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PSR National Board of Directors - Winter 2014 Conference

PSR National Board of Directors -- Winter 2014 Conference                                                          


This was a 3 day conference. What follows are highlights that I believe are important to share.

The optional congressional lobbying events occurred throughout the morning and  afternoon of the first day. Most board members did not participate in the lobbying.  For those board members not lobbying, like me, there was an opportunity to network with other board members. PSR’s values, shown below, were prominently displayed and referred to throughout this conference.


  • That life on Earth is precious, powerful and vulnerable;
  • That human life draws vital sustenance and coherence from the ecological and social systems in which it participates;
  • That the acquisition and application of scientific knowledge imposes the responsibility to protect life, not to endanger or destroy it;
  • That knowledge about global threats results from experience and scientific study including modeling and simulation, which inherently contain uncertainty;
  • That the necessary decisions based on such uncertainties must be evaluated in settings open to public review, so that the best possible approaches can be achieved;
  • That citizens have a right to informed participation in such decision-making processes made by both government and industry which affect their health, welfare and environment; and
  • That our commitment to future generations requires that problems of violence and militarism, global environmental degradation and social and economic inequities be addressed now and not be left as a toxic legacy to be solved by those who follow us.

Major Goals of this Conference:

  • Review PSR’s current financial revenue, expenses & position for 2014 & projections for 2015
  • Consider and approve 2015 budget
  • Review and approve National PSR goals for 2015
  • Approve strategic plan for climate change

PSR Goals for 2015:
The following National PSR goals 2015 were reviewed and there was consensus to adapt them. They are:
1. Focus Security effort on Humanitarian campaign with attention to chapter and coalition building.
2. Advance Energy Efficiency and Clean Energy campaign to protect health.
3. Build Chapters’ capacity to focus more on #1 and #2, while continuing to work on issues special to them.
4. Increase overall net membership by 500 in 2015

Executive Director’s Report (Thomasson)
Overview: Our Climate Organizer and Director of Environment & Health (E & H) have been reaching out to chapters to engage them around the concept of Action Teams as an organizing strategy. The Security staff has done the same, and like the E & H program, that should improve with another staff member. Without action on the ground in states with chapters, the goals of both the security work and climate work cannot be achieved. Our 2014 financials are close to budget; however, we passed a deficit budget that is only projected to improve a small amount. A balanced budget was presented and approved.

Personnel: Grand welcome to Theresa Shaffer, Program Outreach Associate for Security. She began on Oct. 1st and is a recent graduate of the University of North Texas, and is originally from Buffalo, NY. She received a B.A. in French and a B.A. in International Studies with a concentration in Peace Studies, and has specialized in alternative dispute resolution including mediation and negotiation.

Also present was W. Taylor Johnson, our new Director of Operations. He has been very helpful, despite being here only two months, in presenting and organizing our expenses for easier retrieval and analysis as well as developing new tools for better analysis of grant spending.

Amy Ciciora, our new Online Outreach Associate, was also present.  

PURPOSE: To propose a three year strategic plan outlining goals for our climate change work to the Board.
2030 BOLD GOAL: Stabilize the climate to sustain human health (Operationalize as limiting greenhouse gas emissions to achieve a sea level rise no more than 1 meter; temp rises no more than 2◦ Celsius from 1850).
Descriptive bold goal: Using the health voice and in collaboration with coalition partners, PSR will advance
policies to stabilize the climate by 2030 to protect human health. Stabilizing the climate means that greenhouse gases will be kept in check to avoid a rise in global average temperature greater than 2 degrees Celsius from 1850.
PSR’s task force met three times to hammer out the objectives. They agreed in principle on the bold goal and agreed that once all the objectives were agreed upon, the goal could be re-worded to more closely reflect the areas on which we will work in the shorter term.  
We used seven criteria on which to evaluate program area goals. These included:

  • Aligns with PSR’s unique value
  • Falls within our area of expertise and/or we can develop that level of expertise
  • Provides active roles for National and Chapters
  • Is fundable
  • Results in a high rate of carbon emissions reduction based on the available time needed to achieve the results
  • Actions fit with how PSR drives change
  • Has policy traction outside of PSR

The broad frame of working on advancing a clean energy transformation with the goal of replacing dirty fossil fuels was agreed upon by all with several members feeling that additional work could be taken on, such as transportation, carbon tax, and healthy hospital work.

PSR National Program Goals to be achieved by 2018
1) By 2018, the number of health professionals engaged as PSR members and activists on climate will have grown in the following ways:
a) At least 50 health professionals (five in each target state) will be actively engaged building public support and taking direct advocacy action in support of state implementation plans that achieve their targeted carbon emissions entirely through energy efficiency and renewable energy.
b) At least 20 PSR climate experts (2 in each target state) will be actively speaking on TV/radio on the health benefits of energy efficiency and clean energy.
c) PSR will create Climate Action Teams in at least ten states that will be working to engage more PSR members in active support of clean renewable energy and energy efficiency.
d) PSR’s paying membership will have increased by 25%.
e) PSR’s corps of environmental e-activists will have increased by 100%.
f) 5 student chapters will be focused on climate change.

2) State Implementation Plans for the Clean Power Plan (CPP) in 10 states will have committed to achieve their state CO2 reduction targets using only energy efficiency and clean energy.
a) 20% of the public polled in the 10 target states identify health as one of their concerns about climate change.
b) The AMA passes a resolution supporting implementation of the CPP that relies on clean renewable
energy and energy efficiency.
c) Legislators, governors’ offices and relevant state agencies in the target states will have heard directly from PSR experts and members about the health imperative of replacing coal-fired power plants with clean renewable energy and energy efficiency.
d) The major coalitions working on the Clean Power Plan in the ten target states turn to PSR for the health voice. PSR is a visible, respected and recognized partner in the U.S. Climate and Health Alliance and the ALA-led Healthy Air Campaign.
e) PSR’s White Paper on the health benefits of energy efficiency and clean energy is widely cited in the news media and in the work of our allies.

3) Fossil fuel extraction has been slowed and construction of new export facilities for fossil fuels has been blocked in the following ways.
a) Maryland and New York have maintained their moratoria on hydraulic fracturing.
b) Campaigns have succeeded in rejecting construction of export facilities for LNG, oil and coal in three to five states.
c) Major coal and oil export routes will be blocked in WA, OR and at least three other states.

4) PSR will target universities with medical or public health schools or hospital systems in five states to succeed in having them agree to freeze investment in coal or natural gas companies.

Among the strategies and tactics PSR will conduct to achieve the above goals are these:

  • Climate Action teams: PSR will encourage PSR climate activists to meet together (for comradery and fostering work as a team) and sign into a webinar once a month. The webinar will include updates on past actions; new material on a topic such as energy efficiency or message framing, and end with a new monthly action.
  • In-depth communications training for PSR climate experts.
  • A media campaign with tested messaging that places PSR climate experts on radio, press, and TV outlets to increase public understanding of the health impacts of climate change and to build support for policies that advance energy efficiency and renewable energy to replace fossil fuels.
  • State-based media campaigns that place climate health messages in medical/nursing newsletters and journals, hospital/clinic publications, and medical/nursing/other associations, advancing appreciation of the health benefits of replacing fossil fuels with energy efficiency and clean renewable energy.

Financial Report (Johnson/Rachow)
The income and expense projections for 2014 are in line with our original budget predictions. We project slightly less of a deficit than projected in the original 2014 budget. We expect to have about 7% less in expenses than budgeted, but we have about 5% less income, and we passed a deficit budget. Income projections are typically difficult to predict, so if we bring in more from leadership circle, web, or appeals – the most likely categories – with a higher year-end-match, then we may come closer to breaking financially even.

Security (includes nuclear weapons reduction) (Martin Fleck, Ira Helfand)
Since 1961, PSR has been striving to eliminate the health threat of nuclear weapons by eliminating the weapons themselves. This work continues in 2014, focused on three goals:

Goal #1: Abolish nuclear weapons. We strive to put nuclear weapons into the same status as other weapons with indiscriminate humanitarian impacts, including chemical weapons, biological weapons, landmines, and cluster munitions. These other weapons have been declared unacceptable and outlawed by international treaties that ban them. Although many nations--including the United States--still possess these weapons and have not ratified all the treaties, the international norm is a powerful incentive to eliminate nuclear weapons. PSR is working with IPPNW and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) toward de-legitimizing nuclear weapons as usable military hardware, on the path to a Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty.

Goal #2: to prevent Iran from becoming the 10th nuclear weapon possessor state. PSR supports the diplomatic process currently underway with Iran as the best option to realize this goal and avoid military action of some kind.

Goal #3: to halt the planned, massive U.S. taxpayer investment in modernization of the U.S. nuclear weapons enterprise, including the weapons labs, production plants, delivery vehicles, and the actual stockpiles of nuclear warheads. The Center for Nonproliferation Studies estimates this program will cost $1 trillion over the next 30 years.

Humanitarian Impact campaign: Building political will
With the second edition of our Nuclear Famine report in hand, PSR has set about educating the public, and
especially members of Rotary clubs, about the new Nuclear Famine data, the Humanitarian Impact campaign, and the ban treaty.
PSR Security has focused on Rotary clubs for two strategic reasons:

  • Rotary International is an immense civil society organization with global reach and impact.
  • Rotary club members represent “Main Street America” and tend to be influential in their communities.

At the time of the May board report, PSR had accomplished only the first two actual Rotary club presentations in 2014. The Rotary project has made great strides since then. Fourteen PSR speakers have delivered our PowerPoint presentation to 23 Rotary clubs in ten states: California, Florida, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Virginia and Washington State. By the end of 2014, we expect to have reached 25 clubs total. Besides the Rotary clubs, the PSR Security Program speakers have jumped on other opportunities to educate on nuclear famine and the Humanitarian Impact campaign. PSR Western North Carolina chapter presented at the Veterans for Peace annual meeting. Doug Dransfield and Paul Deaton have presented to local Friends Meetings. Bob Gould presented to 100 medical students at Stanford University, Bob Dodge presented to a Soka Gakkai (Buddhist peace group) event at UC-Berkeley, and Andy Kanter presented to Canadian, European and American campaigners at Rendez-Vous 2014 in Ottawa.
PSR has also been building bridges with allied groups to enlist their help promoting the Humanitarian Initiative. On September 10, during a Union of Concerned Scientists strategy meeting, Ira Helfand and Martin Fleck facilitated a breakout session on the Humanitarian Impact campaign, and drew participation from several NGOs (Non-Government Organizations). The Arms Control Association circulated a sign-on letter to administration officials to urge them to send a delegation to the third Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons Conference in Vienna in December, and at least 15 NGOs and faith-based organizations (including PSR and IPPNW) signed on. ICAN currently lists 18 partner organizations—including PSR—in the United States.

Also in the category of building political will for disarmament, PSR activists around the country participated in an op-ed campaign centered on the Hiroshima / Nagasaki anniversaries. Twenty-two authors on the PSR team successfully placed 22 local op-eds in 11 states plus 6 national outlets, including The Hill, Huffington Post, and CNN Global Public Square. Some of the op-eds had dual authors. The Huffington Post piece was authored by our PSR’s Security Program Summer Intern, Will Ossoff.
Ira Helfand presented nuclear famine data to the World Medical Association Annual General Assembly in Durban, South Africa and proposed strengthening the WMA position calling for nuclear weapons abolition. The WMA asked its national affiliates to comment upon the changes prior to consideration at their next meeting. If adopted, the changes will demonstrate WMA support for the elimination of nuclear weapons, advise governments about nuclear famine, and ask national medical associations to urge their governments to eliminate nuclear weapons.

There have been setbacks. Most notably, traditional funders for disarmament have shown disinterest in the international Humanitarian Impact campaign and the ban treaty strategy. The ban treaty goal has been controversial, to say the least. Many of the inside-the-beltway NGOs have shied away from it, because the United States government has voiced clear opposition to a ban treaty from the outset. ICAN and the PSR Security Program remain staunch supporters of the Ban Treaty because it has intrinsic merit, is simple to grasp, and the ban approach has a proven track record with regard to other weapons of mass destruction. Bob Dodge and Ira Helfand are
exploring additional routes for getting our message in front of Rotary International.

Humanitarian Impact campaign: Applying pressure directly to the Obama Administration
PSR Security Program staff and advocates have been pushing the Obama Administration toward the immediate goal of constructive U.S. participation in the third Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, December 8 & 9 in Vienna, and it was announced during this PSR Board conference that they (the Obama administration) would participate! This is a reversal in policy, since the U.S. boycotted the first two conferences. On September 9, Ira Helfand and Catherine Thomasson met with two National Security Council staff and with Under Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller to directly lobby all of them to support disarmament and to send a U.S. delegation to Vienna.
Also in the category of applying direct pressure to the Obama administration, in May the Republic of the Marshall Islands levied lawsuits in the International Court of Justice against all nine nuclear-armed nations, and filed an additional lawsuit against the United States in U.S. District Court. These cases argue that the nuclear weapons states have violated customary international law through their failure to pursue nuclear disarmament. In the case of NPT signatories, the suits also charge violation of the NPT Article VI obligation to pursue general and complete nuclear disarmament. In May, a PSR action alert about this generated 2534 sign-ons in support of the people of the Marshall Islands. With the assistance of Alfred Meyer, Ira Helfand, and pro-bono lawyers provided by the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, PSR joined with Pax Christi in an amicus brief for the U.S. lawsuit.
In June, PSR and IPPNW representatives Ira Helfand and John Pastore met with Cardinal Sean O’Malley in Boston. The cardinal is a senior advisor to Pope Francis, and this meeting generated results: Rose Gottemoeller indicated in the Sept. 9 meeting that the Dept. of State “had been hearing a lot from the Vatican about this.”

Progress toward Goal #2: Preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons
PSR’s Security Program is supporting the Obama administration’s diplomatic work to build an arrangement with Iran that precludes Iran from acquiring any nuclear weapons. PSR works with the Win Without War coalition on Iran issues. In July, as the first deadline for the negotiations neared, PSR sent out an action alert urging opposition to threatened new sanction legislation.

Progress toward Goal #3: Opposing nuclear weapons modernization
For our efforts to slow and stop funding for the vast nuclear weapons modernization program, PSR is part of a constellation of large and small NGOs who are working together toward those goals. Two related sub-groups of NGOs are the Nuclear Weapons Working Group and the Nuke Budget group. On September 21, The New York Times devoted front page space to a William Broad and David Sanger article on the new U.S. nuclear arms buildup, and how it contrasts with Obama’s “Prague Vision.” They published Ira Helfand’s Letter to the Editor a few days later. In it Ira asked: “Do we see ourselves as a nation of suicide bombers?”  
* * *

Looking to 2015
The 2015 Security Program plan is about generating and coordinating more action in the chapters. Our general goal is to build upon the momentum that ICAN has generated internationally toward treaties to ban and eliminate nuclear weapons. Our more specific goals will be, once again, to stop elements of the nuclear weapons modernization plan. The PSR Security Program plans to promote “action teams” in six to ten states that will develop relationships with decision-makers in their states, following the example of chapters like PSR Maine and Oregon PSR. This work will be especially important with U.S. Senators because it will lay the groundwork for important future Senate votes such as CTBT ratification, nuclear weapons reductions beyond New START, and ultimately a nuclear weapons convention. These action teams will also take advantage of abundant media “hooks” coming up in 2015 such as the NPT Review Conference in April, Hiroshima/Nagasaki anniversaries in August, and the Nobel Peace Laureates summit in Atlanta in November. PSR campaigners will present to additional Rotary clubs in at least 10 states. Martin recently traveled to New York City to attend the first planning meeting for organizing around the Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference, April 2015 in New York. A large coalition including IPPNW and PSR is working together to draw attention to the Review Conference and put pressure on the nuclear weapons states. Gensuikyo in Japan plans to send 2,000 Japanese citizens to New York for this event. PSR plans to orchestrate a public competition to encourage young people to create a compelling 4 minute video on the topic of nuclear disarmament, with the potential to go viral. We are looking to reach young people through their favorite medium: the smartphone.
Activities that educate the public about the dangers of nuclear weapons will be a prominent PSR focus for 2015.     

Environment & Health (Barb Gottlieb)
1. Strategic plan. This plan reflects near-unanimity in the strategic planning task force that PSR’s priority is to measurably reduce global increases in temperature by replacing fossil fuels with energy efficiency and renewable energy. That frame allows us to do three things that we view as essential:

  • Identify climate change as a critical health issue;
  • Advocate for solutions that replace fossil fuels with clean alternatives, and
  • Pursue concrete opportunities for large-scale change.

The biggest opportunity available to us in the coming years is state implementation of the EPA carbon rule, which will require each of the 50 states to create a plan for reducing its energy sector CO2 emissions. PSR will push states to rely as heavily as possible on energy efficiency and renewable energy. The frame also encompasses other work that we anticipate, such as continued efforts against fracking and coal, including efforts to stop massive exports of both; production of a new expert report on health and clean energy/energy efficiency; and creation of local “climate action teams” composed of PSR members who will take actions to support the energy system transition.

2. New donor, hiring of climate organizer. A major focus work has been hiring, orienting and integrating a new full-time climate organizer. We have a wonderful new donor, Andy Stern, who made a gift of $50,000 for our climate work, subject to PSR raising matching funds, which we did with help from many individual PSR donors. We utilized Andy’s donation to hire Kelly Benjamin. Kelly started this summer working on the EPA carbon rule, collecting comments from our members and coordinating PSR leaders to give testimony at the EPA hearings on the rule, including a PSR press conference at the Pittsburgh hearing. We organized and conducted three webinars for PSR members on activist skills, largely focused on supporting the EPA. Kelly subsequently coordinated with NYC PSR to organize a great health professional contingent in the recent People’s Climate March, wrangled the media there to give PSR major-league visibility, and gave PSR a huge boost in social media through his daily tweeting and Facebook posts. His work has now shifted to the strategic focus that will define his position for the next several years: educating himself on the implementation process for the EPA rule and organizing the “Action Teams” that will help chapters carry out concrete tasks to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy.

3. Other climate work: Fracking, coal. If we are to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we will have to slash the use of coal and “fracked” natural gas. E&H produced three webinar-based trainings (including one featuring national board member Pouné Saberi), a series of handouts on fracking’s health effects (water contamination, air contamination, and impacts on farm animals/food supply, with review courtesy of Pouné Saberi and Lynn Ringenberg), and a PowerPoint to be used by the health champions in making community presentations. For next year we are exploring possible collaborations with allies, including the Alliance of Nurses for a Healthy Environment and, for possible co-sponsorship of a conference on anti-fracking strategies, Earthjustice and the Sierra Club. Three PSR chapters are funded via matching grants from the Energy Foundation to close coal-fired power plants: Chesapeake, Michigan and Florida. The Chesapeake chapter is pressuring the state to tighten its emissions standards on nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide coming from two dirty coal plants outside of Baltimore, and the Florida chapter is working with a statewide coalition to replace coal-fired power with solar power. (More on Michigan below.) In addition to the chapters, Alan Lockwood has done extensive public speaking and media work on the issues of coal ash and coal dust, including a recent speaking tour in Canada, organized and funded by Earthjustice. We also continue to do sporadic work in support of the proposed EPA coal ash rule (special thanks to Alan and to Lynn Ringenberg), and we have conducted several media interviews on coal ash.

4. Toxics. Toxics program manager, Kathy Attar, continued the three strands of our toxics program -- legislative work, Environmental Health Policy Institutes, and educational materials – despite working only half-time. PSR continues to press for health-protective toxics legislation at the federal level in the form of Toxics Substances Control Act (TSCA) reform. Prospects are not good; the proposed Senate legislation is weak, and a far worse bill was proposed in the House but fortunately defeated, at least for now. PSR keeps abreast of TSCA reform by participating in Safer Chemicals Healthy Families calls and meetings, and lobby with SCHF to strengthen the proposed legislation. We also signed onto a letter of support for a recently introduced bill on flame retardants, and Catherine participated in a House briefing with the Environment Working Group on 2,4D, a toxic pesticide. Kathy has also lobbied on the issue of clean water, specifically related to a proposed EPA rule.
To inform our members and the community about the need for reform, we published two articles. One addressed Childhood Cancer and the Environment, the other How Industry Influences Food and Water Policy -- To the Public's Detriment. Both related the issues they examined to the broad need for effective regulation of toxics. In terms of educational materials, the Healthy Fish, Healthy Families fact sheet has been updated to be in accordance with the EPA/FDA's proposed guidelines on women’s and children’s consumption of fish. Kathy has met with potential partner organizations on the possibility of collaboration, specifically with National Environmental Education Fund and the Children's Environmental Health Network.

5. Chapter growth. The national PSR office continued to support staff in Chesapeake PSR and Michigan PSR as part of an ongoing experimental effort to expand and strengthen the PSR chapter network.
Officially our collaboration in fundraising and staffing with the Chesapeake chapter continues, but the chapter has gone independent of the national office in all but name. Chapter director Tim Whitehouse leads strongly: he has become a significant voice on closing coal plants and fighting against fracking; he has brought new health professionals into the chapter, and he has assumed responsibility for the chapter’s fundraising. The chapter board is active and Cindy Parker has assumed supervision of Tim. We view our first experiment in National-chapter chapter-building as a great success.
Unfortunately, the same can’t be said of the experiment’s second iteration in Michigan. In September we had to lay off Stephanie Dernek, the ¾ -time director of the PSR-Michigan chapter, for lack of funds. She had successfully projected a live presence to PSR members in the state, held face-to-face meetings in several cities, produced a monthly newsletter, participated in a speaking tour with Alfred Meyer, and connected with several state coalitions addressing energy issues.

6. Looking ahead to 2015. Our focus on building the clean energy transition seems like exactly the right place for us to place our energies: it addresses climate change head-on, allows us to link our health message with a positive vision of the future, and offers opportunities for concrete advances in all 50 states.

Committee Topics and Activities:
1) US EPA Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding radiation standards of exposure for nuclear power operators
2) UN Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) report on the exposure levels and health effects of the Fukushima disaster
3) Radiation and Health Toolkit

1) US EPA Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR)
Since the May 2014 PSR Board Meeting in Iowa, the PSR Radiation and Health Committee has added a significant effort to its ongoing work. The Committee has formed a “team” for the University of California San Francisco Medical School’s “Reach the Decision Makers” at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a yearlong fellowship program. This program guides teams working on various topics to help them influence EPA policy; our topic addresses the EPA’s current actions regarding updating the original 1977 regulations regarding radiation exposure guidelines for the operation of nuclear power facilities – basically everything after uranium mining and before long term waste storage. The PSR Team includes Michele Gin (PSR’s Student PSR coordinator), John Rachow and Alfred Meyer from PSR, as well as Diane D’Arrigo (Nuclear Information and Resource Service – NIRS), Cindy Folkers (Beyond Nuclear) and Susan Shapiro (Radiation and Public Health Project). Diane and Cindy have many years of experience working on this topic, and Susan is a lawyer who has been instrumental in legal challenges to the continued operation of the two Indian Point reactors near New York City. (PSR board member Lauren Zajac is part of a different REACH team, and Marj Plumb, a PSR San Francisco stalwart, is the ‘facilitator’ of the entire program). While this is the beginning of a lengthy and complex bureaucratic process, the public comment period for this ANPR closed August 3, 2014. The PSR team submitted comments, as did our team members for their respective other organizations. Additionally, PSR signed onto a group letter with a total of 70 organizational signatures. All the teams met in July 2014 in Washington DC for a training conference which
included meetings with a variety of EPA staff members. The PSR team had additional meetings with EPA staffers pertinent to our topic. We will have another Team meeting and round of visits in DC early in 2015 as part of the year’s program. All of our team members are committed to continuing this work past the end of the fellowship program, recognizing that this entire EPA process will take many years. It seems very appropriate to have PSR’s medical voice included in this process.

2) UNSCEAR Report on Fukushima
Building on the PSR/IPPNW-Germany critique of the UNSCEAR report on Fukushima published earlier in 2014, which was endorsed by 17 other IPPNW national chapters (but not IPPNW itself), an October 24, 2014 letter, supported by 41 organizations around the world, was presented in person to UNSCEAR and the 4th Committee of the General Assembly at the United Nations. This letter requested that the 4th Committee ask UNSCEAR to revise its report to address the ten points made in the Critique. Furthermore, the letter is addressed to all nations asking that the General Assembly mandate for UNSCEAR be revised to direct this committee to protect and promote public health in their work. The current mandate has allowed misguided statements to be made in the name of ‘just science,’ theoretically devoid of policy recommendations. However, UNSCEAR publications have arguably led to policy decisions that do not protect and promote the public health of the affected populations. Following the
formal proceedings of the 4th Committee, Alfred Meyer (PSR) and Rieko Wakita (Human Rights Now) had a lengthy informal discussion with Mr. Malcolm Crick, Secretary of UNSCEAR. Mr. Crick said that UNSCEAR will provide a formal response to the PSR/IPPNW Critique, and also noted that UNSCEAR will annually review and report on relevant new scientific publications.

3) Radiation & Health Toolkit
Albeit at a very measured pace, the committee is compiling a “toolkit” of responses for anticipated circumstances that pertain to radiation and health concerns.