Anti-nuclear weapon group wins the Nobel Peace Prize 2017

Sarra Gray
Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony 2008
The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded this morning in Oslo (Source: Getty)

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) has been awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize.

ICAN, which is made up of organisations from 100 different countries, works to draw attention to the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons.

The Nobel Peace Prize is one of five prize awards created by Alfred Nobel in 1901, and is awarded to a person or group which has “done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations”. Past winners include Barack Obama and the European Union.

A spokesperson for the Norwegian Nobel Committee said: “We live in a world where the risk of nuclear weapons being used is greater than it has been for a long time… There is a real danger that more countries will try to procure nuclear weapons, as exemplified by North Korea.

He added:

ICAN, more than anyone else, has in the past year given the efforts to achieve a world without nuclear weapons a new direction and new vigour.

Read more: G7 calls North Korea's nuclear missile tests an “intolerable provocation”

New goals

On 7 July 2017, ICAN helped persuade 122 UN member states to agree to the Treaty on the Prohibitions of Nuclear Weapons. Once this is ratified, the ban of nuclear weapons will become law for all the countries involved.

Although no states which already have nuclear weapons have committed to the treaty, the Norwegian Nobel Committee suggested the choice for this year’s Peace Prize will be motivation for states to begin talks to eliminate the 15,000 nuclear weapons in the world.

Previously, the organisation has helped sign up 108 states to the Humanitarian Pledge, which commits them to reducing the use nuclear of weapons.

ICAN receives its funding from the European Union, as well as private donations and countries such as Germany and Switzerland.

Read more: North Korea's Kim Jong-un vows to reach nuclear force goal

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