Anti-nuclear-weapons group wins Nobel Peace Prize

Donald Trump in New York and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang

Although the fact that US President Donald Trump can authorise the use of nuclear weapons makes many people uncomfortable, there are really no right hands for nuclear weapons, says International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons head Beatrice Fihn.

The European Union's foreign policy chief welcomed the awarding of this year's Nobel Peace Prize to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.

Commending the organisation's work, The Revd Loraine Mellor, President of the Methodist Conference said: "Nuclear weapons are totally opposed to the love that God has for humankind".

"The more countries we can rally to reject nuclear weapons and the more public opinion changes to think that this is unacceptable, the harder it is going to be for the nuclear-armed states to justify it", she said.

The government clearly had to weigh the importance of a gesture on nuclear weapons versus the high stakes involved in trade talks and other cross-border issues. "We laid the foundations for ICAN to do its work", Tanaka said.

The Nobel Committee has described the group's work for a UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, now adopted by 122 nation, as ground breaking.

He is also engaged in a perilous game of brinksmanship with North Korea, threatening "fire and fury" and exchanging insults with young dictator Kim Jong Un.

"They have also shown the utter bankruptcy of the argument put forward by nuclear-armed states that nuclear weapons help keep the world safe: safety laced with the spectre of annihilation is an absurd fallacy".

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Mr Nash says superpowers like the U.S. need to lead from the front - and he has a message for President Trump.

ICAN founder Tilman Ruff said being awarded the Nobel Prize was "quite humbling" and "unbelievably joyful". ICAN's website crashed, as people around the world started researching the organisation named as the "driving force" behind the signing of the historic United Nations treaty. For example, Eisaku Sato, former prime minister of Japan, won in 1974 for maintaining that his country shouldn't have nukes and for having signed, on behalf of the nation, the nuclear arms Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have welcomed the awarding of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize to an worldwide group campaigning to eliminate nuclear weapons, but voiced frustration that Japan has still not joined an global treaty banning them.

ICAN's Asia-Pacific director Tim Wright used the announcement to push Australia to sign the nuclear ban treaty.

"The belief of some governments that nuclear weapons are a legitimate and essential source of security is not only misguided, but also unsafe, for it incites proliferation and undermines disarmament".

The prize announcement in the Norwegian capital, culminated a week in which Nobel laureates have been named in medicine, physics, chemistry and literature. Several nuclear powers, including the US, UK and France, boycotted the signing ceremony.

Although global atomic stockpiles have plummeted - from around 64,000 weapons in 1986 at the height of the Cold War to about 9,000 in 2017, according to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists (BAS) - they remain a global concern. "They have not lived up to the spirit of their agreement", he said.



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