Date
17 October 2017
Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), and Daniel Hogsta, coordinator, celebrate after winning the Nobel Peace Prize, in Geneva on Friday. Photo: Friday
Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), and Daniel Hogsta, coordinator, celebrate after winning the Nobel Peace Prize, in Geneva on Friday. Photo: Friday

Anti-nuclear campaign ICAN wins Nobel Peace Prize

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) won this year’s Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, as the Norwegian Nobel Committee warned that the risk of a nuclear conflict is greater than for a long time, Reuters reports.

ICAN describes itself as a coalition of grassroots non-government groups working to promote adherence to, and full implementation of, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

The campaign, which helped bring about the treaty, was launched in 2007 and today counts 468 partner organizations in 101 countries. The treaty is the first legally binding international agreement to comprehensively prohibit nuclear weapons.

It began in Australia and was officially launched in Vienna in 2007.

“We live in a world where the risk of nuclear weapons being used is greater than it has been for a long time,” Berit Reiss-Andersen, the leader of the five-member Norwegian Nobel Committee, said in Oslo.

In July, 122 nations adopted a UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, but nuclear-armed states including the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France stayed out of the talks.

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 program, Reuters said.

US President Donald Trump has called the Iran agreement the “worst deal ever negotiated” and a senior administration official said on Thursday that Trump is expected to announce soon that he will decertify the landmark pact.

The Nobel Peace Prize, worth nine million Swedish crowns (US$1.10 million), will be presented in Oslo on Dec. 10.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee that chose the winner  does not release names of those it considers for the prize, but said 215 individuals and 103 organizations had been nominated, the Telegraph reported.

According to The Guardian, this year’s choice came as a surprise. “Most of the pre-announcement chatter had been predicting the winners would be Mohammad Javad Zarif, the Iranian foreign minister, and Federica Mogherini, the EU’s foreign policy chief, for their part in the Iran nuclear deal,” it said.

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