WHILE peace campaigners worldwide have been celebrating the announcement of a Nobel Prize for the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) – the spotlight will tonight fall on a Black Isle retired GP who has been active in its work for years.
One of those most delighted with news of the organisation’s honour is Dr Judith McDonald, of Cromarty, who has attended major ICAN conferences in Oslo and Vienna as a longstanding member of Medact, an organisation for health professionals working for the abolition of nuclear weapons.
For, the Nobel Committee’s announcement has come as she prepares to deliver a discussion entitled “The Human Cost of Nuclear Weapons” organised by the Cromarty Peace Group.
The talk, in the town’s Victoria Hall at 7.30pm, will cover the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons which was signed up to by no less than 122 non-nuclear states.
Both the UK and the USA were among those who boycotted the session.
Dr McDonald is fully committed in her opposition to nuclear weapons and has campaigned since the 1980s.
She said: “When I was a young mum in Edinburgh, I heard a lecture by the distinguished Australian anti-nuclear physician, Dr Helen Caldicott – and had what I suppose you could call a light bulb moment.
“I became a member of a group for medical practitioners campaigning against nuclear weapons which eventually became part of Medact and I have been pretty active ever since.
“The current group is spread throughout Scotland but we keep very much in contact and meet regularly.”
Dr McDonald, who moved with her minister husband to Cromarty last year, said she was thrilled by the Nobel Prize decision.
She said: “I think it is just wonderful that the work carried out by ICAN is getting proper recognition.
“Back in the 1980s everyone was aware of the dangers of nuclear war but after the end of the Cold War the issue seemed to become less prominent.
“Now, with recent developents in North Korea and the US, many more are once again beginning to consider the threats which nuclear weapons present.
“I hope that my lecture in Cromarty will inform some of those who might be unaware of recent steps to control them.”