UQ student Misha Byrne (far left) in Germany in 2009 to commemorate 20 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall
UQ student Misha Byrne (far left) in Germany in 2009 to commemorate 20 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall
23 April 2010

After diplomatic trips to Kashmir and Berlin, UQ student Misha Byrne (Ascot) is ready to tackle nuclear disarmament at the UN.

Mr Byrne, a psychology and science student, heads to New York on April 29 as a representative of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW).

The group are participating in a conference which is held every five years to track the nuclear non-proliferation treaty signed in 1970.

This year the conference will be held at the UN headquarters in New York from May 3-28.

The IPPNW is a federation of national medical organisations across 62 countries with thousands of doctors, medical students, health care workers and concerned citizens who work together to remove eradicate nuclear threat.

In 1985 the group won the Nobel Peace Prize for its development of an international movement advocating nuclear disarmament.

“Nuclear weapons are one of the greatest preventable dangers facing humankind,” Mr Byrne said.

Mr Bryne will work to promote IPPNW’s International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, known as ICAN.

The message for our campaign is getting to a zero weapons world is achievable, but we need the support of individuals around the world,” he said.

Part of the ICAN program within IPPNW is to send future medical professionals to meet with peers in nuclear-enabled countries to discuss the potential results of a nuclear war.

In 2008 Mr Byrne travelled with North American students to Kashmir, near the India-Pakistan border, to discuss the issue of nuclear war with local medical students.

Last year he joined a IPPNW delegation in Germany to attend the 10th Nobel Peace Laureates' Summit and commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall.

While in New York, Mr Byrne is looking forward to observing United Nations negotiations for international nuclear treaty.

Mr Byrne will finish his undergraduate studies this year but will return to UQ to complete an honours program in 2011.

Upon graduation, he would like to find ways to integrate neuroscience, psychology and medicine to better address social and medical challenges.

Media: Allison Rock at UQ Communications (073365 2619, Allison.rock@uqconnect.edu.au)