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ICAN Wins Nobel Peace Prize

Posted by Erin Bechtol

This year, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). ICAN formally launched 10 years ago in Austria, and since then has built incredible public support for nuclear disarmament around the world. Today they are a “movement for rationality, for democracy, for freedom from fear.”

On December 10, Beatrice Fihn and Setsuko Thurlow delivered their acceptance speeches to the Nobel Prize Committee and its guests on behalf of ICAN.

Beatrice Fihn, the Executive Director of ICAN, used her speech as an opportunity to call implore the nine nations who have not joined the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons to find a change of heart:

The United States, choose freedom over fear.
Russia, choose disarmament over destruction.
Britain, choose the rule of law over oppression.
France, choose human rights over terror.
China, choose reason over irrationality.
India, choose sense over senselessness.
Pakistan, choose logic over Armageddon.
Israel, choose common sense over obliteration.
North Korea, choose wisdom over ruin.


ICAN campaigner Setsuko Thurlow used her speech to juxtapose the arms race that exists behind the scenes in our culture today with the sickening reality of surviving a nuclear weapon, as she did in Hiroshima. Simply and sternly, she reminds us all to “be alert to the banality of evil.”

Thurlow goes on to celebrate the win of the Nobel Peace Prize with a message of hope. “Tonight, as we march through the streets of Oslo with torches aflame, let us follow each other out of the dark night of nuclear terror. No matter what obstacles we face, we will keep moving and keep pushing and keep sharing this light with others. This is our passion and commitment for our one precious world to survive.”

Read the complete lecture at the Nobel website.

Find more information about ICAN on their page.

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