The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons


What is ICAN?

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons came to life only ten years before winning the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize. Officially formed in Vienna on the sidelines of a nuclear non-proliferation conference, the non-profit functions as a global umbrella organization that unites groups working towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons. ICAN has 468 partner groups in 101 countries.


The perfect 10th birthday present

In naming ICAN as the Nobel Prize recipient (above), the Norwegian Nobel Committee highlighted the Geneva-based organization's "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." An ICAN spokesperson said it was "elated" to have won the prestigious award.


Focusing on the human risks

In its work to totally ban nuclear weapons, ICAN highlights their high humanitarian costs and their potential to unleash total environmental, medical and ecological descruction. It earned a significant victory when the UN adopted a new nuclear treaty in July 2017. However. ICAN's President Beatrice Fihn (above) has insisted that its work won't end until all nuclear weapons are gone.


A nuclear era?

The 2017 Nobel award reflects the return of nuclear escalations to the front burner of international politics, in large part due to the increasingly active nuclear ambitions of North Korea and the standoff between Donald Trump and Iran over the 2015 nuclear deal. However, ICAN's nuclear non-proliferation efforts were praised early on, including by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2012.


Worldwide support

The Geneva-based ICAN has tens of thousands of activists working around the world, including a German branch in Berlin. It's high-profile supporters include singer and artists Yoko Ono, the Dalai Lama and 1984 Nobel Peace Prize winner and anti-apartheid campaigner Desmond Tutu.

The Swedish Academy awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize to ICAN. DW tells you about the grasssroots organization and what they are doing to stop nuclear proliferation.