Reading Room

And, the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize goes to…
The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

Friday, October 6, 2017
Posted by Marylia Kelley

Tri-Valley CAREs is celebrating today! Huge congratulations go out to ICAN, its steering committee and its more than 400 member organizations around the globe, including ours!

In the wee hours of this morning (11 AM local time in Oslo, Norway), the Nobel Committee announced that it had chosen the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for 2017. “The organization is receiving the award for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons,” noted the esteemed committee.

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, informally known as the “ban treaty,” was adopted at the United Nations in New York by an overwhelming majority of the world’s nations on July 7, 2017, with 122 in favor, 1 against and 1 abstention. Tri-Valley CAREs participated as a non-governmental organization in the treaty negotiations as part of the ICAN network.

The treaty opened for signatures last month, with 53 states parties lining up to sign in short order. It will enter into force after 50 parties ratify, each country according to its own internal process.

The nine countries with nuclear weapons declined to participate in the treaty negotiations, with the U.S. being the most outspoken in its opposition to the treaty. Further, the U.S. has put enormous pressure on other countries to forgo signing it. And, still, the treaty moves forward to its full implementation at a robust pace.

Today, both ICAN and the ban treaty it champions so effectively received a powerful, fresh “shot in the arm” from the Nobel Committee.

The committee statement continued, “It is now 71 years since the UN General Assembly, in its very first resolution, advocated the importance of nuclear disarmament and a nuclear weapon-free world. With this year’s award, the Norwegian Nobel Committee wishes to pay tribute to ICAN for giving new momentum to the efforts to achieve this goal.” To which we add a hearty, “Whoot. Whoot.”

To read the Nobel Committee statement announcing its award of the Peace Prize to ICAN, click here.

To read the New York Times article about the Peace Prize, with photos, click here.