Nuclear disarmament group ICAN has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for its decade-long campaign against the use of atomic bomb.
“The organisation is receiving the award 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,” said Norway’s Nobel committee president Berit Reiss-Andersen.
More than 70 years after the atomic bombs were used on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and as tensions sour over the North Korea crisis, the Nobel committee has decided to highlight ICAN’s efforts to get rid of the nuclear weapons.
An alliance of more than 300 NGOs founded in Vienna in 2007 on the fringes of an international conference on the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, ICAN has regularly mobilised campaigners and celebrities alike in its cause.
It played a crucial role in the adoption of historic nuclear weapons ban treaty, signed by 122 nations in July. However, the accord was largely symbolic as none of the nine known world nuclear powers signed up to it.
The organisation will receive the award, consisting of a gold medal, a diploma, and a cheque for nine million Swedish Kronor ($1.1 million, 945,000 euros), at a ceremony in Oslo on December 10, the death anniversary of the prize’s creator, Swedish philanthropist and dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel.