Ican – the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons – has been awarded 2017’s Nobel Peace Prize.
Ican’s selection reflected the organisation’s ‘ground-breaking efforts to achieve a [nuclear weapons] treaty prohibition’, explained Nobel committee chair, Berit Reiss-Andersen. "We live in a world where the risk of nuclear weapons being used is greater than it has been for a long time," she added, referencing the ongoing tensions between North Korea and other countries.
Kim Jong-un’s nation has carried out numerous missile/rocket launches in recent months. US President Donald Trump’s verbal responses have become increasingly aggressive as a result. “The US has great strength and patience”, he stated before the United Nations general assembly last month. “[But] if it is forced to defend ourselves or our allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.”
Nobel Prize-Winners Selection
Nobel prize-winners are decided by a multistage process. Firstly, those eligible to put forward nominations do so by 1 February each year. The Nobel committee then assesses what’s come in and produces a shortlist comprising up to 30 candidates.
Further studies streamline down the candidate list again before consensus is reached during the committee’s final meeting. If unanimity isn’t achieved, a traditional voting system is implemented.
Ican Nuclear Treaty
Ican comprises hundreds of NGOs (Non-Governmental Organisations). Headquartered in the Swiss city of Geneva, it’s now a decade old.
It was thanks to Ican’s efforts that the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was UN-adopted on 7 July this year. Initially banning them, the treaty’s a potential stepping stone towards outright nuclear weapons elimination, so goes further than 1970’s landmark NPT (Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons). To date, 53 nations have signed it.
Ican said, in a statement, that to have been chosen as 2017’s Nobel Peace Prize recipient was a great honour. ‘This is a time of great global tension, when fiery rhetoric could all too easily lead us, inexorably, to unspeakable horror’, it explained. ‘The spectre of nuclear conflict looms large once more. If ever there were a moment for nations to declare their unequivocal opposition to nuclear weapons, that moment is now.’
‘We most humbly thank the Norwegian Nobel Committee. This award shines a needed light on the path the ban treaty provides towards a world free of nuclear weapons. Before it is too late, we must take that path.’
Ican’s receiving of the Nobel Peace Prize brings with it a nine-million Swedish krona (£846,000) reward, a diploma and a medal. All will be presented at the prize-winners’ ceremony on 10 December: the day Alfred Nobel died.