This year’s Nobel Peace Prize will be awarded to campaign group behind the UN Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons
CAMPAIGNERS AGAINST NUCLEAR WEAPONS across Scotland have welcomed news that the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize will be awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), the advocacy group who were instrumental in the passing of the United Nations Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) earlier this year.
Arthur West, Chair of the Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), told CommonSpace: “This is a well deserved award to a campaign which does outstanding work in the struggle to rid our world of the evil of nuclear weapons and played a major role in achieving the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, adopted this year with the support of 122 countries.
“Scottish CND are proud to be a partner of this international campaign and will continue working with them to achieve a nuclear free world.”
“This is a well deserved award to a campaign which does outstanding work in the struggle to rid our world of the evil of nuclear weapons.” Scottish CND Chair Arthur West
Speaking on behalf of Trident Ploughshares, David Mackenzie commented: “It is wonderful that ICAN now has global recognition of the work it has done in supporting and resourcing all those who have worked for the TPNW, such as the international network of anti-nuclear campaigners, the far-sighted diplomats, but above all the the Hibakusha, whose first-hand testimony to the the horrifying consequences of these weapons has been a critical element in the establishing the Treaty.
“This award also means that it will now be impossible to ignore the TPNW and the challenge it poses to the nuclear-armed states, including the UK.
“It is hugely encouraging to us in Scotland, given the popular, parliamentary and governmental rejection of weapons of mass destruction. More than ever we have to see ourselves as part of that normal and majority world that wants nukes eliminated.”
“The risk of nuclear war is greater than at any time since the Cold War.” Brian Larkin, Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre
Brian Larkin of the Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre also said: “The award of the Peace Prize will massively boost awareness of the Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.
“With the crisis in North Korea, and, the uncertainty of Donald Trump – who has repeatedly threatened the use of nuclear weapons – in the White House, the risk of nuclear war is greater than at any time since the Cold War. It is vital that people everywhere understand the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapon and that the only way to prevent any future their use is to ban them.
“But the countries that possess nuclear weapons, and those that want them, will not relinquish them without a fight. The UK should take note, and shift from opposing this treaty and sign it now.”
Veteran Scottish anti-nuclear activist Janet Fenton, who is in New York working on ways to strengthen the ban treaty, also offered a delighted response to the news, saying: “One immediate practical thing is that I hope that this will mean that the campaign will get the financial and practical resources it needs to keep working as the Treaty moves on from adoption to its final aim – the total elimination of nuclear weapons.
“Another expectation is that the Scottish government will be sending its congratulations and our elected representatives will be signing the ICAN Parliamentary Pledge as fast as they can.
“Another expectation is that the Scottish government will be sending its congratulations and our elected representatives will be signing the ICAN Parliamentary Pledge as fast as they can.” Janet Fenton
“Surely this validation will get through to the nuclear-armed states that it is time to dismantle their suicidally dangerous and deeply undemocratic weapons of mass destruction.
“On a personal level I am so happy that I have been an ICAN campaigner since its inception and feel so connected and grateful to all of us who have been part of this truly international movement, those who were in New York for the negotiations and those from Africa and South America, from Greenham Common and Los Alamos, the Japanese Hibakusha and many more from far and wide. I hope to see many of them all at the demonstration at Faslane next September, the one I hope shuts it down.”
Berit Reiss-Andersen, leader of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, said following the announcement: “We live in a world where the risk of nuclear weapons being used is greater than it has been for a long time.”
ICAN reacted to the news with a statement on its Facebook page, saying: “This award shines a needed light on the path the ban treaty provides towards a world free of nuclear weapons.
“Before it is too late, we must take that path.”
TPNW was passed by the United Nations in July, making it the first legally-binding international agreement to eliminate nuclear weapons. On 20 September, the treaty was ratified at the UN headquarters in New York, gaining sufficient signatures to come into force within 90 days.
Speaking to CommonSpace in September, Dr Tilman Ruff, a founding member of ICAN, said: “There’s a way for every state to join this treaty. No state can say ‘It’s not relevant to us.’ Whether you’ve had nuclear weapons, have them now, have them stationed on your soil, or are aligned with a nuclear armed state, there are pathways for you to join.”
Picture courtesy of Scottish CND
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