The Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP) with a deep sense of solidarity, warmly welcomes the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). By bestowing this honour the Norwegian Nobel Committee has recognized the landmark contribution of ICAN to the formation of the first ever multilateral “Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons” that bans the possession, production, use, stockpiling, deployment and transport of nuclear weapons (NWs). In short, the Treaty sets a new international standard for moving towards a nuclear weapons free world. This Treaty will come into force when at least 50 countries sign and ratify it. Already 53 countries have signed and the ratification process has started. Once the Treaty becomes established under international law, all the nine existing nuclear weapons states, including India, will by virtue of this be held guilty of illegal and criminal behavior.
The struggle to end slavery was given an enormous fillip by the prior establishment of a moral-legal principle as to its criminality. In a similar way ICAN realized that helping to create a moral-legal principle would be a major step forward in the struggle to eliminate NWs globally. The existing NWSs which boycotted the UN-supported negotiations to bring about this Ban Treaty now stand rebuked. The award also comes at an opportune time because the new Trump Administration of the US is seriously contemplating walking out of the Iran Nuclear Deal Framework of 2015 between Iran and the P-5 and EU, as well as war-mongering against North Korea, which can only make a bad situation worse. This award recognizes the validity of ICAN’s powerful arguments — the huge human costs of possible nuclear war — for having such a Treaty on humanitarian grounds. Moreover, the Treaty asserts the immorality of nuclear deterrence thinking to justify possessing nuclear weapons in the name of national security. The recognition of ICAN’s work will help to generate wider public awareness of the all-too-real prospect of a nuclear outbreak somewhere, sometime and therefore the vital necessity of citizens everywhere to struggle for a nuclear weapons free world.
Among the most likely sites for such an outbreak to occur is South Asia where India and Pakistan – both nuclearly armed – have been in a state of continuous hot-cold war for 70 years with no end to this in sight. Indeed, the Indian Air Force Chief in a display of nuclear machismo has just publicly stated that India can locate and destroy Pakistan’s nuclear sites, to which his counterpart across the border has responded with equal belligerence.
The CNDP extends its full support to ICAN and other anti-nuclear organizations worldwide in our ongoing collective effort to bring about regional and global nuclear disarmament. In this respect CNDP will work towards creating a broader national platform and action programme to carry on this struggle.
On Behalf of the CNDP