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International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons wins Nobel Peace Prize

Nobel Peace Prize 2017 has been awarded on Friday October 06, 2017 to International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), the Geneva-based Nuclear disarmament campaign group for its efforts to rid the world of the atomic bomb, “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 on such weapons”.

  • ICAN comprises of more than 400 non-government organizations (NGOs) in a coalition one hundred countries promoting adherence to and implementation of the United Nations nuclear weapon ban treaty. It has for the past decade been sounding the alarm over the massive dangers posed by nuclear weapons and campaigning for a global ban.
  • ICAN secured a significant victory on July 07, 2017 when an overwhelming majority of the world’s nations voted to adopt the United Nations Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty, on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons – a landmark international agreement that outlaws the ultimate weapons of mass destruction and establishes a pathway to their elimination.
  • But ICAN is not resting on its laurels with actual disarmament of the world’s nuclear arsenal likely still far off.
  • ICAN is a broad, inclusive campaign, informed by the need, urgency and feasibility of abolishing nuclear weapons, and focused on mobilizing civil society around the specific objective of negotiating a global nuclear weapon ban treaty. It has a steering group, staff team and partner organizations.
  • ICAN operates on a partnership model. Any organization that agrees with the ICAN’s aims and does not use or advocate violence may become an ICAN partner organization. Partners pledge to promote the objective of a nuclear weapon ban treaty and to identify publicly with the campaign.
  • ICAN was recognised by the Norwegian Nobel Committee for its Humanitarian Initiative based on the principle that the catastrophic, persistent effects of nuclear weapons on our health, societies and the environment must be at the centre of all public and diplomatic discussions about nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

The announcement came in the midst of tensions over North Korea’s Nuclear Tests and threats to detonate a hydrogen bomb, uncertainty over certification of Iran’s compliance with the 2015 accord that limits Iran’s nuclear program and at such a crucial stage; the Nobel committee has highlighted ICAN’s tireless non-proliferation efforts as nuclear-related crises swirl around North Korea and Iran, after a gap of around seventy two years of Atomic bombings of Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the United States during the final stage of World War II, on August 6 and 9, 1945, respectively. The United States had dropped the bombs with the consent of the United Kingdom as outlined in the Quebec Agreement. The two bombings, which killed at least 129,000 people, remain the only use of nuclear weapons for warfare in history.

This decision of Norwegian Nobel Committee has sent a strong message at a time when Mr. Trump has threatened to tear up a 2015 deal curbing Iran’s nuclear abilities. And the U.S. President last month alarmed delegates at the UN General Assembly by warning he may be forced to “totally destroy” North Korea because of its atomic weapons programme.

Norwegian Nobel committee president Berit Reiss-Andersen in announcing the prize in Oslo said that, “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.” However, she stressed that the committee’s decision wasn’t aimed at any particular world leader, adding: “We’re not kicking anyone’s leg with this prize.”

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