Anti-nuclear coalition wins 2017 Nobel Peace Prize

A combination photo shows members of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons in Geneva on Oct. 6. The group won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize. Pictured from left to right are Beatrice Fihn, executive director; Daniel Hogsta, coordinator; and Grethe Ostern, a member of the organization's steering committee. (CNS photo/Denis Balibouse, Reuters) A combination photo shows members of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons in Geneva on Oct. 6. (CNS photo/Denis Balibouse, Reuters)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Emphasizing the hope for a nuclear-free world, the Nobel committee announced its decision to award the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.

The organization, also known by the acronym ICAN, was commended for its work in drawing attention "to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons," the committee said, announcing the prize Oct. 6. 

Advertisement

"It is the firm conviction of the Norwegian Nobel committee that ICAN, more than anyone else, has in the past year given the efforts to achieve a world without nuclear weapons a new direction and new vigor," it said. 

Launched in 2007, the organization is a coalition of nongovernmental organizations in 101 countries aimed at promoting global nuclear disarmament. 

The Nobel committee honored ICAN for its efforts to achieve a prohibition of nuclear weapons under international law through the U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

The treaty, which would enter into force 90 days after at least 50 countries both sign and ratify it, bans efforts to develop, produce, test, manufacture, acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. 

The treaty bans efforts to develop, produce, test, manufacture, acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. 

Although as of Sept. 20 the treaty had been signed by more than 40 countries, including the Holy See, the United States and other countries possessing nuclear weapons did not take part in the negotiations and do not plan to sign the treaty.

"We hope that with this year's prize, we can support the great efforts ICAN has made to give new momentum and new vigor" to the goal of a nuclear-free world, the Nobel committee said. 

"We live in a world where the risk of nuclear weapons being used is greater than it has been for a long time," the committee said. "Some states are modernizing their nuclear arsenals, and there is a real danger that more countries will try to procure nuclear weapons, as exemplified by North Korea."

The Vatican also has shared its concern regarding North Korea's nuclear ambitions, and regarding the tensions North Korea's actions have caused with the United States. 

“There is a real danger that more countries will try to procure nuclear weapons, as exemplified by North Korea.”

"The rising tensions over North Korea's growing nuclear program are of special urgency," Archbishop Paul Gallagher, Vatican foreign minister, said Sept. 20 at a U.N. conference on the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.

"The threat or use of military force have no place in countering proliferation," he said, "and the threat or use of nuclear weapons in countering nuclear proliferation are deplorable."

In his speech to the United Nations Sept. 25, 2015, Pope Francis urged the international community to prohibit nuclear weapons, which provoke "fear and distrust" among nations and threaten "the destruction of all mankind." 

"There is urgent need to work for a world free of nuclear weapons, in full application of the nonproliferation treaty, in letter and spirit, with the goal of a complete prohibition of these weapons," the pope said.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Pope Francis speaks from the Vatican as he addresses Canadian youths in a video message that was included in a Salt and Light Television program on Oct. 22 (CNS photo/courtesy Holy See Press Office).
“The world, the church, are in need of courageous young people, who are not cowed in the face of difficulties," the pope said.
Michael J. O’LoughlinOctober 23, 2017
Men walk near destroyed buildings as thousands of Somalis gathered to pray at the site of the country's deadliest attack and to mourn hundreds of victims at the site of the attack in Mogadishu, Somalia, on Oct. 20. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)
Mogadishu was rocked to its core on Oct. 14 by a truck bombing that left 358 dead and hundreds wounded. The missing are still being sifted for among the scorched rubble.
Kevin ClarkeOctober 23, 2017
Pope Francis issues public correction to Cardinal Robert Sarah on who has final say over liturgical translations.
Gerard O'ConnellOctober 22, 2017
It is astonishing to think that God would choose to enter the world this way: as a fragile newborn who could not even hold up his own head without help.
Ginny Kubitz MoyerOctober 20, 2017