This years’ Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to the group behind the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.
ICAN is a group based in Switzerland and formed 10 years ago. They were formed via a coalition of hundreds of non-governmental organisations. Alongside winning the Nobel Peace Prize, they will also receive £846,000 and a diploma at a later ceremony in December.
The group earned their Nobel Peace Prize following their actions in July, when they managed to gain the backing of 122 nations to sign a UN treaty to ban and eliminate all nuclear weapons. As impressive a feat as this is, there has still been no endorsement from nine of the known nuclear powers in the world, including the UK and the US.
The recognition of the group ICAN comes at an apposite time as the ongoing North Korea issue is still yet to be settled.
The Nobel committee chair, Berit Reiss-Andersen, gave a speech following the award, in which she said:
We live in a world where the risk of nuclear weapons being used is greater than it has been for a long time
She then went on to call out the nuclear-armed states that omitted from signing the treaty to begin negotiations to eliminate nuclear weapons and complete ICAN’s purpose.
ICAN executive director, Beatrice Fihn, was quoted in response to winning the award:
The laws of war say that we can’t target civilians. Nuclear weapons are meant to target civilians; they’re meant to wipe out entire cities. That’s unacceptable and nuclear weapons no longer get an excuse.
Previous winners of the Nobel Peace Prize in recent times have included girls’ education advocate Malala Yousafzai, the EU, and the OPCW (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons).