• ICAN awarded Nobel Peace Prize for work to bring about the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons – which bans nuclear weapons because of their horrific effects
  • Award highlights the positive change campaigners and committed States can bring about together
  • Nuclear-armed Britain, US and France will snub Nobel ceremony by refusing to send their ambassadors – but British Shadow Minister will attend

London, 8 December: On Sunday 10 December 2017, in Oslo, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) will collect the Nobel Peace Prize for our work to “draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons” and our “ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition on such weapons.”

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, adopted by the majority of the world’s countries at the UN in July 2017, places nuclear weapons firmly outside of the law – alongside the other weapons of mass destruction, which are banned under other conventions.

“Any use of nuclear weapons would be a humanitarian catastrophe,” said Richard Moyes, Managing Director of Article 36. “Nuclear disarmament is critical and possible. The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is the way forward to reach the end of nuclear weapons.”

“This treaty builds on previous humanitarian disarmament treaties, and shows what can be achieved by a committed group of civil society organisations and states working together,” said Laura Boillot, Programme Manager at Article 36. “The nuclear weapons ban treaty stigmatises nuclear weapons and will impact even those states like the UK, that are currently refusing to join, by eroding the legitimacy of these weapons.”

Britain, alongside the United States and France, confirmed last week that they would not send their ambassadors to the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony – because they do not want to join an international treaty for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons.

“Is the government intimidated by the efforts of a civil society coalition to improve global security?” asked Elizabeth Minor, Advisor at Article 36. “ICAN is seeking to marginalise the role of weapons of mass destruction in international relations. This boycott is a petty gesture when Britain and others should be getting serious about removing the threat of nuclear weapons to our world.”

Global tensions are currently heightened over nuclear weapons, with an ongoing cycle of escalation and sanction between the Trump administration and North Korea. Though the nuclear prohibition treaty does not provide a quick resolution to this current crisis, it provides a pathway to nuclear disarmament – which is the only long-term solution to the dangers posed by nuclear weapons.

The Shadow Minister for Peace and Disarmament, Fabian Hamilton, will be attending, having been invited by the Nobel Committee to the ceremony alongside other dignitaries and parliamentarians. Article 36 encourages all across the political spectrum to take similar steps to learn more about the opportunity the treaty provides for the security of Britain as well as for people across the world.

 

Notes to editors

Article 36 is International Steering Group member of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, a global coalition of 468 organisations in 101 countries

An embargoed copy of ICAN’s Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech is available on request.

ICAN partners in the UK will be holding a demonstration outside the Ministry of Defence on Saturday 9th December, at 11am. For more information contact pressoffice@cnduk.org

The Nobel Peace Prize ceremony will be streamed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1daV8n6fTY

 

Contacts in Oslo:

Elizabeth Minor +44 7790 418 821 elizabeth@article36.org

Laura Boillot +44 7515 575 175 laura@article36.org

Richard Moyes +44 7875 509 120 richard@article36.org

 

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