New Delhi: The 2017 Nobel Peace Prize has been award to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) “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, which helped bring about the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, was launched in 2007 and has 468 partner organisations in 101 countries.
Berit Reiss-Andersen, the chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, made the announcement.
In its lengthy award citation, the committee said ICAN “has been a driving force in prevailing upon the world’s nations to pledge to cooperate with all relevant stakeholders in efforts to stigmatise, prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons. To date, 108 states have made such a commitment, known as the Humanitarian Pledge.”
The award comes months after 122 UN member states acceded to the nuclear ban treaty on July 2, 2017. The ban on nuclear weapons will come into force once the treaty is ratified by 50 states, and it will be binding under international law for all the countries that are party to the treaty.
According to The Guardian, in awarding the peace prize to ICAN, the Norwegian Nobel Committee’s has reprimanded the world’s nine nuclear-armed powers, all of whom boycotted the negotiations for the treaty, describing it as dangerous.
“All of the countries that bear nuclear arms and many others that either come under their protection or host weapons on their soil boycotted the negotiations,” the Guardian said.
ICAN, the Norwegian Nobel Committee said, “more than anyone else, has in the past year given the efforts to achieve a world without nuclear weapons a new direction and new vigour.”