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World Council of Churches congratulates ICAN on being awarded Nobel Peace Prize

The World Council of Churches has congratulated the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) on being awarded this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.

The Nobel Committee cited ICAN’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” in giving the award.

ICAN executive director Beatrice Fihn said at a press conference last week that it came as a welcome surprise.

“We have great hopes and we will spare no effort to make an impact. This prize really awards the entire campaign, all the organisations who have worked tirelessly around the world, inspiring a new generation who grew up after the Cold War to rethink how we see these weapons.”

Ms Fihn thanked the WCC and other ICAN partners who have worked towards the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons which bans the manufacture, possession and use of nuclear weapons and provides pathways for their eventual elimination and was adopted by 122 governments on 7th July.

Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, WCC General Secretary, said ICAN’s winning the prize was “a sign of hope and encouragement on the path to peace”.

He said the “moral imperative” against nuclear weapons was “clear and categorical” and urged governments to sign and ratify the treaty.

“In the context of the Korean peninsula, the threat of nuclear conflict jeopardizes the lives and future not only of the people of the peninsula but of the wider region and the globe,” he said in a statement.

“The World Council of Churches reaffirms its commitment to advance the campaign for the abolition and elimination of nuclear weapons, and to encouraging and supporting churches across the world in their work for sustainable peace and justice in a world without nuclear weapons.”

ICAN, which is headquartered in Geneva, was founded 10 years ago and is a coalition of 400 non-governmental organisations in 100 countries. The WCC Is one of its partners.



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