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Nobel Peace Prize to ICAN

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The Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP), with a deep sense of solidarity, warmly welcomes the conferral of the Nobel Peace Prize to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). By bestowing this honour, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has recognised the significant contribution of ICAN to the formation of the first-ever multilateral “Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons,” that bans the possession, production, use, stockpiling, deployment and transport of nuclear weapons. In short, the treaty sets a new international standard for moving towards a nuclear weapons-free world. This treaty will come into force when a minimum of 50 countries sign and ratify it. Already, there are 53 signatories, and the ratification process has begun. Once the treaty is established under international law, the nine existing nuclear weapons states (NWS), including India, will, by virtue of the treaty, find themselves on the wrong side of the law.

The struggle to abolish slavery was given an enormous fillip by the prior establishment of a moral–legal principle criminalising the institution. In a similar way, ICAN realised that helping in the creation of a moral–legal principle denou­ncing nuclear weapons would be a major step forward in the struggle to eliminate these weapons globally. The existing NWS, that boycotted the United Nations-supported negotiations to bring about this nuclear weapons ban treaty, now stand rebuked. The award also comes at an opportune time, just as the new Trump administration is contemplating walking out of the Iran nuclear deal framework agreement of 2015, between Iran, the P5+1 and the European Union and is engaging in warmongering against North Korea, which can only worsen the situation.

This award recognises the validity of ICAN’s powerful arguments, specifically, the huge human cost of a possible nuclear war, and thus bases the treaty on humanitarian grounds. Moreover, the treaty asserts the immorality of nuclear deterrence, that is, justifying possession of nuclear weapons in the name of national security. The recognition of ICAN’s work will help to generate wider public awareness of the all too real prospect of a nuclear outbreak somewhere, sometime, and therefore the vital necessity of citizens everywhere to struggle for a nuclear weapons-free world.

Among the most likely sites for such an outbreak to occur is South Asia, where India and Pakistan (both possessing nuclear power) have been in a state of a continuous “hot–cold” war for 70 years, with no resolution in sight. Indeed, the Indian Air Force chief in a display of nuclear machismo has just publicly stated that India can locate and destroy Pakistan’s nuclear sites, to which his counterpart has responded with equal belligerence.

The CNDP extends its full support to ICAN and other anti-nuclear organi­sations worldwide, in our ongoing collective effort to bring about regional and global nuclear disarmament. In this respect, CNDP will work towards creating a broader national platform, and an action programme to take this struggle forward.

Lalita Ramdas, Achin Vanaik, Anil Chaudhary, Sukla Sen
Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace

 

Updated On : 13th Oct, 2017

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