The Nobel Peace Prize for 2017 was awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) on October 6. The ICAN is a global civil society coalition which works to promote adherence to and full implementation of the Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). The TPNW was the first legally binding international agreement to ban the use and production of nuclear weapons and was adopted by the United Nations in July 2017.
Take a look at 5 things that you need to know about the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize winner:
Inspired by the success of International Campaign to Ban Landmines, the 1985 Nobel Peace laureate International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) established the non-profit campaign in 2007 to achieve a global consensus and work towards campaigning for an international law that prohibits the use of nuclear weapons.
The ICAN comprises of 468 partner organizations in 101 countries with the campaign’s staff team located in Geneva, Switzerland. The ICAN is overseen by International Steering Group (ISG) which includes members such as the IPPNW, the global NGO Peace Boat and Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.
3. The Oslo Conference
In 2013, the ICAN coordinated civil society participation at the Oslo Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, which is a gathering of nations to evaluate the scientific evidence about the catastrophic consequences of nuclear weapons.
4. Global campaign
More than 600 ICAN campaigners gathered on the eve of the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons in 2014 and urged the participating States to adopt “a new legal instrument prohibiting nuclear weapons”. It also took credit for bringing 127 signatories into the Humanitarian Pledge in 2015. In 2016, it actively campaigned at UN Open-Ended Working Group in Geneva that eventually recommended the United Nations General Assembly to authorize negotiations leading to complete elimination of nuclear weapons. The UN First Committee adopted an ICAN-supported resolution to launch negotiations in 2017 on a treaty outlawing nuclear weapons.
5. Adoption of the treaty
After more than a decade of advocacy by ICAN and its partners, the TPNW was adopted on July 7, 2017, at the United Nations by a vote of 122-1. It will enter into legal force once 50 nations have signed and ratified it. None of the nuclear-armed countries, including India, expressed support for the treaty.
In 2016, the prize was awarded to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos for bringing the country’s more than 50-year-long civil war to an end.