A nuclear disarmament group has won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize for its decade-long campaign to rid the world of the atomic bomb. As nuclear-fuelled crises swirl over North Korea and Iran, the International Campaign To Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) was awarded the honour on Friday. “The organisation is receiving the award for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons,” said Norway’s Nobel committee president Berit Reiss-Andersen.
She added that the leader of the grassroots ICAN organisation is “delighted” with the prize. More than 70 years since atomic bombs were used on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and as tensions flare over the North Korean crisis, the Nobel committee sought to highlight ICAN’s efforts to rid the world of nuclear weapons. Founded in Vienna in 2007 on the fringes of an international conference on the nuclear nonproliferation treaty, the Geneva-based ICAN has tirelessly mobilised campaigners and celebrities alike in its cause. ICAN was a key player in the adoption of a historic nuclear weapons ban treaty, signed by 122 countries in July. However, the accord was largely symbolic as none of the nine known world nuclear powers signed up to it. The Nobel committee said ICAN “has been a driving force in prevailing upon the world’s nations to pledge to cooperate… in efforts to stigmatise, prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons”. Ms Reiss-Andersen noted that similar prohibitions have been reached on chemical and biological weapons, land mines and cluster munitions. “Nuclear weapons are even more destructive, but have not yet been made the object of a similar international legal prohibition,” she said. (The Telegraph)