With all the bad news filling the headlines, we are thrilled to trumpet something uplifting: the awarding of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), a scrappy coalition of groups from around the world that played a decisive role in the adoption, this past July, of an international treaty banning the production, possession, and use of nuclear munitions. While many activists had become discouraged over the prospects for further progress on the nuclear issue, ICAN turned the tide by emphasizing the humanitarian impacts of a nuclear war, which would affect every country on the planet, whether or not they were parties to the fighting. As the Nobel Committee ruefully acknowledged, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons “will not in itself eliminate a single nuclear weapon,” given that the nuclear-armed states have shown no interest in signing it. For the organizations and governments that share ICAN’s objectives, this means a lot more work ahead to bring the treaty into force (this will occur when 50 nations ratify it) and persuade the nuclear-armed states to join it. Needless to say, this will not, in today’s fractious political landscape, prove an easy task. But getting… Read full this story
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