In July, after pressure from Ican, 122 nations backed a UN treaty created to ban and eventually eliminate all nuclear weapons.
The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) has been awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo.
It was announced yesterday (6 October 2017) that the Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).
The five original nuclear powers - the U.S., Russia, China, Britain and France, which also are permanent members of the U.N. Security Council - support nuclear nonproliferation but boycotted the treaty negotiations. 97 Peace prizes have been awarded amongst 130 individuals so far since 1901.
The U.S. administration has also signaled that Trump could next week decertify the 2015 agreement that imposed curbs on Iran's nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions relief, a decision that could lead to the unraveling of the landmark accord.
The Nobel committee wanted "to send a signal to North Korea and the USA that they need to go into negotiations", said Oeivind Stenersen, a historian of the peace prize. "A global ban on nuclear weapons is long overdue", the organisation says on its website.
Kamrul Hasan Khan, president of PSRB, said the Nobel prize was a huge encouragement for them and others who work for nuclear disarmament.
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A statement from his spokesman's office noted that "nuclear anxieties are at the highest level since the Cold War" and stressed "the urgency to do all we can to end the threat of a nuclear nightmare".
ICAN co-founder Tilman Ruff - who is now winning the prestigious prize for the second time - has called on Australia to oppose nuclear weapons, particularly in the face of North Korea's escalating missile and nuclear tests and US President Donald Trump's inflammatory pro-war rhetoric.
None of the states possessing nuclear weapons or relying on the American nuclear umbrella have signed on to the treaty, and most nuclear weapons states are in the process of modernizing their nuclear arsenals. As soon as Treaty has been ratified by 50 States, prohibition of Nuclear Weapons will enter into force and be binding under global law for all countries that are parties to Treaty, added Reiss-Andersen in his speech.
Founded in Vienna in 2007 on the fringes of an worldwide conference on the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, ICAN has tirelessly mobilised campaigners and celebrities alike in its cause.
A spokewoman for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said the government acknowledged ICAN's important work.
The world's nine nuclear-armed nations refused to participate in the vote, and the United States, the United Kingdom and France even released a joint statement detailing how the initiative "clearly disregards the realities of the worldwide security environment".
Gordon Edwards, head of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility, says the award to ICAN is "wonderful news".
"The Iran treaty is a positive development, a disarmament development that is positive, but the reason we mentioned North Korea (in our statement) is a reference to the threat that people actually feel", Reiss-Andersen told Reuters.