The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons today won the Nobel Peace Prize.
The Nobel Committee explained its choice by warning that the risk of a nuclear conflict is greater than for a long time.
ICAN won the award ahead of Pope Francis, the Syrian White Helmets and the architects of the Iran nuclear deal, who were among the favourites to lift the prize.
Chairman of the committee Berit Reiss-Andersen said it had been made in recognition of “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”.
“We live in a world where the risk of nuclear weapons being used is greater than it has been for a long time.”
The Geneva-based group was founded in Australia a decade ago and now operates in more than 100 countries.
In a statement announcing the award, the Nobel committee said: “Some states are modernising their nuclear arsenals, and there is a real danger that more countries will try to procure nuclear weapons, as exemplified by North Korea.
“Nuclear weapons pose a constant threat to humanity and all life on earth.
“Through binding international agreements, the international community has previously adopted prohibitions against land mines, cluster munitions and biological and chemical weapons. Nuclear weapons are even more destructive, but have not yet been made the object of a similar international legal prohibition.”
In July, 122 nations adopted a UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, but nuclear-armed states including the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France stayed out of the talks.
ICAN is working to promote the full implementation of the treaty.
The Nobel award comes amid nuclear tensions between the US and North Korea and uncertainty over the fate of the 2015 deal between Iran and major powers to limit Tehran’s nuclear programme.
US President Donald Trump has called the Iran agreement the “worst deal ever negotiated” and a senior administration official said yesterday that Trump is expected to announce soon that he will de-certify the landmark pact.
Source: Evening Standard
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