Nobel Prize Awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons


Nuclear weapons are a significant and widely underrated threat to the survival of people generally. The Doomsday Clock is currently at 2.5 minutes to midnight, which — besides when thermonuclear weapons were being tested by the two global superpowers in 1953 — is the closest it has ever been to midnight. The Nobel Peace Prize granted to this international campaign should thankfully raise awareness of these important concerns for the potential catastrophe that’s possible from the use of nuclear weapons.

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, known as ICAN, is a coalition of nongovernmental organizations in more than 100 countries. Launched in 2007, ICAN helped organize a landmark victory this year: the world’s first legally binding treaty banning nuclear weapons. The treaty was adopted by 122 U.N. member states in July, and signed by 51 countries during U.N. General Assembly Week in September. The treaty prohibits the development, testing and possession of nuclear weapons, as well as using or threatening to use these weapons. It was adopted and signed by dozens of countries despite the fierce opposition of the United States and other nuclear-armed nations.

Statement from ICAN: “This is a time of great global tension, when fiery rhetoric could all too easily lead us, inexorably, to unspeakable horror. The spectre of nuclear conflict looms large once more. If ever there were a moment for nations to declare their unequivocal opposition to nuclear weapons, that moment is now.”