The Nobel Women’s Initiative warmly congratulates the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons on being named the 2017 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. As a coalition of non-governmental organisations, ICAN has worked tirelessly over the past ten years to reframe the debate on nuclear weapons and create a legal framework for an international ban treaty.
The campaign has coordinated and led civil society efforts to launch a global conversation on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons, by convening states around three major international conferences in Oslo (2013), Nayarit (2014) and Vienna (2014). At the conclusion of the Vienna Conference, 127 states committed to creating legal instruments to prohibit nuclear weapons globally, under the “Humanitarian Pledge”. Two years later, in December 2016, ICAN was again able to successfully advocate for a ground-breaking UN resolution to work on a “legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons”.
On July 7, 2017, for the first time in history, a landmark nuclear weapon ban treaty was finally adopted at the United Nations General Assembly, bringing us closer than ever to a nuclear-free world.
The Nobel Peace Prize Committee pays a timely and much deserved tribute to the extraordinary work and advocacy of ICAN and all its partners. But it is also a sobering call for the rest of the world to urgently reflect on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons.
And it could not come at a better time. Today, as tension mounts between the United States and North Korea, the risk of a nuclear war threatens global peace more than ever before. We support the Nobel Peace Prize Committee’s call upon nuclear-armed states “to initiate serious negotiations with a view to the gradual, balanced and carefully monitored elimination of the almost 15,000 nuclear weapons in the world”.
We must all do everything in our power to keep the voices of innocent civilians at the heart of our global conversations on this matter, and vigorously advocate for a world free of weapons of mass destruction. As ICAN continues to remind us, prohibiting nuclear weapons is an urgent humanitarian necessity, for the survival of our humanity.
We extend our full solidarity and warmest congratulations to ICAN, as they pursue our collective goal of a just, peaceful and nuclear-free world.
THE INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN TO ABOLISH NUCLEAR WEAPONS: an interview with Beatrice Fihn, Ploughshares, 2 October 2017.
The Long Nuclear History Behind the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize, Time, 6 October 2017.