The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, known as ICAN, has won this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee applauded the group for highlighting “the catastrophic humanitarian consequences” of nuclear weapons use and for leading efforts to create a treaty banning nuclear weapons.
That treaty was signed this year by 53 countries, though only three have ratified it – Thailand, Guyana and the Vatican.
Suffice it to say, the treaty faces major headwinds, including strong pushback from the US and every other nuclear state.
Earlier this year, U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley mocked those behind the treaty, saying they didn’t understand the role nuclear weapons play in making the world safer.
“As a mom, as a daughter, there is nothing I want more for my family than a world with no nuclear weapons, but we have to be realistic.”
But U.S. opposition didn’t deter ICAN’s executive director, Beatrice Fihn, who spoke to Talk Media News this summer about the value of the nuclear ban treaty:
“So basically we think that this can set a norm, and it can change behavior even if states with nuclear weapons don’t sign on to it. We’ve seen that be very effective in the treaties that prohibit other weapons, like the Landmines Treaty, for example. The United States has never been a party to that treaty, but has still decided to follow the rules on the Landmines Treaty.”
“Just like climate change, this is not an issue we can just look to one or two or three states to solve – they’re not going to solve it, we have to solve it together. And this treaty is a good starting point. It’s a basis to work on to delegitimize nuclear weapons and make them much more unattractive and unwanted than they currently are today.”
The Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty will go into effect once it’s ratified by 50 countries.