Green Cross’s Paul Walker wins major US peace award

Green Cross International’s Paul Walker was today presented a prestigious prize for his contributions to preventing war and promoting international peace.

Walker, the Director of Green Cross’s Environmental Security and Sustainability programme, received the Sidel-Levy Award for Peace of the American Public Health Association during its annual meeting held 30 October, 2012, in San Francisco, California.

“Paul Walker is one of the most impressive advocates for peace and practitioners of peacemaking that I have ever known,” said David J. O’Brien, professor of faith and culture at the University of Dayton. “For his life-long work on national and international security, and for his remarkable work of connecting policy-makers and scholars across international boundaries, he should rank among our most honored public intellectuals.”

Throughout his career, Walker has worked to eliminate nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and promote peace throughout the world through firm diplomacy, sound science, advocacy, and education. He, Green Cross and its American affiliate, Global Green USA, have helped facilitate the safe elimination of more than 50,000 metric tons of chemical weapons, dozens of nuclear submarines and hundreds of nuclear warheads and launch systems over the past 16 years.

Before working with Green Cross, Walker was a staff member of the Armed Services Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served as senior advisor to the chairman, Rep. Ron Dellums, and the full committee, in the immediate post-Cold War period.  While at the House Committee, Walker helped establish and implement the US Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR or “Nunn-Lugar”) Program which has to date committed over US$10 billion to the nonproliferation and elimination of Cold War weapons of mass destruction.

Walker is also the former acting director of the Peace and Conflict Studies Program at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., former research director with the Union of Concerned Scientists and former researcher with the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.

Walker has worked, lectured and published widely on international security, threat reduction, non-proliferation and weapons demilitarization for more than three decades. While at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the mid-1970s, Walker helped establish the Boston Study Group with five colleagues to examine how best to restructure US military and foreign policy along more diplomatic and cooperative lines.. The group produced the book, The Price of Defense: A New Strategy for Military Spending, which argued that a sizeable reduction in military spending and realignment of military strategies would produce much better security.

Walker worked as National Education Director for the Physicians for Social Responsibility and helped mobilize the medical community against federal nuclear policies. Among his many efforts to fight weapons of mass destruction, he has worked with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague to help facilitate the nonproliferation and safe elimination of chemical weapons in Albania, India, Iraq, Libya, Russia, South Korea, and the United States. He also helped establish the Fissile Materials Working Group (FMWG) in support of President Barack Obama’s 2010 Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, D.C., and 2012 Summit in Seoul, South Korea addressing the nonproliferation of weapons-grade fissile materials.

About the Award:

The Sidel-Levy Award for Peace is awarded to an APHA member and draws attention to the profound health consequences of war and what public health workers can do to help prevent war and promote international peace. The award was endowed by two past presidents of APHA, Victor W. Sidel, MD and Barry S. Levy, MD, MPH, who have edited books, written papers, and spoken widely on war and public health.

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