News World Disarmament group International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons wins Nobel Peace Prize

Disarmament group International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons wins Nobel Peace Prize

Activism like this demonstration outside the US base at Pine Gap won a Nobel Peace prize for the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. EPA/Tim Wright
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The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) has won the Nobel Peace Prize, as the Norwegian Nobel Committee warned that the risk of a nuclear conflict is greater than for a long time.

ICAN describes itself as a coalition of grassroots non-government groups in more than 100 nations. It began in Australia and was officially launched in Vienna in 2007.

“We live in a world where the risk of nuclear weapons being used is greater than it has been for a long time,” Berit Reiss-Andersen, the leader of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, said on Friday.

“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 on life on Earth.”

In its official citation, the Nobel Committee hailed Geneva-based ICAN “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”.

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 declined to take part in the talks.

The Nobel prize seeks to bolster the case of disarmament amid nuclear tensions between the United States and North Korea and uncertainty over the fate of a 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 on Thursday that Trump is expected to announce soon that he will decertify the landmark pact.

The prize of nine million Swedish crowns ($1.42 million), will be presented in Oslo on mid-December.

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