Nobel Peace Prize 2017: International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)

Major shareholders at nuclear weapons building corporations are anticipating brisk “business” when $1 trillion of United States taxpayer money becomes spent over 30 years on nuclear stocks “modernization and upgrades”.

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons being named recipients of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize is undoubtedly the most welcome and profound development the world has ever experienced with regard to war and peace, establishing a new and higher moral standard for any intent on choosing the “right side of history”.

A new reality has manifested on Earth. The (9) nations possessing nuclear weapons are now more clearly seen as on “the wrong side of history”, in essence outlaw regimes, or the “black sheep of the human family”.

Leaders in those nations possessing nuclear weapons may or may not understand, as Gandhi’s book title “All Men Are Brothers” reminds, that from a spirit perspective there is no such thing as “us and them”, but one human family sharing the Earth during this period of eternity.

The path toward total abolishment of nuclear weapons forever is now clearly visible to all people. Choosing that sacred path is the initial step toward establishing peace on Earth forever.

Global Justice in the 21st Century

 

Finally, the committee in Oslo that picks a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize each year selected in 2017 an awardee that is a true embodiment of the intended legacy of Alfred Nobel when he established the prize more than a century ago. It is also a long overdue acknowledgement of the extraordinary dedication of anti-nuclear activists around the planet who for decades have done all in their power to rid the world of this infernal weaponry before it inflicts catastrophe upon all living beings even more unspeakable that what befell the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on two infamous days in August 1945. Such a prize result was actually anticipated days before the announcement by Fredrik Heffermehl, a crusading Norwegian critic of past departures from Nobel’s vision by the prize committee. In making the prediction that the 2017 prize would be given in recognition of anti-nuclear activism Heffermehl…

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Historic For Humanity: 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Honors International Campaign To Abolish Nuclear Weapons.

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) was named recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for 2017. Ms. Beatrice Fihn serves as Executive Director of the global-based organization.

The announcement.

*******

Good morning, everybody.

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 groundbreaking efforts to achieve a treaty based prohibition on such weapons. We live in a world where the risk for nuclear weapons being used is greater than it has been for a long time. Some states are modernizing their nuclear arsenals, and there is a real danger that more countries will try to procure nuclear weapons, as exemplified by North Korea
Nuclear weapons pose a constant threat to humanity and all life on Earth.

Through binding international agreements the international community has previously adopted prohibitions against land mines, cluster munitions and biological and chemical weapons. Nuclear weapons are even more destructive, but have not yet been made the object of a similar international legal prohibition. Through its work ICAN has helped to fill this legal gap. An important argument in the rationale for prohibiting nuclear weapons is the unacceptable human suffering that nuclear weapons will cause. ICAN is a coalition of non-governmental organizations from around 100 different countries around the globe.

The Coalition has been a driving force in prevailing upon the world’s nations to pledge to cooperate with all relevant stakeholders in efforts to stigmatize, prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons. To date 108 states have made such a commitment known as the humanitarian pledge.

Furthermore, ICAN has been the leading civil society actor in the endeavor to achieve a prohibition of nuclear weapons under international law. On July 7, 2017, 122 of U.N. member states acceded to the treaty on prohibition of nuclear weapons. As soon as the treaty has been ratified by states, the ban on nuclear weapons will enter into force and will be binding under the international law for all the countries that are party to the treaty. The Norwegian Nobel Committee is aware that an international legal prohibition will in itself not eliminate a single nuclear weapon, and that so far neither the states that already have nuclear weapons nor their closest allies support the nuclear weapon ban treaty.

The committee wishes to emphasize that the next step towards attaining a world free of nuclear weapons must involve the nuclear weapons states. This year’s Peace Prize is therefore also a call upon these states to initiate serious negotiations, with a view to the gradual, balanced and carefully monitored elimination of the almost 15,000 nuclear weapons in the world.

Five of the states that currently have nuclear weapons – the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France and China – have already committed to this objective through their accession to the treaty on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons of 1970. The non-proliferation treaty will remain the primary international legal instrument for promoting nuclear disarmament and preventing further spread of such weapons.

It is now 71 years since the U.N. General Assembly in its very first resolution advocated the importance of nuclear disarmament and a nuclear-free world. With this year’s award the Norwegian Nobel Committee wishes to pay tribute to ICAN for giving new momentum to the effort to achieve this goal. The decision to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2017 to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons has a solid grounding in Alfred Nobel’s will.

The will specifies three different criteria for awarding the Peace Prize: 1.) the promotion of fraternity between nations, 2.) the advancement of disarmament and arms control, and 3.) the holding and promotion of peace congresses. ICAN works vigorously to achieve nuclear disarmament. ICAN and a majority of U.N. member-states have contributed to fraternity between nations by supporting the humanitarian pledge, and through its inspiring an innovative support for the UN negotiations on the 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.

It is the firm conviction of the Norwegian Nobel Committee that ICAN, more than anyone else, has in the past year given the effort to achieve a world without nuclear weapons a new direction and a new vigor.

Thank you very much.

*******

What is your message to the government(s) that has not signed the ban, including the Norwegian government?

The message is that this year’s Peace Prize is definitely an encouragement to them, and it is an encouragement to continue their obligations under the non-proliferation treaty, where they already have committed themselves to the goal of a nuclear-free world, and then in the process, a disarmament of nuclear weapons. We hope that with this year’s prize we can support the great effort that ICAN has made in giving new momentum, a new vigor, to the disarmament debate.

Is the timing the most important reason why you honor ICAN this year?

In one manner … yes. Of course, disarmament of nuclear weapons never go out of date. I have drawn a line back to the first U.N. resolution of 1946. But I do think that there is a popular belief among people all over the world that the world has become more dangerous, and that there is a tendency where we experience that the threat of nuclear conflicts have come closer.

What do you say to those who claim this is a symbolic prize, since none of the nuclear powers are behind the ban?

I disagree in such a criticism, because I do believe in that law matters. Laws, international laws and international obligations have in our experience had an effect, as I mentioned in this statement, that ban was definitely a part of the process when it came to cluster mines, land mines, biological and chemical weapons. The process will not be completed with a ban entirely. ICAN focuses on three steps: 1.) to stigmatize – that is the understanding of how devastating and dangerous these weapons are, and 2.) to prohibit and to eliminate, and 3.) to prohibit and eliminate our related processes, with different processes.

The Nobel Peace Prize has been given to numerous organizations fighting against the nuclear forces, nuclear weapons, but it doesn’t seem to have any effect.

I don’t agree in that statement either, because when you take a historical look it seems like there have been moments where it’s been more engagement among nuclear states to enter disarmament initiatives. I do not believe we are in such a moment today, and we do hope that it will have an impact, and what definitely will not have an impact is being passive and just accepting the state of the world.

The nuclear issue has had many candidates that’s been mentioned before, and I wonder did you consider giving, sharing the prize, between different activist groups or organizations or persons? Why did you land on this specific campaign?

You are correct. In this field there are many organizations and individuals who are active, and this year’s prize is a tribute to everyone, everybody working for disarmament. We have focused on ICAN because we feel, the Norwegian Nobel Committee, that they have taken a leading role in revitalizing this process. And they have managed in admirable manner to combine a popular engagement, almost becoming a grassroots movement, and engaging people of the world who are actually scared of the fact that they are supposed to be protected by atomic weapons. They have also managed to enter the legal playing field and the political playing field, and this work that they have achieved in bringing a new vitality into the debate.

They are outstanding – and therefore have been awarded this year’s Peace Prize.

Reuters. Are you sending, with this prize are you sending a message to any particular political leaders in the world, and also has the risk of Iranian nuclear deal unraveling been a factor in deciding the prize? Thank you. Has the risk that Iranian nuclear deal could unravel being a factor in your considerations? Thank you.

Thank you very much. We are sending messages in fact to all states, but also in particular to the nuclear weapons states, because it is a fact that states are in a different situation. The majority of the states of the world who have signed the ban treaty can do so without an immediate consequence on their armies and there they don’t have to disarm, where of course nuclear states are in a different position, and we do realize that it has to be a slower process for them. But the message we are sending is to remind them of the commitment that they have already made, that they also are obliged to work for a nuclear-free world, and by not entering the ban treaty that will have to be a preliminary position, because we share the final goal.

There has been an American diplomatic pressure on countries like Sweden to prevent them from signing the ICAN treatment, so is this price in a way kicking the leg, as one of your predecessors said, to the American president Donald Trump?

Not at all. I will underline again that this prize is an encouragement to all players in the field, but and I cannot see that it is a controversial prize because it is a shared goal. It will have to be a political process, and it has to be up to each individual state when they choose to enter the treaty. But they will, because the situation is such that it is only a preliminary position to not enter the treaty. We’re not kicking anybody’s leg with this prize; we are giving great encouragement, and we also want to help ICAN and focus on the extremely serious problem that the world is facing. People of the world do not want to be defended by nuclear weapons.

Is it the panel’s opinion that the carefully monitored elimination of weapons by the five original states would prevent proliferation among states like North Korea? (I have problems hearing your question, can you speak up please?) The carefully monitored elimination of nuclear weapons by the five original States … would that help to prevent proliferation among states like North Korea?

I wish I could answer, give a clear answer to that question, but on a general note I would say that when, if we have a development where the stigma really is strengthened as of today, I think it will affect all states in their behavior, both when it comes to disarmament but also from refraining actually to use nuclear weapons.

If I’m not mistaken, the E.U. Vice-president Mogherini also plays a role in ICAN. Will there be a possibility that she actually comes to touch the prize here in Oslo?

ICAN as an organization has been awarded the prize, and ICAN itself has to decide who will represent the organization at the Peace Award ceremony. ICAN has been informed today by its Executive Secretary Beatrice Fihn that they have received the Nobel Peace Prize of this year – and she was delighted

Thank you very much.

*******

(Thank you to Nobel Prize at YouTube)

 

Round the Hometurn Towards Adoption of a Strong Ban Treaty on 7 July

“A treaty to comprehensively and categorically ban nuclear weapons is within our grasp, and should be in our hands in less than a week.” … Writes co-president of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, Tilman Ruff.

IPPNW peace and health blog

by Tilman Ruff

On Wednesday 26 June, the UN conference to negotiate a treaty banning nuclear weapons undertook the first read-through of a revised draft treaty text prepared by the conference president, Costa Rican ambassador Elayne Whyte. Now two weeks into this final round, many in the room expressed some frustration at this further exchange of positions and views. With the clock ticking towards the conference end and target date for adoption of an agreed treaty text on 7 July, many delegates expressed their desire to get stuck into negotiating treaty text, paragraph by paragraph, line by line.

Between Wednesday 28 and Friday 30 June, the negotiating work of the conference proceeded in earnest, with 3 and occasionally 4 separate working groups considering different treaty elements. Though these sessions were closed to civil society, the sense of urgency and commitment was palpable, with delegates meeting late into the night.

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World Ban On Nuclear Weapons Closer To Reality.

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“A specter is haunting mankind. It is the specter of annihilation in a thermonuclear war.”

– ERIC HASS (1905-1980) American writer, editor

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“Global war has become a Frankenstein’s monster, threatening to destroy both sides… It contains now only the germs of a double suicide.”

– DOUGLAS MacARTHUR (1880-1964) American general

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“The power to destroy the world by the use of nuclear weapons is a power that cannot be used – we cannot accept the idea of such monstrous immorality… The time has now come for the nations of the world to submit to the just requisition of their conduct by international law.”

– LINUS PAULING (1901-1994) American scientist, Nobel Prize for Chemistry 1954, Nobel Peace Prize 1962

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“If we are not able to prevent a third world war, we shall go down in history – as the guilty generation, the generation which did nothing to prevent the annihilation of mankind itself.”

– U THANT (1909-1974) Burmese Secretary General, United Nations

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(Article by Jan Oberg – Originally posted at Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research … Thank you.)

On Mainstream Media Coverage of Nuclear War Risks and Nuclear Abolition

By Jan Oberg

TFF PressInfo # 421

June 30, 2017

ou’re probably an avid consumer of news and reports in one or more daily media – local, national or global. You want to be well-informed and say interesting things when you meet friends and colleagues.

And you certainly don’t want to find out that you’ve been taken for a ride by fake news, half-truths, bias or omissions by media that you trusted because you thought you could.

Now ask yourself whether you remember to have seen one or more of these essentially important initiatives and reports recently, all pertaining to nuclear weapons, the risk of nuclear war and advocacy of nuclear abolition:

1) That a large majority of UN members have drafted a treaty that shall declare nuclear weapons illegal, once and for all?
If not, go here and enlighten yourself on one of the most constructive and visionary initiatives in today’s otherwise gloomy world situation.

2) That a conference is taking place these very days about that goal and its process?
If not, go here.

3) That a scary new film shows why Americans should be very nervous about nuclear arsenals?
If not, go here.

4) That the Marshall Islands filed a lawsuit against all 9 nuclear weapons states for failing to comply with their international legal obligations?
If not, go here and see how the smallest actor of all took responsibility on behalf of 7 billion people.

5) That the Nuclear Crisis Group advocates – just a couple of days ago – that steps be taken urgently to de-escalate nuclear flash points such as NATO-Russia and North Korea?
It consists of predominantly former nuclear weapons commanders, ambassadors and scholars, mostly American.
If not, go herethis report has not been mentioned by one single mainstream/make-believe media!

6) That there is an open letter written to Trump and Putin, meeting in Hamburg soon, urging them to declare that a nuclear war can’t be won and must never be fought, and to cooperate on a series of other issues?
If not, go here – they are politicians, ministers and ambassadors from the US, Russia, Germany and England.

How many of these had you any knowledge about?

How prominently do you think they were featured if you saw them in the mainstream media – given their importance for the very survival of humankind?

If there were more than one or two you had never heard about, consider this:

They all involve NATO countries which possess the far majority of the world’s nuclear weapons. NATO is an alliance that is built on the right to use nuclear weapons.

There has never been a referendum about the desirability of nuclear weapons in any of the countries – also not those who call themselves democracies – that have acquired nuclear weapons. One must assume the reason to be that most normal citizens would not like to be “defended” by nuclear weapons.

It’s a tiny minority of countries, most of them NATO members who have nuclear arsenals. Many more countries have decided to never acquire nuclear weapons.

Let’s say that there are about 100 people in each of the nuclear countries who decide on whether or not to use nuclear weapons in a given situation – thus around 1000 people. It’s the largest concentration of power ever in human history – a God-like power to decide whether or not human beings worldwide shall continue to exist, or not.

In short, non-constituted, dictatorial and non-democratic. No one should be given the power to decide about the existence or destruction of 7 billion people. No political goal can justify it.

And finally ask yourself: Why do most of these so-called ‘leading’ media systematically ignore these issues today? Why is it that any sex scandal or details of the Cosby trial is more important? What should be our priorities?

Would it not be natural for them to provide public education and offer a fair hearing of the pros and contras of nuclear weapons and the whole mental and societal construction underlying these weapons – the nuclearism of our times?

Admittedly, I’ve got a nasty hunch: If citizens around the world were given free press balanced information instead of being kept in the dark, there would be a much stronger worldwide movement for the abolition of each and every nuclear device anywhere.

Further, thanks to humanity’s civilizational process these Evil weapons would be condemned and/or thrown on the heap of history as other evil constructs: slavery, cannibalism, absolute monarchy, dictatorships, child labour, pedophilia – and we would begin to question whether the exact same should not be done to non-nuclear weapons and wars too.

In the name of ethics, humanity, common sense and civilization. The US $ 100 billion which are spent annually on nuclear weapons systems alone could be allocated to alleviating human suffering.

Top editors of the ‘leading’ media look to what they believe would sell on the – shrinking – market. If they served humanity’s 7 billion instead of about 1000 masters of (nuclear) war they might well get more readers and sell more subscriptions and be seen by citizens as a force for the common good, not an integral part of MIMAC – the Military-Industrial-MEDIA-Academic Complex – that runs all these wars.

Yes, I know I’m just using the main argument of the Zeitgeist: the market and what will sell and yield a profit to shareholders.

If media people would think in terms of common sense, ethics and civil courage too and give us diverse, balanced and critical coverage of nuclear war risks, so much the better! Until then, bless the struggling independent truth-seeking media on the Internet!

Make-believe coverage of the feasibility or legitimacy of nuclear weapons and war as well as omissions of the nuclear facts of our daily lives contributes to increasing that very risk – the risk of the unthinkable: the end of humanity and the world as we know it.

***

Many others in the years since the first atomic bomb have shared Mr. Jan Oberg’s profound concerns over the potential use of nuclear weapons, and likewise called for their total abolition.

Among the men and women, holding varying positions which cross the spectrum, in “Good Thinking: Those Who’ve Tried to Halt Nuclear Weapons” – Anthony Donovan (3-hour, 38-minute documentary) are the following:

  • Sister Megan Rice
  • Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Karen Silkwood
  • Dorothy Day
  • John F. Kennedy
  • Jimmy Carter
  • Ronald Reagan
  • Mikhail Gorbachev
  • Linus Pauling
  • Albert Schweitzer
  • Paul Nitze
  • Michael Dukakis
  • George Bush
  • Dick Cheney
  • Jonathan Schell
  • Andrei Sakarov
  • Carl Sagan
  • Adlai Stevenson
  • Leo Tolstoy
  • Mahatma Gandhi
  • Grigoris Lambrakis
  • Pete Seeger
  • Pope John the 23rd
  • Thomas Merton
  • Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Veterans for Peace
  • John LaForge
  • Nelson Mandela

Historical events, situations and issues covered and discussed in the film include:

  • North Korea and nuclear weapons
  • Nuclear power and nuclear weapons
  • Nuclear weapons and the role of money
  • Taxes, military spending and nuclear weapons
  • United States Departments of Defense and Energy, nuclear weapons
  • Hiroshima and Nagasaki
  • Bomb shelters, air raids and nuclear weapons
  • The Continental Walk Against Nuclear Weapons
  • Sweden, shining example on nuclear weapons
  • United Nations conference to ban nuclear weapons
  • Terrorism and nuclear weapons
  • The nuclear corridor
  • United Nations, nuclear disarmament
  • The Golden Rule 1958
  • Deterrence, and the will to use nuclear weapons
  • Drones, warfare, nuclear weapons
  • Our veterans courage
  • We’ve been lucky
  • Nuclear weapons ban proclamations and Mayors for Peace
  • “Deterrence is obsolete, it will fail”
  • Wall Street profiteering, nuclear weapons
  • What do artists think about nuclear weapons?
  • How do our faiths inform us?
  • Precious Earth and animals
  • The women’s movement, nuclear weapons
  • Solar energy and nuclear weapons
  • Prestigious universities and nuclear weapons
  • Nevada test site, radiation
  • Within 5 minutes of blowing up the planet
  • What one nuclear detonation does
  • Engaged in magical thinking
  • A public health question
  • Verification delays progress – make them illegal

Humanity found the moral courage to create effective rules criminalizing biological and chemical weapons worldwide. Now is the time for humanity to rise with one voice and carry out determined collective actions powerful enough to accomplish the goal. Banish nuclear weapons from this Earth forever.

*******

Here is a segment from the documentary, focused on the multi-billion dollar nuclear weapons industry – the military-industrial complex warned about by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in his famous Farewell Address.

(Thank you to Good Thinking – The Documentary at YouTube)

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