Thursday 14 December 2017

Nobel Peace Prize for group urging ban on nuclear arms

Activists of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) protest against the conflict between North Korea and the USA with masks of the North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un, right, and the US president Donald Trump, left, in front of the US embassy in Berlin, Germany. Photo: Britta Pedersen/dpa via AP
Activists of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) protest against the conflict between North Korea and the USA with masks of the North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un, right, and the US president Donald Trump, left, in front of the US embassy in Berlin, Germany. Photo: Britta Pedersen/dpa via AP

Mark Lewis

The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded yesterday to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, a group of mostly young activists pushing for a global treaty to ban the cataclysmic bombs.

The award of the $1.1m (€950,000) prize comes amid heightened tensions over both North Korea's aggressive development of nuclear weapons and US President Donald Trump's persistent criticism of the deal to curb Iran's nuclear programme, which was agreed by his predecessor, President Barack Obama.

The prize committee wanted "to send a signal to North Korea and the US that they need to go into negotiations," Oeivind Stenersen, a historian of the peace prize, told The Associated Press.

He added: "The prize is also coded support to the Iran nuclear deal. I think this was wise because recognising the Iran deal itself could have been seen as giving support to the Iranian state."

Irish Independent

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