Anti-nuclear weapons group wins Nobel Peace Prize

A medal of Alfred Nobel is pictured prior to the beginning of a press conference to announce the winner of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Medicine on October 2, 2017 in Stockholm. (AFP/Jonathan Nackstrand/Getty Images/CBS)

OSLO, Norway (AP) — The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons has won the Nobel Peace Prize.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee honored the Geneva-based group “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.”

The statement, read by committee chairwoman Berit Reiss-Andersen, said that “through its inspiring and innovative support for the U.N. negotiations on a treaty banning nuclear weapons, ICAN has played a major part in bringing about what in our day and age is equivalent to an international peace congress.”

Asked by journalists whether the prize was essentially symbolic, given that no international measures against nuclear weapons have been reached, Reiss-Andersen said that “what will not have an impact is being passive.”

The director of the anti-nuclear campaign Beatrice Fihn says “it sends a message to all nuclear-armed states and all states that continue to rely on nuclear weapons for security that it is unacceptable behavior.”

Fihn adds to reporters “we can’t threaten to indiscriminately slaughter hundreds of thousands of civilians in the name of security. That’s not how you build security.”

Fihn says the group has received a phone call minutes before the official announcement was made that ICAN had won the prize. But she thought it was “a prank” and she didn’t believe it until heard the name of the group during the Peace Prize announcement in Oslo.

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