Presentation to Medact Annual Conference, London
Medact’s AGM and Annual Conference in London saw medical and other professionals discussing a range of issues on international health inequality. On behalf of INEW, Richard Moyes gave a presentation highlighting the origins of the explosive weapons agenda in the journal Medicine, Conflict and Survival that is the dedicated journal of Medact and International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW).
In an article in Medicine Conflict and Survival in 2001 (Vol. 1, n.1) entitled Armed Violence, Robin Coupland, a surgeon with the ICRC, argued that “the effects of violence are measurable”, and presented a model of the key determinants of those effects – including “the potential of the weapon to cause the effect”. He noted that the impact of “weapons of war” on civilians was related, amongst other things to failures of accuracy in targeting, and the area covered by explosive force.
A follow up article in Medicine Conflict and Survival in 2005 (Vol. 21, n. 1), by Nathan Taback and Coupland presented a statistical analysis of armed violence based on newswire reporting. This article used the term “explosive weapons” and highlighted the fact that the impact of explosive weapons as a specific policy and public health theme was not being analysed.