Nobel Peace Prize awarded to anti-nuclear weapons campaigners

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The 2017 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded Friday to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee said ICAN was receiving the award 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 weapons.”

ICAN, a coalition of non-governmental organizations in one hundred countries dedicated to achieving a prohibition of nuclear weapons, said the “award shines a needed light on the path the ban treaty provides towards a world free of nuclear weapons.”

The organization said that it was a “great honor” to have been recognized for its role as a driving force behind the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which was adopted on July 7 with the support of 122 nations.

The treaty prohibits a catalog of nuclear weapon-related activity, including undertaking development, testing, production, manufacturing, acquiring, possessing or stockpiling nuclear weapons.

The United States, United Kingdom, France, Russia and China — the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, all of whom possess nuclear weapons — did not participate in the negotiation of the treaty.

“The belief of some governments that nuclear weapons are a legitimate and essential source of security is not only misguided, but also dangerous, for it incites proliferation and undermines disarmament,” ICAN said in a statement. ” All nations should reject these weapons completely — before they are ever used again.

“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.”

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