OSLO, Norway – The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, a forceful show of support for a grassroots effort that seeks to pressure the world's nuclear powers to give up the weapons that could destroy the planet.
The choice of the little-known coalition of disarmament activists put the Nobel committee again at the forefront of geopolitics at a time when fears are rising over North Korea's nuclear and missile program and the invective it has drawn from President Donald Trump.
The committee cited the tiny, Geneva-based ICAN for its work that led to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons that was reached in July at the United Nations.
The group “has been a driving force in prevailing upon the world's nations to pledge to cooperate ... in efforts to stigmatize, prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons,” Norwegian Nobel Committee chairwoman Berit Reiss-Andersen said in the announcement.
More than 120 countries approved the treaty over opposition from nuclear-armed countries and their allies. In a statement issued after the Nobel was announced, the U.S. reiterated its position that the treaty “will not result in the elimination of a single nuclear weapon.”
The prize is likely to give new momentum to ICAN and its allies in the coming months as the group tries to achieve ratification of the treaty by 50 nations. That would allow the ban to become binding under international law for those countries and put nuclear-armed states in the uncomfortable position of being outliers.