The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) is the winner of Nobel Peace Prize 2017.
The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) is the winner of Nobel Peace Prize 2017. Launched in 2007, ICAN works to promote the implementation of the ‘Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons’. This Geneva-based group is currently associated with hundreds of partners in over 100 countries. During the announcement of the Nobel Prize, Reiss-Andersen, chairman of the Committee, said that ICAN was awarded for “ts work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons, and for its groundbreaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition on such weapons”. Previous Nobel Peace Prize winners like Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama and Jody Williams, have supported ICAN’s campaign.
In the run-up to the Nobel Peace Prize 2017, apart from ICAN, Pope Francis, Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkel, and even American Civil Liberties Union were said to be some of the nominees. But the front runners seemed to be Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, as they orchestrated the Iran nuclear deal. This has resulted in Iran giving up its nuclear weapons development and exchanged it for the imposed sanctions in the West Asian nation. However, due to the current tiff between the US and North Korea, a nuclear war looms large and that may have pushed the committee to reward ICAN. It was said that the event that ICAN’s efforts to ‘stigmatise, prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons” were awarded. It added, “Risk of nuclear weapons being used is greater than it has been for a long time.”
When it comes to the nuclear disarmament debate, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons focusses on bringing the humanitarian threat posed by weapons, in the forefront. ICAN has long been fighting to draw the attention to the destruction capabilities, catastrophic consequences, long-lasting environmental effects of radiation, and more such implications of the nuclear weapons.
An International Steering Group looks after ICAN’s campaign, and it includes members like Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, Peace Boat, the Latin America Human Security Network (SEHLAC), and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, and more.
As mentioned earlier, ICAN works for the promotion of TPNW (Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons). ICAN has said that the TPNW is “a landmark international agreement that outlaws, categorically, the worst weapons of mass destruction and establishes a pathway to their elimination.” In July this year, the treaty was adopted at the United Nations by a vote of 122-1.