On the morning of Oct. 6 in Oslo, Norway, the 2017 No-bel Peace Prize was awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons,also known as ICAN. This is a group of non-governmental organizations from approximately 100 different countries around the world who are campaign-ing to eliminate nuclear weapons. Banning nuclear weapons as an international law has come about after recent threats and global tensions that has influenced the committee’s decision.
The Nobel committee honored ICAN for drawing attention to the devastating humanitarian consequences for any use of nuclear weapons. It also contributed significant efforts to approve a treaty that may ban nuclear weapons. Advancing disarmament and arms control is one of the central criteria for awarding the Peace Prize, along with the promotion of peace talks and the “promotion of fraternity” between nations. More specifically, ICAN promotes the U.N.’s Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which is a legal binding prohibition on nu-clear warfare that is supported by over 100 countries.
ICAN explained that grow-ing threats of more countries may attempt to acquire nuclear weapons, especially as NorthKorea has recently led this movement. The organization also emphasized growing inter-national tension when it wrote on Facebook that “fiery rhetoric could all too easily lead us,inexorably, to unspeakable horror.” ICAN continues explaining,“If ever there were a moment for nations to declare their un-equivocal opposition to nuclear weapons, that moment is now.”
Previous Peace Prizes have also focused on nuclear dis-armament. The Peace Prize in1985 was awarded to the International Physicians for thePrevention of Nuclear War. Additionally, in 2005, it was presented to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for promoting peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Several individuals have also been granted in part for their work on nonproliferation or disarmament.
Anti-nuclear campaigners around the world hailed the award. United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres tweeted, “Now more than ever we need a world without nuclear weapons.” An 88-year-old Hiroshima survivor, Mikiso Iwasa,explained to reporters how the prize will help push this movement forward. He continued,saying, “It is wonderful we have this Nobel Peace Prize-winning movement. All of us need to join forces, think hard and walk for-ward together to turn this momentum into something even bigger.”