The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2017 "for 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 prize is fully in line with Nobel's will, it joins a line of historic prizes awarded to disarmament and the nuclear issue is, regrettably, among the most important of our time and as relevant as ever in light of recent events on the world scene.
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, the main vehicle of ICAN, was signed by 53 states during the opening day of the UN General Assemby Opening Day a mere two weeks ago, and is thus far ratified by three. The treaty takes effect when ratified by 50 states. None of the world's nuclear powers are among the current parties to the treaty (and neither is Norway). The Committee Chairman made it clear in the announcement press conference that the prize was an enouragement to all players and that not following this path is untenable. ICAN was lauded for having brought new vitality and momentum to the nuclear weapons debate.
PRIO Director Henrik Urdal expresses his satisfaction with the prize and finds it a proper 'call to disarms' to the major nuclear players – as well as to Norway. He lauds ICAN as the most important civil society driving force for the fight against nuclear weapons, and hopes the Prize helps ensure that agreements such as the Iran Nuclear Deal will stay the course.