WHO agreement with IAEA

WHO agreement with IAEA

In 1959 the World Health Organisation entered into an agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency which gave the unequivocally pro-nuclear IAEA a veto over WHO research into the effects of radiation.

It is important to bear in mind that the IAEA is dedicated to fostering the spread of nuclear power. That commitment is at the very begining of its constitution.
For fully half a century the WHO has been subservient to IAEA in matters of radiation and health. Under the WHO/IAEA Agreement (WHA12-40) of 28 May 1959, the IAEA has assumed a power of veto over WHO's activities. Similar "agreements" constrain other UN agencies.
An international campaign opposes this conflict of interest, calling for WHO to be independent of the nuclear lobby. For example


Article by Oliver Tickell on the 50th Anniversary of the Agreement


The ignorance of George Monbiot
Below is an extract from an article by Helen Caldicott. In an earlier debate on Democracy Now
(click here to view it on YouTube) pro-nuclear journalist George Monbiot had said (14 minutes into the clip):

"If Helen is now saying the World Health Organisation is part of this conspiracy [to conceal the true health effects of Chernobyl] as well, the mind boggles."
In reply, Caldicott explained:
"In the early days of nuclear power, WHO issued forthright statements on radiation risks such as its 1956 warning: Genetic heritage is the most precious property for human beings. It determines the lives of our progeny, health and harmonious development of future generations. As experts, we affirm that the health of future generations is threatened by increasing development of the atomic industry and sources of radiation … We also believe that new mutations that occur in humans are harmful to them and their offspring.
After 1959, WHO made no more statements on health and radioactivity. What happened? On 28 May 1959, at the 12th World Health Assembly, WHO drew up an agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); clause 12.40 of this agreement says: Whenever either organisation [the WHO or the IAEA] proposes to initiate a programme or activity on a subject in which the other organisation has or may have a substantial interest, the first party shall consult the other with a view to adjusting the matter by mutual agreement." In other words, the WHO grants the right of prior approval over any research it might undertake or report on to the IAEA – a group that many people, including journalists, think is a neutral watchdog, but which is, in fact, an advocate for the nuclear power industry. The IAEA's founding papers state: "The agency shall seek to accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity through the world."

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