Medical Association for Prevention of War (MAPW)

[Updated July 5, 2017]

About the australian affiliate

Medical Association for Prevention of War (MAPW) works for the elimination of all weapons of mass destruction and the prevention of armed conflict. We aim to reduce the physical, psychological and environmental effects of war. We advocate that resources be used for the wellbeing of people and of our world, rather than for making and buying weapons.

Twelve things MAPW has done in 2010 (from the "What does MAPW do?" flyer):

  1. Campaigned for the total abolition of nuclear weapons, through the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).
  2. Built support for a Nuclear Weapons Convention: now backed by 147 UN member countries.
  3. Helped negotiate Norwegian government funding to establish an ICAN office in Geneva.
  4. Published and distributed 2000 copies of Vision 2030, our critique of Australia’s military spending and strategy.
  5. Submitted a detailed proposal urging that peace-building be the focus of the 2015 ANZAC centenary commemoration.
  6. Published a detailed analysis of the health effects of uranium mining and the nuclear industry.
  7. Produced fact sheets on ionising radiation, its medical uses, and its health risks.
  8. Visited remote communities to inform them of the health hazards of uranium mining.
  9. Called for an independant inquiry into Australia’s participation in the Iraq war.
  10. Analysed the Afghanistan war and the Australian Defence Force’s presence in Afghanistan.
  11. Sent fortnightly email newsletters to 1500 members and supporters, with links to detailed
    information, up-to-date news stories, and analysis.
  12. Ensured our independent voice by building membership and moving to a permanent office.

Background/short history/major accomplishments

The Medical Association for Prevention of War Australia (MAPW) was founded in 1981. It played an active role in the huge popular mobilisation for nuclear disarmament during the 1980s, which saw hundreds of thousands of people take to the streets across Australia. MAPW was awarded the prestigious Australian Peace Award in 1986 from Prime Minister Bob Hawke during the International Year of Peace.

MAPW has contributed to IPPNW almost since its inception, hosting the 13th IPPNW World Congress in Melbourne in 1998. We are active also in the Asia-Pacific region.

Nuclear issues have continued to be a major part of our work.
We have actively opposed the expansion of the nuclear fuel chain, lobbying against the extension of uranium mining, the introduction of nuclear power, and uranium sales, especially to nuclear weapons states:

Current priorities

ICAN  (main priority)
In April 2007, we launched a major new campaign:, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear weapons (ICAN), supported by IPPNW.
ICAN aims to build popular support for nuclear weapons abolition, and for a Nuclear Weapons Convention. We have coordinated the draft of a new model convention, published as a book, “Securing our Survival”. We have produced a set of informative brochures promoting nuclear weapons abolition, and created a new website, icanw.org.au. We attended the United Nations Preparatory Committee on the Non Proliferation Treaty, where the model treaty was tabled.
We continue to work actively within Australia on the related issues of the nuclear fuel chain, actively opposing the expansion of uranium mining and the proposed introduction of nuclear power to Australia.

Promoting peace and human rights
MAPW opposes the war in Iraq, and Australia’s involvement in that war. Our work highlights the devastating health impact of the Iraq war and its effects on the Iraqi medical profession; as well as effects on the Australian military.
We urge non-military responses to potential conflicts, including with Iran.
MAPW actively and publicly supports proposed Australian legislation to ban cluster bombs. Our members participated in a delegation to Lebanon and published a report on the terrible legacy of these weapons, which was submitted to a Senate inquiry. We have supported the formation of an Australian network to ban cluster bombs.

Networking for peace
We work with other peace associations across Australia, participating in regular events such as the annual Palm Sunday peace festivals and rallies; commemorations of Hiroshima Day and nuclear tests; and in protests against joint war games with the United States held in Australia.

Political advocacy
MAPW regularly seeks the opportunity to brief government and opposition politicians and government officials on nuclear and other peace issues, with both nuclear power and nuclear proliferation being widely debated. On the local level, we have encouraged many Australian municipalities join the international Mayors for Peace network.

Building educational resources
Our website mapw.org.au contains a wealth of information on peace and nuclear issues. It includes a series of powerpoint presentations to support our members in speaking confidently on key peace issues. [MAPW Resources]

Working with students
We welcome the active participation of medical and health care professions students in all our events.

local partners

MAPW works closely with the peace and environment movement around Australia. Our partners in opposing nuclear weapons and the nuclear fuel chain include the Australian Conservation Foundation and Friends of the Earth. Local supporters of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear weapons include peace groups, environment groups, local government, trade unions, faith organisations, and welfare organisations.