Stockholm: Nuclear disarmament group, International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) won the 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.
More than 70 years since atomic bombs were used on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and as tensions flare over the North Korean crisis, the Nobel committee sought to highlight ICAN’s tireless efforts to rid the world of nuclear weapons.
ICAN, a coalition of more than 300 NGOs, founded in Vienna in 2007 on the fringes of an international conference on the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, has tirelessly mobilised campaigners and celebrities alike in its cause.
“We live in a world where the risk of nuclear weapons being used is greater than it has been for a long time," said Berit Reiss-Andersen, the leader of the Norwegian Nobel Committee.
It was a key player in the adoption of a historic nuclear weapons ban treaty, signed in July by 122 countries. However, the accord was largely symbolic as 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 programme.
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 prizes for achievements in science, literature and peace were first awarded in 1901 in accordance with the will of Swedish business tycoon Alfred Nobel, who bequeathed much of the fortune he generated from his discovery of dynamite.
The organisation will receive their prize, consisting of a gold medal, a diploma, and a cheque for nine million Swedish kronor ($1.1 million, 945,000 euros), at a ceremony in Oslo on December 10, the anniversary of the death in 1896 of the prize’s creator, Swedish philanthropist and dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel.