THE Nobel Peace Prize 2017 has been awarded to International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).
Chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Berit Reiss-Andersen, said the award had been made in recognition of “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”.
Betting firm William Hill had declared Pope Francis the favourite to land the award, but the pontiff was pipped by the anti nuke campaign.
The award is always announced in October but handed out on December 10 on he Anniversary of Alfred Nobel’s death.
The group is working to promote adherence to, and full implementation of, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.”
ICAN chief Beatrice Fihn told AFP: “We’re not done yet… The job isn’t done until nuclear weapons are gone.
“Nuclear weapons have the risk of literally ending the world as long as they exist, the risk will be there, and eventually our luck will run out.”
The campaign, which helped bring about the treaty, was launched in 2007 and today counts 468 partner organisations in 101 countries.
— The Nobel Prize (@NobelPrize) October 6, 2017
ICAN describes itself as a coalition of grassroots non-government groups in more than 100 nations. It began in Australia and was officially launched in Vienna in 2007.
“We live in a world where the risk of nuclear weapons being used is greater than it has been for a long time,” said Reiss-Andersen.
In July, 122 nations adopted the U.N. Treaty, but nuclear-armed states including the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France stayed out of the talks.
The Nobel prize seeks to bolster the case for disarmament as tensions between the United States and North Korea.
There is also growing uncertainty over the fate of a 2015 deal between Iran and major powers to limit Tehran’s nuclear programme.
Donald Trump has called the Iran agreement the “worst deal ever negotiated” and a senior administration official said on Thursday that Trump is expected to announce soon that he will de-certify the landmark pact.
The Norwegian committee that chooses the Nobel Peace Prize winner sorted through more than 300 nominations for this year’s award, which recognises both accomplishments and intentions.
The prize announcement comes Friday in the Norwegian capital Oslo, culminating a week in which Nobel laureates have been named in medicine, physics, chemistry and literature.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee does not release names of those it considers for the prize, but said 215 individuals and 103 organisations were nominated.
Observers saw the Syrian volunteer humanitarian organisation White Helmets as a top contender, along with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini for shepherding the deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program.
Last ten winners of the Prize
Here’s a rundown of the last ten people and organisations to take home the prestigious prize:
- Juan Manuel Santos, President of Coloumbia, 2016, for “ending a 50-year civil war in his country”
- The Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet, 2015, for “ts decisive contribution to the building of a pluralistic democracy in Tunisia in the wake of the Jasmine Revolution of 2011”
- Malala Yousafzai and Khailish Satyarthi, Education campaigners, 2014, for “their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education”
- The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, 2013, for “its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons”
- The European Union, 2012, for “for over six decades having contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe”
- Tawakkol Karman, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, women’s rights campaigners, 2011, for “their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work”
- Liu Xiaobo, literary critic and human rights campainger, 2010, for “his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China”
- Barack Obama, President of the United States, 2009, for “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples”
- Martti Ahtisaari, President of Finland, 2008, for “his important efforts, on several continents and over more than three decades, to resolve international conflicts”
- Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2007, for “their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change”