ICAN, winner of noble peace prize 2017

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize. But until now the small group that dreams of a nuclear weapon-free world was only really known to defense experts.

ICAN is a coalition of non-governmental organizations that promotes adherence to and ratification of a United Nations ban on nuclear weapons. ICAN won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize.

In an announcement in Oslo, Norway on Friday October 6th, the Nobel committee cited ICAN’s role in pushing for a global prohibition on the use of nuclear weapons, through the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which was adopted at the United Nations in July 2017 by a vote of 122-1 with one country abstaining.

ICAN Executive Director Beatrice Fihn told reporters that given the current political atmosphere around the world, the call to ban nuclear weapons is more imperative.

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 efforts to rid the world of nuclear weapons.

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Walsstrom said that giving the prize to ICAN was “well-deserved and timely.”

The Norwegian committee that chooses the winner sorted through more than 300 nominations for this year’s award, which recognizes both accomplishments and intentions.

ICAN has partners in more than 100 countries and endorsements from people including former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the Dalai Lama and Martin Sheen.


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