International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) is an international advocacy group that advocates for total nuclear disarmament and the end of civil nuclear energy. American professor Bernard Lown and Soviet professor Eugueni Chazov founded the organization in 1980.
An IPPNW spin-off group, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) was founded in Vienna, Austria, in 2007. ICAN pushed the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in the United Nations General Assembly, which has been signed by 70 nations, all of which do not have nuclear weapons. 
IPPNW was involved in advocacy for two other United Nations (UN) treaties. The 1997 Ottawa Convention, also known as the Mine Ban Treaty, was ratified by many countries but not major military powers the US, Russia, and China. IPPNW also participated in a campaign to adopt the Arms Trade Treaty, which was passed by the UN in 2014.  This treaty obligates nations to promise to more tightly regulate the sale and transfer of small arms; the U.S. withdrew its signature from the treaty amid concerns the treaty could contravene American citizens’ Constitutional right to keep and bear arms. 
The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) was founded in 1980 due to a perceived increase in the threat of nuclear war between the US and the Soviet Union. IPPNW uses physicians and medical professionals to create reports about the possible medical effects of nuclear explosions, test, and civilian nuclear waste. 
On 11 October 1985, the IPPNW’s founders, American professor Bernard Lown and Soviet professor Eugueni Chazov received the Nobel Peace Prize.  The group won the prize because the Norwegian Nobel Committee said it “performed a considerable service to mankind by spreading authoritative information and by creating an awareness of the catastrophic consequences of atomic warfare” and “contributes to an increase in the pressure of public opposition to the proliferation of atomic weapons and to a redefining of priorities.” 
The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)
IPPNW launched ICAN from Vienna Austria in 2007, and it received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017 for its campaign for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in the United Nations General Assembly. ICAN’s work towards the agreement was to “reshape public support for the abolition of nuclear weapons” and the treaty was eventually passed by many non-nuclear states in the UN. 
Aiming for Prevention
IPPNW’s “Aiming for Prevention” campaign makes the case worldwide that “armed violence is bad for health.” This IPPNW project produces research, communications, campaign materials, technical assistance, and training to remind policymakers that armed conflicts have “enormous costs to individuals, families, communities, and economies.” 
IPPNW has helped advocate and pushed for UN treaties on landmines and small arms. In the 1990s, IPPNW worked to push forward a UN treaty banning landmines in any country that wished to restrict their use. By 1997 the Ottawa Convention, also known as the Mine Ban Treaty, had been passed by many countries except for the US, Russia, and China. 
IPPNW also participated in a campaign to adopt the Arms Trade Treaty which was passed by the UN in 2014. This treaty obligates nations to promise to more strictly regulate the sale and transfer of small arms within a country’s own borders.  President Donald Trump withdrew the United States’s signature of the Arms Trade Treaty during a speech to the National Rifle Association, which had objected to the possibility the Arms Trade Treaty could be used to circumvent Americans’ rights to keep and bear arms. 
Michael Christ joined IIPNW in 1988 and was appointed executive sirector in January 1998. He is a career environmentalist economics and anti-nuclear political activist.