Medical Association for Prevention of War is a national network of health workers from every field. Our members live out their commitment to preserve life, and prevent harm, by advocating for peace.
We work on many issues, but our core and abiding mission is the abolition of nuclear weapons. MAPW is the founder of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, the International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons.
In 2019, we were fortunate to receive support from the Jessie Street Trust. The Trust’s support enabled us to launch our Quit Nukes campaign, a divestment campaign. Divestment plays a significant role in progress towards the abolition of nuclear weapons, not just cutting off financial flows, but increasing stigma, and reducing social licence.
With the funds granted to us, we built a website, established a visual identity, and conducted polling and baseline research. These tools enabled us to attract skilled volunteers, who continue to provide significant expertise to the campaign, and focus our efforts on Australian superannuation funds - who manage many billions of our dollars.
As anyone who works to make change will know - progress can take time. But I am pleased to report that Quit Nukes is making an impact.
In 2021, together with the Australia Institute, we released a major report into the policy and practice of 22 major super funds, and showed a wide variation in how funds deal with nuclear weapons: even if you’re with an ethical fund, you may be exposed to nuclear weapons.
We have worked with the Responsible Investment Association Australasia to update the definition of controversial weapons to capture nuclear weapons. Importantly, our team has demonstrated that divestment from nuclear weapons has no material impact on returns to members: divestment is consistent with trustee's responsibility to act in member’s best interests.
We have also managed to convince some funds to divest, and others to begin the journey towards divestment.
Looking ahead, we’ll continue to advocate to funds and other financial bodies and institutions, and empower fund members to ask for change.
Of course, our ultimate aim is to see the abolition of nuclear weapons through the universal adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. We’re looking forward to our own country, Australia, joining the treaty at the earliest opportunity.
On behalf of MAPW and the Quit Nukes team, thank you to the Jessie Street Trust, trustees and donors, for your support.