Nobel Peace Prize for the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)

06.10.2017 - Article

With over 450 organisations in 100 countries, the global alliance ICAN, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, is committed to disarmament, peace and the banning of nuclear weapons. The organisation has now been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. “Together with ICAN, I am delighted that the Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to this organisation”, said Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel.

Growing danger posed by nuclear weapons

ICAN: working for a world free from nuclear weapons
ICAN: working for a world free from nuclear weapons© dpa/picture-alliance

“The prize pays tribute to the work done by ICAN and all of the other organisations that are working towards a world free from nuclear weapons”, said Gabriel.

Awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to ICAN demonstrated the Nobel Committee’s keen awareness of the growing danger posed by nuclear weapons, he added. He said that the world was currently facing a spiral of fresh nuclear rearmament not only in North Korea, but also in Europe. Gabriel stated that Germany was also committed to disarmament and to a world without nuclear weapons, despite differences of opinion regarding the ways in which this objective should be achieved. The Federal Government is therefore involved in a range of disarmament initiatives.

The Federal Government is committed to disarmament

For example, Germany is cooperating with 11 other non‑nuclear‑weapon states, including Mexico and Chile, in the Non‑Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (NPDI) in order to advocate progress on nuclear disarmament in a dialogue with the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (P5). On 21 September 2017, the NPDI met at ministerial level on the fringes of this year’s UN General Assembly at the invitation of Foreign Minister Gabriel and his Japanese counterpart Kono, adopting Joint Statements on both nuclear disarmament and North Korea.

Moreover, together with Canada and the Netherlands and with the close involvement of the nuclear‑weapon states, the Federal Government has initiated a process that is intended to culminate in negotiations on a ban on the production of fissile materials as part of a Fissile Material Cut‑off Treaty (FMCT – a “treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices”). Banning the production of fissile materials is an important part of the step‑by‑step approach pursued by the Federal Government that seeks to ensure effective, verifiable and irreversible nuclear disarmament.

Friedensdenkmal in Hiroshima. Auf die japanische Stadt wurde am 6. August 1945 die erste Atombombe abgeworfen.
Friedensdenkmal in Hiroshima. Auf die japanische Stadt wurde am 6. August 1945 die erste Atombombe abgeworfen.© picture alliance / Friso Gentsch

Work on negative security assurances in the context of the Non‑Proliferation Treaty as well as long‑term efforts to strengthen and continue to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear‑Test‑Ban Treaty (CTBT) as a member of the Group of Friends of the CTBT are further elements of the Federal Government’s step‑by‑step approach to nuclear disarmament.

Germany is involved in efforts to put a robust and credible verification system in place as an essential element of future nuclear disarmament within the framework of the International Partnership for Nuclear Disarmament Verification (IPNDV). It was with this in mind that the Federal Government hosted a meeting of the IPNDV in Berlin for the first time in March 2017.

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