Oslo: The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday. ICAN is a coalition of non-governmental organizations from around 100 different countries around the globe. It has played a crucial role as a leading civil society actor in the effort to achieve a prohibition of nuclear weapons under international law.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee said that the organization 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.
While giving away the award, the Nobel Committee emphasises that the next steps towards attaining a world free of nuclear weapons must involve the nuclear-armed states. It also said that the ICAN has in the past year given the efforts to achieve a world without nuclear weapons a new direction and new vigour.
“We live in a world where the risk of nuclear weapons being used is greater than it has been for a long time. Some states are modernizing their nuclear arsenals, and there is a real danger that more countries will try to procure nuclear weapons, as exemplified by North Korea. Nuclear weapons pose a constant threat to humanity and all life on earth…Nuclear weapons are even more destructive, but have not yet been made the object of a similar international legal prohibition. Through its work, ICAN has helped to fill this legal gap,” the committee said.
The committee said that the decision to award ICAN has a solid grounding in Alfred Nobel’s will. “The will specifies three different criteria for awarding the Peace Prize: the promotion of fraternity between nations, the advancement of disarmament and arms control and the holding and promotion of peace congresses. ICAN works vigorously to achieve nuclear disarmament. ICAN and a majority of UN member states have contributed to fraternity between nations by supporting the Humanitarian Pledge. And through its inspiring and innovative support for the UN negotiations on a treaty banning nuclear weapons, ICAN has played a major part in bringing about what in our day and age is equivalent to an international peace congress,” it said.
The 2017 Nobel Peace Prize to ICAN has a solid grounding in Alfred Nobel’s will. @nuclearban #NobelPrize pic.twitter.com/ALQatCVRjR
The 2017 Peace Prize calls upon nuclear-armed states to initiate negotiations to gradual elimination of the world’s 15,000 nuclear weapons. Nine million Swedish crowns ($1.10 million) will be presented to ICAN in Oslo on December 10.