Nuclear disarmament organisation wins Nobel Peace Prize
The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) has been awarded this year's Nobel Peace Prize.
In a statement, the Norwegian Nobel Committee said that ICAN had won the prize "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."
Speaking to reporters following the announcement, Norway's Nobel committee chairman, Berit Reiss-Andersen, expressed hope that the award would promote progress on nuclear disarmament, specifically under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
“We hope that with this year’s prize, we can support the great efforts ICAN has made to given new vigour to the disarmament debate,” she said.
Founded in 2007, ICAN is a coalition of 468 non-governmental organizations in some 100 countries that advocate for a ban on all nuclear weapons.
Swedish foreign minister, Margot Wallström, welcomed the decision of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Swedish Radio News reported.
"This is well-deserved and timely," Wallström said.
"From a humanitarian perspective, it is unbelievably important to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons," she added
However, Wallström refused to be drawn on whether today's announcement would hasten Sweden's accession to a UN treaty that seeks to ban the use of nuclear weapons outright.
"We'll take the time it takes to see exactly how we would sign and ratify [the treaty] but we'll continue to conduct this work, not least with non-proliferation agreements, test bans, and everything that is already in place," she said.
“The convention was decided upon extremely, extremely quickly, and that means that just like any other country, you want to take time to see how it affects our laws – everything from weapons exports, with which we are also involved, and how it affects other agreements and conventions. So we need to make sure that we can hopefully ratify and sign this in such a way that we know what we’re doing,” she said.
The only remaining Nobel Prize to be awarded is for economics, which will be announced on Monday.
Laureates traditionally receive their awards at a December 10 banquet in Stockholm, the date on which Alfred Nobel, the prize’s creator and the inventor of dynamite, died in 1896.