The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Anti-Nuclear Activists Celebrate Nobel Peace Prize at MoD


Anti-nuclear activists will gather outside the Ministry of Defence on Saturday to celebrate the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize.

The 2017 prize will be handed to ICAN, a global network which campaigned for a United Nations nuclear weapons ban treaty, at an awards ceremony in Oslo this weekend.

CND, along with other members of the ICAN-UK network, will host their own ceremony outside the Ministry of Defence to mark the prestigious award and raise awareness about the UN ban treaty. Veteran campaigner Bruce Kent will present 'awards' to those campaigners present. Other speakers will include journalist Victoria Brittain, Sheila Triggs from the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom - a previous Nobel peace laureate, Dr Michael Orgel from Medact and Kate Hudson from CND.

The groundbreaking treaty, launched at the UN headquarters in New York in September, received the backing of 122 states. The treaty sets out how the international community will work together to abolish nuclear weapons.

Representatives from Medact, a body of campaigning medical professionals, will perform a 'die-in' wearing scrubs to symbolise the lives of medics that would be lost once a nuclear bomb is detonated.

Kate Hudson, CND General Secretary, said:

"This year's Nobel Peace Prize recognises thousands of people across the world who are working towards a nuclear-free world, but specifically it highlights the nuclear ban treaty launched at the United Nations earlier this year, and the Nobel Committee has called upon nuclear weapons states to back the Treaty and move towards the elimination of their nuclear arsenals.

"At a time when the leaders of the US and North Korea are engaged in nuclear brinkmanship - the need for nuclear disarmament has never been more urgent. The Nobel Peace prize recognises that urgency, and so too should the British government."

Dr. Frank Boulton, from Medact, said:

"Doctors and health professionals have long explained that nuclear weapons threaten the very survival of humanity. The award of the Nobel Peace Prize to ICAN shows that the international community has recognised the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons.

"In an increasingly violent world, the hasty use of nuclear weapons held on trigger-alert by ill-qualified authorities is becoming more likely. These indiscriminate, inhumane and illegal weapons must be banned worldwide. We urge the Government to act on their stated commitment to a world without nuclear weapons, and sign the Ban treaty as soon as possible."

CND campaigns non-violently to rid the world of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction and to create genuine security for future generations. CND opposes all nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction: their development, manufacture, testing, deployment and use or threatened use by any country.