International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons wins 2017 Nobel Peace Prize
October 20, 2017
Congratulations to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) for winning the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize! On October 6, the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced their decision to award ICAN in recognition of their work raising awareness on the catastrophic humanitarian impacts of nuclear weapons and achieving the U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).
The Nobel Prize win validates the work of ICAN and its partner organizations, including PSR, in support of the global campaign that brought the TPNW to fruition at the U.N. this year. Here's how the world reacted to the Nobel Peace Prize announcement..
Beatrice Fihn, executive director of ICAN, reflected on the energy behind the campaign: "I think it comes from…[mobilizing] people around the world. I think with 21st century…using weapons of mass destruction to kill civilians is no longer acceptable. The Cold War was over a long time ago, we can no longer accept these weapons and I think that perspective has really [mobilized] a new generation of campaigners…"
Ira Helfand, M.D., a PSR board member and Security Committee co-chair who serves on the International Steering Group of ICAN, called the treaty "a wakeup call from the rest of the world which has focused worldwide attention on the catastrophic medical consequences that will occur if these weapons are used."
Bob Dodge, MD, PSR board member, President of PSR-LA, and PSR Security Committtee co-chair, wrote, "Nuclear weapons are the greatest threat to our humanity and the U.N. Treaty, through the work of ICAN, is now our prescription for survival."
In an interview with NPR, PSR Executive Director Jeff Carter said, "The prize feels like validation for all the work we've done… We know that the nuclear ban is a lofty goal but we believe it's an achievable goal."
"With this award, the Nobel Committee is sending a message to the nuclear-armed nations who tried to quash the ban treaty," said Martin Fleck, PSR's Security Program Director. "PSR will do all we can to ensure that message is amplified."
Ray Acheson, Executive Director of Reaching Critical Will said, "[The Nobel Peace Prize is] also really an award for diplomacy, for dialogue, for cooperation at a time when we're seeing rising tensions in the world. I think it's more and more important than ever for us to be emphasizing the…utility and the practicality of working together."
The actor Michael Douglas wrote in Time,"I supported their [ICAN's] dream, but had my doubts about their plan. Turns out, they were right … We are lucky to have a new generation take up this fight."
John Burroughs, Executive Director of the Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy said, "[The Nobel Prize] brings much more attention, of course. It's really going to give momentum to getting states to join the treaty."
Representative Ted Lieu (D-California) tweeted congratulations to ICAN.
William Perry, former Secretary of Defense praised ICAN on Twitter.
For more coverage of the ICAN Nobel Prize story, see this month's Security News and Views.