The 2017 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons(ICAN) on Friday. The award was given 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,” Berit Reiss-Andersen, the chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, said.
So what is the ICAN?
The organisation, a coalition of NGOs from almost 100 countries, has been tirelessly working on a global campaign to mobilise people to inspire, persuade and pressure their governments to initiate and support negotiations for a treaty banning nuclear weapons. The Nobel Committee in a statement said ICAN’s “ground-breaking efforts” to achieve such a treaty was significant since it helped in filling a legal gap.
The committee also said that at a time when countries are modernising their nuclear weapons “there is a real danger that more countries will try to procure nuclear weapons, as exemplified by North Korea.” ICAN has also been the leading civil society voice in the efforts to achieve a prohibition on nuclear weapons.
“This prize is a tribute to the tireless efforts of many millions of campaigners and concerned citizens worldwide who, ever since the dawn of the atomic age, have loudly protested nuclear weapons, insisting that they can serve no legitimate purpose and must be forever banished from the face of our earth,” ICAN said in a statement.
“It (the Nobel prize) is a tribute also to the survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki – the hibakusha – and victims of nuclear test explosions around the world, whose searing testimonies and unstinting advocacy were instrumental in securing this landmark agreement,” said the statement posted on their Facebook page.