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For immediate release October 6, 2017 (further details may be added later)

Nobel Peace Prize Goes to International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)

Landmark Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons Bans Research, Possession, Use, Nuclear Deterrence

Supported by most of world’s countries; 53 signatures in first two weeks

Contact: Greg Mello, 505-265-1200 (office), 505-577-8563 (cell – best today)

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Albuquerque, New York, Geneva – This morning, the Nobel Committee in Oslo awarded (video, statement) the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) for its successful efforts to bring to life a treaty that bans all aspects of nuclear weapons.

ICAN is an international campaign of, at present, 468 organizations in over 100 countries. ICAN's statement in response to the award.

Study Group Director Greg Mello: “The treaty is a truly historic achievement. It was brought into being by a remarkable global ‘partnership of the generations,’ adroitly managed by ICAN on a shoestring budget, with the heavy lifting done by its team of outstanding citizen diplomats, mostly based outside the US. It was also a partnership between the diplomatic community and civil society, made possible by courage and mutual professionalism.

“It is the first true multilateral nuclear disarmament treaty ever successfully negotiated. All other extant multilateral treaties deal primarily or exclusively with preventing proliferation.

“We are proud to have been a part of this effort. The work of Ray Acheson and her colleague Mia Gandenberger, both on our board of directors, in supporting these fruitful efforts for several years bears special recognition.”

The Treaty prohibits developing, testing, producing, manufacturing, possessing, stockpiling and deploying nuclear weapons, transferring or receiving them from others, using or threatening to use nuclear weapons, allowing any stationing or deployment of nuclear weapons on national territories of signatories, and assisting, encouraging, or inducing any of these prohibited acts. The Treaty requires each signatory state to develop "legal, administrative and other measures, including the imposition of penal sanctions, to prevent and suppress" these prohibited activities.

The Treaty will enter in force 90 days after at least 50 countries have ratified it.  The Treaty can be amended at regular or extraordinary meetings of signatories by a two-thirds majority. 

The Treaty was concluded on July 7 of this year ("Historic Treaty Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons Adopted at United Nations," Jul 7, 2017). It was the product of negotiations that began in March (“US, Allies, Stage Protest Outside UN General Assembly Hall as Nations Gather in Unprecedented Meeting to Ban Nuclear Weapons,” Mar 27, 2017). The negotiations and Treaty fulfill a General Assembly mandate passed last December (“In Historic Vote, UN General Assembly Mandates 2017 Negotiations to Ban Research, Development, Testing, Stockpiling, Use of Nuclear Weapons,” Dec 23, 2016). In the summer of 2016, elements of a possible treaty were discussed at length in Geneva by a special Open-Ended Working Group involving most of the world's countries (“UN Disarmament Working Group Calls for 2017 Negotiations to Ban Nuclear Weapons,” Aug 19, 2016). These meetings were the result of years of efforts by civil society and leading states.

Further background can be found at our web page devoted to this process, as well as from the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) and that of Reaching Critical Will.


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