The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons — known as ICAN — has been awarded the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize, for their work on a global treaty to ban nuclear weapons. The prize comes as international concerns grow over the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s nuclear and missile development, and as the U.S. president threatens to withdraw from the landmark Iran nuclear deal. CGTN’s Liling Tan reports.
“The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2017 to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, ICAN,” Berit Reiss-Anderson, Leader of Norwegian Nobel Committee said.
For ICAN, the surprise win is recognition for their tireless work over the past decade, to turn the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons into reality.
”I think it sends a message to all nuclear arms states and all states that continue to rely on nuclear weapons for security that it is unacceptable behavior. And we will not support it; we will not make excuses for it. You can’t threaten to indiscriminately slaughter hundreds of thousands of civilians in the name of security,” Beatrice Fihn, Executive Director, ICAN said.
In July, the nuclear ban treaty was adopted by 122 members of the United Nations General Assembly, and needs 50 ratifications to go into effect. The goal is to prevent the type of atomic bombings that devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki from ever happening again.
But who’s not on board? The nuclear states themselves… China, the U.S., Russia, the UK and France boycotted the negotiations, while the DPRK, India and Pakistan sat out the vote.
“Getting rid of nuclear weapons isn’t going to happen overnight. The treaty is meant to make it harder to justify nuclear weapons, to make it uncomfortable for states to continue with the status quo, to put more pressure on them,” Fihn added.
And ICAN did not mince words about where it stands on the DPRK nuclear issue and the Iran nuclear deal.
“Nuclear weapons do not bring security and stability; we can see that right now. In fact, I think the people in North Korea or the United States or Japan or South Korea do not feel particularly safe. I think that the Iran deal is really important and it will be really, really unfortunate and a huge security risk for the world if that was ripped up, especially at a time when Iran is complying with the deal,” Fihn said.
Her key message heard around the world today? There are “no right hands for the wrong weapons.”