In awarding the Nobel Peace Prize for 2017 to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) today, the prize committee importantly highlights the potential “catastrophic humanitarian consequences” of the use of nuclear weapons. The award helps draw attention to heightened tensions at a time of rising nuclear threats from North Korea and to the urgent need to develop peaceful solutions to reduce these risks.

Even though, as the Norwegian Nobel Committee noted, ICAN’s campaign for a global treaty to prohibit atomic weapons has yet to gain the acceptance of the world’s nuclear powers, the group is to be applauded for mobilizing 468 partners in 101 countries for a nonviolent movement. It illustrates the important role of civil society in the conversations about peace that take place at the highest levels of diplomacy.

USIP President Nancy Lindborg said, “We applaud the Nobel committee for turning the world’s attention each year to the pressing need for peaceful, enduring solutions to the world’s most complex and vexing conflicts.”

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