Nobel Peace Prize Awarded to Anti-Nuclear Weapons Group


Mr Nash says superpowers like the U.S. need to lead from the front - and he has a message for President Trump.

ICAN, which played a key role in the negotiations that led to the recent signing of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons at the United Nations, scored the prize in honor of "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".

The convenor of ICAN New Zealand, Edwina Hughes, said nuclear weapons had had a huge impact on the Pacific, which was subject to more than 350 full scale nuclear detonations.

The grassroots movement that led to the launch of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) began in Carlton, Melbourne, more than a decade ago.

The committee acknowledged the view held by nuclear-armed countries in its statement, noting that "an global legal prohibition will not in itself eliminate a single nuclear weapon, and that so far neither the states that already have nuclear weapons nor their closest allies support the nuclear weapon ban treaty".

Pyongyang's series of nuclear and weapons tests this year has shaken the global security order. "All of us need to join forces, think hard and walk forward together to turn this momentum into something even bigger", he said.

But nuclear-armed countries like the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France stayed out of the talks.

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Just before the Nobel committee made the announcement in Oslo, US President Donald Trump had threatened not to re-certify the nuclear deal agreed between world powers and Iran.

"We live in a world where the risk of nuclear weapons being used is greater than it has been for a long time", she said. The State Department spokesman added that Washington remains committed to its obligations under the Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty.

The U.S. put special pressure to oppose the treaty on its allies in NATO, an alliance that depends at its core on a policy of nuclear deterrence - the threat of retaliation in kind for any nuclear attack by an enemy.

Signatories to the nuclear prohibition treaty would be banned from developing, testing and possessing nuclear weapons, as well as threatening to use them. At the time, he was interviewing survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki while writing a book called, "The Nuclear Family". The treaty was signed by over 50 countries in September 2017.

The award, worth $1.1 million, is widely seen as a political statement at a time of high geopolitical uncertainty. The committee may have been reluctant to reward the Iranian government for its role in the nuclear deal because the only Iranian victor so far, 2003 laureate Shirin Ebadi, a lawyer and human rights campaigner, is forced to live in exile.

One high-ranking Foreign Ministry official tried to explain the official quandary in terms of the perceived threat to Japan from North Korea's nuclear and missile development programs.

United Nations leaders enthusiastically welcomed the Nobel Peace Prize awarded Friday to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, a recognition that appears particularly poignant at a time of rising nuclear threats from North Korea. A total of 122 nations adopted the deal - but none of the nine known nuclear powers signed up.