The Nobel Peace Prize

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, October 13th, 2017 - 12 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, Donald Trump, International, Politics, war - Tags:

Last week, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).

This is a coalition of NGO’s from over 100 countries, which has led the charge to convince nations to outlaw nuclear weapons.

The committee honored ICAN 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.”

In July, prodded by ICAN, the world took a legal step toward global nuclear disarmament with the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, meant to legally prohibit atomic arms. More than 100 countries have signed the treaty, though none of the eight acknowledged nuclear powers have. (Israel, which is presumed to have nuclear weapons, has also not signed the treaty.) With ratification by 50 states, nukes would be legally prohibited.

In a post on its Facebook page, ICAN called the award an honor, adding, “This is a time of great global tension, when fiery rhetoric could all too easily lead us, inexorably, to unspeakable horror. The spectre of nuclear conflict looms large once more. If ever there were a moment for nations to declare their unequivocal opposition to nuclear weapons, that moment is now.”

If you’ve been to a Pax Christi or anti-nuclear weapons meeting in New Zealand you’ll see that almost all of the remaining activists are well into their sixties and most are in their seventies. Many have been to jail on their youth, and their journals are full of arcane and edgy activists with very tough stories. Sit down for a decent conversation with them and you will learn a lot about how to live a faithful life to the fullest.

The Nobel committee’s propitious timing to the honour was quite pointed. The United States and North Korea, both nuclear powers, have been , and U.S. President Donald Trump has hinted at a willingness to wage nuclear war.

The Trump administration is trying to jettison or at least overhaul the 2015 deal with Iran that pushed back its nuclear weapons development by at least a decade. And Trump himself has called for a more robust nuclear arsenal, publicly comparing the aged U.S. nuclear deterrent with Russia’s.

ICAN was not shy about pointing out the widespread concern Trump’s rhetoric has spawned. “The election of President Donald Trump has made a lot of people feel very uncomfortable with the fact that he alone can authorize the use of nuclear weapons,” said Beatrice Fihn, the group’s executive director. “There are no right hands for nuclear weapons.”

The aim of a legal prohibition across all nations is to establish a norm similar to those other banned weapons, and to exert an influence over time. It may appear unlikely in the current formation of world affairs, but ICAN and the Nobel Committee are sending strong signals that rebuke nuclear warmongering and promote the eradication of nuclear weapons for all time.

It’s been a long, long time since our country took a leadership position on this, but for those activists who continue, Sweden’s Nobel Committee’s honour will encourage them to keep at it.

12 comments on “The Nobel Peace Prize”

  1. cleangreen 1

    This post clearly depicts what a mess the world is in now that the global ‘corporate media’ rules our minds.

    We need to ave our new ‘free media’ show us a better way to solve the many global skirmishes from now on and stop using the industrial munitions complex media from now on.

  2. DH 2

    Seems a pretty pointless exercise to me, the ones who we really don’t want to have nuclear weapons have no interest in world opinion.

    North Koreans can now pretty much give up the last vestiges of hope of ever being free, as will Iranians when they get the bomb.

  3. cleangreen 3

    DH, are you advocating the use of nuclear weapons?

    Only a fool would entertain use of them, so it is good to begin the discussion now befiore your life is snuffed out right?

    “The committee honored ICAN for “its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons”

    • DH 3.1

      I don’t know how you came to that conclusion, bit of a stretch to read support for nukes from my comment.

      I think it’s pointless because it hasn’t, and isn’t likely to, achieve anything useful.

      ““The committee honored ICAN for “its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons”

      Do you really think anyone on the planet doesn’t already know that?

  4. Sparky 4

    Bit like trying to abolish bad weather……but nice try nonetheless…..That said abolishing climate change is real and achievable, maybe a goal for this coming year going forward?

    • Ad 4.1

      – Atmospheric nuclear testing
      – Paris Climate Agreement
      – Chlorofluorocarbons
      – Antarctic fishing treaty

      Lots of barriers, but all able to be overcome .

  5. Macro 5

    Hmmm this post brought this to mind:
    Nuclear War Narrowly Averted as Trump loses the Codes
    Apparently he put them in his contacts list.
    Weird – but he had two missed calls from that number!
    Whilst this may all seem a joke – remember that this is the idiot who wants to trash all nuclear arms treaties and all the “limitations” that places, and to which every President has signed up to since Regan because he wants to increase the US nuclear arsenal 10 fold. (ie the number of fingers on his tiny hands). Apparently the reason Tillerson, upon hearing him say this, called him a “f**king moron”.
    The world is in a dangerous place right now and it’s about time the Republicans implemented the 25th Amendment.

  6. JC 6

    “It’s been a long, long time since our country took a leadership position on this, but for those activists who continue, Sweden’s Nobel Committee’s honour will encourage them to keep at it.”

    kia kaha

  7. JC 7

    “This prize is a tribute to the tireless efforts of many millions of campaigners and concerned citizens worldwide who, ever since the dawn of the atomic age, have loudly protested nuclear weapons, insisting that they can serve no legitimate purpose and must be forever banished from the face of our earth.”

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