Nobel Peace Prize: What is the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons?

Nobel Peace Prize: What is the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons?

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) is the 2017 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, seeing off competition from Pope Francis and other nominees including President Donald Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

The Nobel organization said in a statement that it was recognising ICAN 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 weapon.”

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ICAN, which started its work in 2007, is a partnership of 468 organizations which spans 101 countries around the globe. Its stated mission is to bring the focus of debate on disarmament and end the use of nuclear weapons. Its efforts draw on the past success of the iInternational Campaign to Ban Landmines which successfully brought about an international ban on anti-personnel mines in 1997.

The Nobel Committee, based in Norway, chose the international group from more than 300 nominees. The award is given for both accomplishments and to those individuals or organizations which are expected to make achievements in the field of international peace.


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In recent days the winners of the Nobel prizes for medicine, physics, chemistry and literature have also been announced.

As well as Pope Francis, the Syrian volunteer organization known as the White Helmets and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif along with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini were considered strong contenders for their work on the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

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