Nuclear disarmament group ICAN won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for its decade-long campaign to rid the world of the atomic bomb as nuclear-fuelled crises swirl over North Korea and Iran.
“The organisation 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,” said Norway’s Nobel committee president Berit Reiss-Andersen.
More than 70 years since atomic bombs were used on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and as tensions flare over the North Korean crisis, the Nobel committee sought to highlight ICAN’s tireless efforts to rid the world of nuclear weapons.
A coalition of more than 300 NGOs founded in Vienna in 2007 on the fringes of an international conference on the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, ICAN has tirelessly mobilised campaigners and celebrities alike in its cause.
It was a key player in the adoption of a historic nuclear weapons ban treaty, signed by 122 countries in July. However, the accord was largely symbolic as none of the nine known world nuclear powers signed up to it.
The organisation will receive their prize, consisting of a gold medal, a diploma, and a cheque for nine million Swedish kronor (USD 1.1 million), at a ceremony in Oslo on December 10, the anniversary of the death in 1896 of the prize’s creator, Swedish philanthropist and dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel.