Control Arms welcomes the award of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize to ICAN, and its successful campaign for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. ICAN has powerfully communicated the global catastrophe that would result from nuclear war, and the immense humanitarian suffering and environmental disaster that would occur. Many Control Arms members have been actively involved in the campaign, persuading governments to participate in the Treaty negotiations, and underlining that the only effective way to prevent such a catastrophe is through the elimination of nuclear weapons. At a time of heightened global tension, their work has never been more important.
53 countries have signed the Treaty, which opened for signature on September 20 2017, and will enter into force after 50 ratifications. The Nobel Committee’s decision will give further profile and momentum toward this.
On receiving the award, ICAN said: “This is a time of great global tension, when fiery rhetoric could all too easily lead us, inexorably, to unspeakable horror. The specter of nuclear conflict looms large once more. If ever there were a moment for nations to declare their unequivocal opposition to nuclear weapons, that moment is now. We applaud those nations that have already signed and ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, and we urge all others to follow their lead. It offers a pathway forward at a time of alarming crisis. Disarmament is not a pipe dream, but an urgent humanitarian necessity.”