International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)
The Nobel Peace Prize 2017
Founded: 2007, Australia
Prize motivation: “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”
Prize share: 1/1
Fighting to prevent nuclear disaster
ICAN is an international organisation with partner organisations in more than one hundred countries, including Norway. Its headquarters are in Geneva. The organisation was founded in 2007 to mobilise people all over the world to convince their governments to support a ban on nuclear weapons. In the eyes of the initiators, the nuclear powers were not fulfilling their pledges of nuclear disarmament under the 1970 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
The foundation of ICAN was instigated by the organisation awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985, the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War. The campaign was also inspired by the 1987 Peace Prize laureate, Jody Williams and the International Campaign to Ban Landmines.
ICAN took part in planning and implementing several inter-governmental conferences that focused attention on the catastrophic humanitarian consequences a nuclear war would entail for humanity. This contributed to the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption in 2016 of a resolution to commence negotiations on an international legal prohibition of nuclear weapons.
In 2017, 122 of the United Nations’ member states voted in favour of a treaty prohibiting the development, acquisition, stockpiling or use of nuclear weapons. No nuclear powers or NATO countries supported the treaty. Of the Nordic countries, only Sweden voted for the treaty.