W. Sidel, copyright © 1997 by Oxford University Press, Inc. New York, 1997, 2nd Ed 2000 Used by permission of Oxford University Press, Inc.
On July 16, 1945, a nuclear explosion shattered the quiet darkness of the New Mexico desert, and on-looking physicists watched with a mixture of awe and horror as the first atomic mushroom cloud rose thousands of feet above the desert floor. J. Robert Oppenheimer, leader of the Manhattan Project, reported later that he immediately recalled words of the Bhagavad Gita: “I am become death, destroyer of worlds.”1 Twenty-one days later, a second nuclear explosion obliterated within seconds most of the Japanese city of Hiroshima, killing over 100,000 people, almost all civilians. The impact on the medical care personnel of Hiroshima was movingly described by John Hersey2 (see box). Three days later, another 70,000 civilians were killed when a third nuclear explosion destroyed most of the city of Nagasaki (Chapter 6). Every nuclear warhead built up to that time had then been used.
During the 1950s, first the United States and then the Soviet Union tested weapons based on the principle of nuclear fusion rather than nuclear fission – hydrogen or thermonuclear bombs. These weapons had the potential for an explosive force 1,000 times greater than that of the nuclear bombs dropped on Japan.
In 1962, in a series of articles published in the New England Journal of Medicine, a group of Boston physicians described the potential medical consequences of a thermonuclear attack on Boston. They estimated that following such an attack more than 2,000,000 people in the Boston area would die and 1,500,000 more would be injured, but would survive. Most physicians would be killed and their medical facilities destroyed, the disposal of corpses would be difficult or impossible, and the risks of epidemic disease would be high. Given the inability of the medical profession to respond to this devastation in any effective way, the authors concluded that “physicians, charged with the responsibility for the lives of their patients and the health of their communities, must also explore a new area of preventive medicine, the prevention of thermonuclear war.”3
Over five decades since the first test in New Mexico, the governments of the United States, the former Soviet Union, Great Britain, France, and China built tens of thousands of nuclear warheads and conducted over 1,200 nuclear test explosions. By the mid-1980s, their arsenals contained more than 50,000 nuclear warheads, many of them fusion weapons with the explosive force of more than 1,000 Hiroshima bombs. Collectively, these weapons threatened the equivalent of 1,000,000 Hiroshima explosions, with the force of more than three tons of TNT for every man, woman, and child on the planet. on several occasions, including especially the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, political and military leaders seriously considered initiating a nuclear attack.4
The lot of the majority of physicians of Hiroshima – with their offices and hospital destroyed, their equipment scattered, their own bodies incapacitated in varying degrees, explained why so many citizens who were hurt went untended and why so many who might have lived, died. Of the one hundred fifty doctors in the city, sixty-five were already dead and most of the rest were wounded. In the biggest hospital, that of the Red Cross, only six doctors were able to function, and only ten nurses. The sole uninjured doctor on the Red Cross Hospital staff was Dr. Sasaki ….
Dr. Sasaki worked without method, taking those who were nearest him first, and he noticed soon that the corridor seemed to be getting more and more crowded. Mixed with the abrasions and lacerations which most people in the hospital had suffered, he began to find dreadful burns. He realized then that casualties were pouring in from outdoors. There were so many that he began to pass up the lightly wounded; he decided that all he could hope to do was to stop people from bleeding to death. Before long, patients lay and crouched on the floors of the wards and the laboratories and all the other rooms, and in the corridors, and on the stairs, and in the front hall, and under the portecochere, and on the stone front steps, and in the driveway and courtyard, and for blocks each way on the streets outside. Wounded people supported maimed people, disfigured families leaned together, many people were vomiting….
In a city of two hundred and forty-five thousand, nearly a hundred thousand had been killed or doomed at one blow; a hundred thousand more were hurt. At least ten thousand of the wounded made their way to the best hospital in town, which was altogether unequal to such a trampling since it had only six thousand beds, and they had all been occupied. The people in the suffocating crowd inside the hospital wept and cried for Dr. Sasaki, and the less seriously wounded came and pulled at his sleeve and begged him to go to the aid of the worse wounded. Tugged here and there in his stockinged feet, bewildered by the numbers, staggered by so much raw flesh, Dr. Sasaki lost all sense of profession and stopped working as a skillful surgeon and a sympathetic man; he became an automaton, mechanically wiping, daubing, winding, wiping, daubing, winding.
Copyright © 1946 and renewed 1974 by John Hersey. Reprinted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. Originally appeared in The New Yorker.
In the 1980s, a series of scholarly reports by organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO)5 and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences6 summarized previously existing scientific knowledge about the short-, medium-, and long-term health effects of nuclear war, and also identified several previously unsuspected, but likely, effects of nuclear warfare. These have been summarized in most authoritative detail by the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE) Environmental Effects of Nuclear War (ENUWAR) Project,7 in which approximately 100 physical and atmospheric scientists and an additional 200 agricultural and ecological scientists from more than 30 countries spent two years assessing the overall global consequences of nuclear war. Their conclusion was that the distant global effects of a large-scale nuclear war would likely far exceed the morbidity and mortality in areas near the nuclear explosion themselves. The most common cause of death would be mass starvation resulting from massive disruption of both ecological and agricultural systems and transportation and industrial infrastructure. An earlier study by WHO5 concluded that several hundred million human fatalities would likely occur in the United States and the Soviet Union following a nuclear war between the superpowers. The SCOPE-ENUWAR report suggested that the overall global casualties from such a conflict would be between one and four billion lives, with most of the victims dying far from the explosions themselves, in conditions more like those fitting current images of Ethiopia and the Sudan than of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
In 1995, some years after the end of the Cold War, the concern among military experts and the general public about the risk of large-scale nuclear war diminished considerably as the two nuclear superpowers, the United States and Russia, no longer targeted their weapons at each other. Nevertheless, widespread concern has remained about the future political situation in the former Soviet Union, and military experts have observed that these weapons can be reset to their previous targets within a very short period (as little as 10 to 15 minutes). Even if all arms control treaties that were in place by 1995 were fully implemented (by the year 2003), nearly 20,000 of the previous 50,000 nuclear warheads would remain – the equivalent power of 200,000 Hiroshima bombs.
Furthermore, in the mid-1990s concern about the dangers of nuclear weapons heightened in the context of rising terrorist activity, which included the fertilizer-bomb that killed 168 people in Oklahoma City, fatal bombings in Paris and in Israel, and the nerve gas release in the Tokyo subway system. For years, many experts had concluded that the only significant barrier to the construction of a nuclear weapon by terrorist groups was the difficulty in obtaining weapons-usable fissile material. Following the collapse of the former Soviet Union, increasing evidence suggested that hundreds of tons of such material were being kept under inadequate security, with several well-documented cases of theft of small amounts of both plutonium and enriched uranium.8
The burn, blast, and radiation effects of even an inefficiently-constructed nuclear weapon, with less than 10 percent of the yield of the Hiroshima bomb, would cause fatal or near fatal injuries almost immediately to most individuals within 600 meters of the explosion. In the aftermath, many more people would almost certainly die because of the inability of emergency personnel to find and transfer them safely to medical facilities capable of providing adequate treatment for the extraordinarily complex problems resulting from simultaneous burn, blast, and radiation injuries. In addition, fallout would leave several square kilometers contaminated by dangerous levels of radiation.9
The spectrum of possible nuclear war thus ranges from the explosion of a relatively small warhead, such as a Hiroshima-type bomb, to the global devastation predicted by the SCOPE-ENUWAR studies. Prevention of nuclear war must encompass this full range.
Public Health Responsibilities
Health workers have a central and urgent professional responsibility for helping to prevent nuclear war because:
·Health workers have a professional responsibility to treat disease and to reduce mortality.
·The use of nuclear weapons in war would cause death and illness on a massive and, in the case of large-scale war, unprecedented scale.
·Health workers would be unable to intervene effectively in the human injury and death expected following a nuclear attack.
·Prevention is the only way to reduce mortality where treatment is ineffective.
·The use of nuclear weapons is possible, or even probable, in the decades ahead.
·Efforts by health workers could help prevent nuclear war.10
Although a comprehensive analysis of the etiology of nuclear war might identify many contributing factors, a conceptual framework could include the following six steps:
1.Development of knowledge of the physics and technology involved in building a nuclear weapon.
2.Obtaining fissile materials, such as weapons-grade uranium and plutonium.
3.Construction, testing, and stockpiling of the weapons.
4.Development and maintenance of plans for use of the weapons.
5.Development of political or military situations in which actual use is seriously considered.
In the 1960s and then again in the 1980s, massive civil defense plans were proposed and, to a variable extent, implemented in the United States, the Soviet Union, and other countries. Detailed plans prepared by the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) claimed that with effective evacuation over a period of four to seven days, proper sheltering, and other civil defense measures, 80 percent of the U.S. population could survive a large-scale nuclear attack. After detailed scrutiny, the FEMA claims were widely discredited. Accepting as reasonable the survival of 80 percent of the U.S. population is, it was argued, accepting as reasonable the deaths of 45 million people.11 Furthermore, these plans did not take into account the environmental and agricultural devastation predicted by the SCOPE-ENUWAR studies. After a vigorous public debate involving many physicians and public health workers, President Ronald Reagan, who had initially proposed $4.1 billion for the FEMA program, concluded that “a nuclear war can never be won and must never be fought” (Figure 22-1).
Figure 22-1. Physicians for Social Responsibility billboard in 1980s in Philadelphia (Source: Physicians for Social Responsibility [PSR]).
Current efforts therefore focus on preventing nuclear war, mainly by two approaches: for states that already possess nuclear weapons, the doctrine of nuclear deterrence; for states that do not (yet) possess nuclear weapons, the nuclear nonproliferation regime, which has been enshrined in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
The doctrine of deterrence has been analyzed in considerable detail by many scholars, with conflicting views over whether its dominant effect has been to prevent nuclear war or to drive a relentlessly escalating arms race.12 As Bernard Lown has warned, “In order for it to be effective, nuclear deterrence must operate perfectly and forever. No such expectations are permissible for any human activity.”13 Figure 22-2 illustrates the relationship between the threat of nuclear war, regional wars (in which so-called conventional weapons are used), civil wars, terrorism, ethnic or national conflicts, and societal violence.
Figure 22-2. The pyramid of conflict and the cycle of violence (Source: International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War [IPPNW]).
The process by which a conflict might generate the use of nuclear weapons may be termed “a spiral of false security.” In this process, a logical chain of events takes place following the decision to create a nuclear arsenal. The starting point of the spiral is the decision to use nuclear weapons as a means of deterring attack by others. For advanced technological nations, this is not a complicated decision, owing to the availability of plutonium and the readily accessible knowledge of how to construct nuclear weapons. But once a nation’s adversaries know that nuclear weapons are being used as a deterrent – and they must know in order for the deterrent to be effective – this information sparks a chain reaction that can increase the danger of nuclear war, either by intention or by accident.
Similarly, the NPT which, with over 180 signatories, is the most widely accepted treaty, has been hailed by some as the most important vehicle for controlling the spread – and therefore preventing the use – of nuclear weapons. Others, however, have condemned the treaty – at least as it has been implemented – for its perpetuation of a world of nuclear “haves” and “have-nots,” in which the latter will inevitably seek to become the former.
Both prevention approaches aim to lower the probability of the use of nuclear weapons, but each envisions a world in which several nuclear weapons states continue to possess thousands of nuclear warheads. (In parallel with their status in the UN Security Council, the United States, Russia, France, Great Britain, and China are often referred to as the “permanent five.”) With 20,000 weapons currently expected to remain in place by the year 2003, then even with one out of 100,000 chance in any given year that any specific warhead would be used – whether because of a government’s carefully planned military strategy, or as a result of miscalculation or terrorism – the risk of actual nuclear devastation rises rapidly over time. Increasingly, physicians, public health workers, lawyers, military leaders, and others have therefore called for abolition of nuclear weapons as the only plausible permanent approach to the prevention of nuclear war.
Role of Health Professionals
As in other areas, the role of public health professionals in the prevention of nuclear war can be analyzed in terms of three levels of activity: primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention. “Primary prevention” is often used to refer to efforts aimed at preventing the disease – that is, war – itself: “secondary prevention” refers to preventing or minimizing the effects of the disease after it has already begun; and “tertiary prevention” refers to the treatment or amelioration of the effects of the disease, including rehabilitation of affected individuals.14
Unfortunately, efforts by health professionals to address health problems related to war too rarely include such a comprehensive approach, as illustrated in an exercise that was performed in Israel to train staff in dealing with affected people after a chemical warfare attack. Although this was purely an exercise, the medical staff were affected both emotionally and professionally in two profound ways:
1.They were all made aware of the enormity of such a possibility and the severity of the effects on the population with which they would have to deal.
2.Since the available medical skills and resources were always inadequate to deal with the number of potential casualties, physicians would have to establish extremely difficult triage priorities.15
During the preparation for the exercise, the emphasis regarding medical duties was placed on treatment (tertiary prevention), with a complete absence of discussion of primary or even secondary prevention. This was despite the fact that a paper discussed for technical purposes in one of the preparatory lectures for this exercise16 concluded that physicians must be active concerning the inadvisability of developing, stockpiling, and using chemical and biological weapons. This conclusion was ignored by the government of Israel.
Many health personnel would have to attempt to take care of those affected if nuclear, chemical, or bacteriological warfare occurs. And most, if not all, would have been trained to ask the questions: “Why did this happen? Could it have been prevented?”17 Posing such questions is clearly the first step in formulating an effective public health program. However, none of the dozens of physicians and nurses who participated in the exercise, or the military representatives in charge, suggested that these questions might be a part of the solution to the problem.
Fortunately many health workers have responded vigorously to the threat of nuclear war by engaging in activities that contribute in important ways to the primary prevention of nuclear war. These activities have fallen into three general categories: research, education, and advocacy. Through such research efforts as those culminating in the publication of the 1962 articles in the New England Journal of Medicine and in the WHO and SCOPE-ENUWAR reports of the broad health and environmental effects of large-scale nuclear war, public health workers and colleagues in related disciplines have helped ensure that any discussions about nuclear weapons are solidly based in scientific knowledge. These efforts appear to have made a major contribution to debates about policies such as those related to civil defense.
More recently, the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), a federation of 83 national affiliates that was found in 1980, published in partnership with the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research a series of three books on the health and environmental problems associated with nuclear weapons. Radioactive Heaven and Earth18 describes in detail the health and environmental effects of nuclear weapons testing in, on, and above the earth. Plutonium: Deadly Gold of the Nuclear Age19 reviews the hazards of plutonium production, including the dangers of handling and storing radioactive waste. Nuclear Wastelands: A Global Guidebook to Nuclear Weapons Production and Its Health and Environmental Effects was published in 1995.20 Together with early reports of the expected effects of nuclear warfare, these three books provide a comprehensive analysis of the significant health and environmental problems associated with preparations for nuclear warfare – even if it never again takes place.
Organizations such as IPPNW and its national affiliates have also mounted vigorous educational campaigns to ensure that political and military leaders, as well as the general public, are informed of the conclusions of these research activities. IPPNW’s work was recognized in 1984 by UNESCO, which honored the federation with its Peace Education Prize, citing “especially remarkable activity to inform public opinion and mobilize the conscience of mankind for peace.” The following year, IPPNW was awarded the 1985 Nobel Peace prize in Oslo. In its citation, the Nobel Committee again stressed the importance of IPPNW’s educational efforts:
[IPPNW] has performed a considerable service to mankind by spreading authoritative information and by creating an awareness of the catastrophic consequences of nuclear warfare…. This in turn contributes to an increase in the pressure of public opposition to the proliferation of nuclear weapons and to a redefining of priorities, with greater attention being paid to health and other humanitarian issues. Such an awakening of public opinion….can give the present arms limitation negotiations new perspectives and a new seriousness.21
Figure 22-3. IPPNW members march in Paris in 1995 to protest French nuclear testing (Source: Dr. Jacques Mongnet and Dr. Abraham Behar, IPPNW/France).
In the 1980s, IPPN W and other organizations of health professionals moved beyond research and educational activities to advocacy for specific steps that, in their judgment, would reduce the likelihood of nuclear war. The areas of concern, described below, can be related to the first five of the six steps in the etiologic pathway toward nuclear war, which was described earlier in the chapter.
1. Development of knowledge of the physics and technology involved in building a nuclear weapon. This knowledge cannot be “disinvented,” and all preventive efforts must therefore focus on other steps.
2. Obtaining fissile materials, such as weapons-grade uranium and plutonium. IPPNW and its affiliates have advocated a ban on production and stockpiling of all weapons-usable fissile materials; IPPNW also advocates placing existing fissile materials under secure international control. Transport of such materials should be for the sole purpose of final storage under international control or preparation for such storage. As long as weapons-usable material exists and is not fully secure, the possibility of theft and illicit construction of a nuclear warhead will remain, even if all nation-states agree to dismantle their arsenals.
3. Construction, testing, and stockpiling of weapons. A cornerstone of global advocacy for the prevention of nuclear war has been a campaign by health professionals to permanently end all nuclear test explosions (Figures 22-3 and 22-4). In part, as a result of lobbying efforts by health professionals, all nuclear weapons states except for China and France have observed a testing moratorium since 1993. IPPNW and other organizations have urged not only a ban on production of any additional nuclear weapons, but also the destruction of all existing stockpiles of nuclear weapons as rapidly as possible.
Figure 22-4. Members of the American Public Health Association demonstrate at nuclear weapons underground test site in Nevada in 1986 (Source: American Public Health Association [APHA]).
4. Development and maintenance of plans for use of the weapons. IPPNW and organizations such as the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (IALANA) and the International Peace Bureau (IPB) concluded that the effects of the use of nuclear weapons on medical personnel and medical facilities would constitute a violation of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and therefore a clear violation of international law. IPPNW and its partner organizations thus worked closely with representatives to the World Health Assembly, the governing body of the World Health Organization, to support a resolution instructing the Director-General of WHO, under WHO’s authority as an agency of the United Nations, to request the following advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice (Figure 22-5), located in The Hague: “In the view of the health and environmental effects, would the use of nuclear weapons by a state in war or other armed conflict be a breach of its obligations under international law, including the WHO constitution?”
In May 1993, the World Health Assembly adopted this wording for its historic resolution (WHA46.40, Health and Environmental Effects of Nuclear Weapons). WHO officially submitted the question to the Court in August 1993, and in September, the Court requested written statements on the issue from WHO member nations. By the time of the extended deadline of September 1994, the Court had received statements from 37 nations. With the exception of those from nuclear powers and their allies, the statements urged the Court to respond positively to the request. In addition, over 100 million people around the world, 43 million in Japan alone, signed petitions opposing nuclear weapons, and a selection of these were accepted by the Court as evidence.
In December 1994, the United Nations General Assembly resolved to request the International Court of Justice urgently to render its advisory opinion on the following question: Is the threat or use of nuclear weapons permitted in any circumstance under international law? Thus, it formally asked the Court if even threatening to use nuclear weapons should be considered illegal.
On July 8, 1996, the Court rendered its advisory opinions. The Court declined to rule on the question raised by WHO but used health arguments in its rulings on the question raised by the UN General Assembly. The court unanimously declared that “there is an obligation to pursue in good faith and to bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects.” By a split vote, the Court declared that “the threat of use or use of nuclear weapons would be contrary to the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict, and in particular the principles and rules of humanitarian law.” The only exception to this sweeping declaration of illegality, some members of the Court held, was threat or use “in an extreme circumstance of self-defence, in which the very survival of the State would be at stake.”
5. Development of political or military situations in which use of nuclear weapons is seriously considered. Health professionals have worked together across political chasms to address common health problems and, in so doing, to help diffuse the political and social tensions among nations that increase the risk of war, including nuclear war. This work has included activities, ranging from medical exchange programs between the United States and the Soviet Union at the peak of the Cold War to health conferences such as those among Israeli, Palestinian, Egyptian, Jordanian, and other health workers that began in 1995.
In early 1995, IPPNW integrated all of its research, educational, and advocacy activities under a single program, Abolition 2000, with a single concrete goal: that there be by the year 2000 a signed global treaty committing the world to the permanent elimination of nuclear weapons according to a fixed timetable. By the end of 1995, hundreds of other nongovernmental organizations had joined an Abolition 2000 network. In addition, the government of Australia had established the Canberra Commission, made up of 15 of the world’s leading experts on nuclear weapons and disarmament, charged with preparing a report to the United Nations by August 1996 on the practical steps required to achieve the complete elimination of nuclear weapons.
Long-term Primary Prevention of Nuclear War: Addressing Violence and Its Roots
Even if the ambitious goal of a signed treaty for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons were accomplished, and even if that treaty were implemented early in the twenty-first century, efforts to prevent nuclear war would not end. Given the fact that knowledge of how to construct a nuclear weapon will never be lost, these efforts must address underlying reasons why any individuals or nations might seek nuclear weapons to further their security or other interests.
Figure 22-5. The International Court of Justice in the Hage, which issued an advisory opinion on the use or threat of nuclear weapons in response to a request by the General Assembly of the United Nations. This request was brought about the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and other groups (Source: United Nations/DPI/82584).
As expressed in IPPNW’s “Pyramid of Conflict” (Figure 22-2), these efforts must address the underlying patterns and causes of violence at all levels of society, including their roots in poverty and in equality, lack of freedom and development, and the capacity of the human species for ethnocentrism, prejudice, hatred, and violent conflict. As David Hamburg has written:
The evolution that is distinctively human centers around our increasing capacity for learning, for communication chiefly by language, for cooperative problem solving, for complex social organization, and for advanced toolmaking and tool using. These attributes have gotten us here by enormously enhancing our capabilities, not only to adapt to the widest variety of habitats, but also to modify our habitats profoundly in ways that suit our purposes.
Now we are challenged as never before to find ways in which these unique capacities can be used to prevent us from destroying ourselves and especially to prevent the final epidemic; to prevent that will make possible the search for a decent quality of life for everyone on the planet. If we have lost our sense of purpose in the modern world, perhaps the perspective can help us regain it.19
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4.Ellsberg, D. Introduction, Protest and survive, Thompson, E.P. and Smith D. (eds.), New York: Monthly Review Press, 1981.
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11.Leaning, J. and Keyes, L. (eds.). The counterfeit ark: Crisis relocation for nuclear war. Cambridge, MA.: Ballinger/Harper & Row, 1984.
12.Abrecht, P. and Koshy, N. (eds.). Before it’s too late. Geneva: World Council of Churches, 1983.
13.Lown, B. Never whisper in the presence of wrong. Cambridge, MA: International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, 1993.
14.Last, J.M. A dictionary of epidemiology. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993, p. 84.
15.Kahan, E. Primary, secondary and tertiary prevention of genocidal weapons. Medicine and War 7: 9–15, 1991.
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17.Rose, G. Sick individuals and sick populations. Int. J. Epidemiol. 14: 32–38, 1985.
18.Special Commission of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research. Radioactive heaven and earth: The health and environmental effects of nuclear weapons testing in, on, and above the earth. New York: Apex Press, 1991.
19.Special Commission of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research. Plutonium: Deadly gold of the nuclear age. Cambridge, MA: International Physicians Press, 1992.
20.Makhjani, A., Hu, H., and Yih, K. (eds.). Nuclear wastelands: A global guidebook to nuclear weapons production and its health and environmental effects. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1995.
21.Norwegian Nobel Committee. Citation for 1985 Nobel Peace Prize. Oslo: Norwegian Nobel Committee, 1985.
22.Hamburg, D. Introduction. Institute of Medicine: The medical implications of nuclear war. Washington: National Academy of Sciences, 1986.