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ICAN is Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize 2017!

 International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

October 6, 2017, 11:00 am, Oslo, Norway:

"The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2017 to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). The organization is receiving the award 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."

Watch the announcement on Youtube .

Read the press release from the Norwegian Nobel Committee Nobel Prize website.


A small and subjective selection.

You can read the full ICAN statement here.

Congratulations by the Austrian Minister for European and International Affairs here (German only).
More statements from Austrian politicians through the Austrian Press Agency (in German).

Austrian Federal President A. van der Bellen on twitter: "Congratulations to @nuclearban! It's our common responsibility to stand for a world without nuclear weapons."

Report by Wiener Zeitung, the official newspaper of the Republic of Austria here (in German)

"In these times of great uncertainty and upheaval in many corners of the world, the work of ICAN is of the utmost urgency." - Dalai Lama http://pic.twitter.com/nkihy5rR4y

MFA Ireland: "Minister welcomes Nobel Peace Prize to International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons" read here. Has explicit reference to the core group of states which made the Ban Treaty possible: Austria, Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria and South Africa

DER SPIEGEL says: "Verdient hätten den Friedensnobelpreis neben Ican auch diejenigen, die seit noch Längerem versuchen, ein neues Hiroshima zu verhindern: die vielen Tausend Diplomaten, Wissenschaftler, Fahnder sowie aktive und ehemalige Politiker, die in Organisationen wie der Global-Zero- oder der Nuclear Threat Initiative, in Laboren und Behörden seit Jahrzehnten tagein, tagaus gegen die Verbreitung von Atomwaffen und Nuklearmaterial kämpfen. Einige von ihnen, etwa die Global-Zero-Mitglieder Richard Burt und Igor Iwanow, waren im Kalten Krieg noch Gegner."
(Full text in German: http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/friedensnobelpreis-2017-fuer-ican-idealisten-auf-verlorenem-posten-kommentar-a-1171649.html )
Note: among the diplomats, I personally want to highlight Alexander Kmentt (on Twitter ), who - inter alia - was the main organiser of the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons (see link on page above).
Beatrice Fihn [ICAN president](@BeaFihn), Oct 8 on Twitter: Replying to @alexanderkmentt @nuclearban @Nobel Thank you Alex! This would not have happened without yours and Austria's commitment and leadership. The humanitarian pledge changed it all!

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (Ban Treaty)

TPNW Status @ ICAN
The official Treaty page at the UN Office of Disarmament web site with

ICAN's Ban Treaty page gives access to

  • Full text of the treaty
  • Status of signature/ratification
  • Government positions
  • Photos of the negotiations

See also links on my Meteorological support for nuclear disarmament and weapons control page.

Ratification by Austria, 8 May 2018

On 8 May 2018, Austria deposited its instrument of ratification, being the 9th state to do so. See ICAN News page on the Austrian ratification.

A nice summary of the parlamentarian process (votes in both chambers were taken unanimously) in German can be found on ICAN Austria's web site.

The official parliament documentation contains, in German language: Vertragstext, Vorblatt und WFA, Erläuterungen, Vertragstext in deutschsprachiger Übersetzung, in englischer Sprache, in französischer Sprache, as well as links to all the procedural steps and speeches made by parlamentarians.
An abridged version is provided by the Parlamentskorrespondenz of 21 March 2018 (the date when the National Council adopted the ratification) under the heading Nationalrat ratifiziert Anti-Atomwaffen-Abkommen.
Disappointingly, the ratification has received almost zero attention in the press.

Swiss government against signing the TPNW (August 2018)

Surprisingly, the Swiss government (Bundesrat) has decided not to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The decsion is based on a 11-page paper by the administration which presented a list of pros and cons. The paper is available at https://www.eda.admin.ch/dam/eda/de/documents/aussenpolitik/sicherheitspolitik/2018-bericht-arbeitsgruppe-uno-TPNW_de.pdf (in German).Many observers found it shocking that the Swiss government listed as one of the counterarguments that this would block the option "to take shelter under a nuclear umbrella" (of NATO, presumably) in the case of armed attack.

A personal comment on the Ban Treaty discussion

(coming later)

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