With the ongoing rift between various countries that are decked with disastrous nuclear weapons, we, the people, are living under a mushroom cloud of fear, as said by Setsuko Thurlow, an ICAN campaigner on their organisation’s behalf.
The statement was said on Sunday is Oslo where ICAN, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapon, received their Nobel Peace Prize. The organisation warned that humankind is just one “impulsive tantrum away” from destruction.
The statement reflects on so many things that we’ve seen over the course of this year. From the United States and North Korea exchanging threats over Pyongyang’s nuclear testing regime to India and Pakistan over their 70 year-long disagreements. The world is falling apart, every single day, and these threatening exchanges between countries on any day can result in the end of all.
“Will it be the end of nuclear weapons, or will it be the end of us?” the ICAN head, Beatrice Fihn, said in Oslo after receiving the peace prize on behalf of the anti-nuclear group. She also added, “The only rational course of action is to cease living under the conditions where our mutual destruction is only one impulsive tantrum away,” Fihn said. “[Nuclear weapons] are a madman’s gun held permanently to our temple.”
Earlier this year, the Nobel Committee chose the group as the winner of this year’s prize while recognising their campaign for a global treaty banning nuclear weapons that resulted in a UN treaty being adopted in July this year, under which states committed to never “develop, test, produce, manufacture, otherwise acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons”.
Watch the very moment Beatrice Fihn and Setsuko Thurlow from @nuclearban (ICAN) accept the Nobel Peace Prize diploma and medal. Congratulations ICAN! https://t.co/5V9fmReqrV
123 countries have voted for the treaty at the UN general assembly in July, while 56 countries till now, have signed up for it and three have ratified. The ban treaty will only be possible when at least 50 countries have signed and ratified it.
Established in 2007 in Melbourne, ICAN is a coalition of non-governmental organisations from 100 different countries and they’ve won the peace prize for its work “to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons”, the Nobel Committee said.
ICAN’s founding chairman, Dr. Tilman Ruff, said that the Nobel was a recognition for the millions of campaigners who had worked over decades for the abolition of nuclear weapons. “That particularly includes the survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki – the hibakusha – and victims of nuclear test explosions, including in Australia and the Pacific, whose painful personal testimonies have played such a crucial role.” as reported by The Guardian.
While the organisation was established and started from Australia, the country itself has not supported or signed the treaty. In fact, Australia was a key agitator in preliminary meetings in trying to get the resolution establishing treaty negotiations defeated.
Along with Australia, the other 8 known nuclear states like United States, Russia, France, North Korea, Israel, China, Britain, India, and Pakistan have decided not to back the nuclear ban treaty.
However, there’s a huge number that also supports the nuclear ban as day by day the frustration is increasing for the non-nuclear states due to the sclerotic movement towards disarmament.