Antinuclear Campaign ICAN Wins Nobel Peace Prize

Erika Holt
October 6, 2017

The Norwegian committee that chooses the Nobel Peace Prize victor sorted through more than 300 nominations for this year's award, which recognizes both accomplishments and intentions.

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. ICAN is a coalition of non-governmental organizations from around 100 different countries around the globe.

"Nuclear weapons are even more destructive, but have not yet been made the object of a similar worldwide legal prohibition", she said.

The Nobel prize seeks to bolster the case of disarmament amid nuclear tensions between the United States and North Korea and uncertainty over the fate of a 2015 deal between Iran and major powers to limit Tehran's nuclear programme.

Last year, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the President of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos "for his resolute efforts to bring the country's more than 50-year-long civil war to an end, a war that has cost the lives of at least 220 000 Colombians and displaced close to six million people".

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Five of the states that now have nuclear weapons - the USA, Russia, the United Kingdom, France and China - have already committed to this objective through their accession to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons of 1970. "We're not kicking any body's leg with this prize, we're giving great encouragement", Reiss-Andersen said. More than half a dozen individuals have also been awarded, at least in part, for their work on nonproliferation or disarmament.

An announcement was made today in Oslo, Norway.

The Peace Prize is the fifth Nobel prize that was established in Arthur Nobel's will, and the only one awarded by the Norwegian Nobel Committee.

The Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics, which was established in 1969, will be announced on Monday.

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