ICAN awarded Nobel Peace Prize - Australia must now sign the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

Saturday 7 October 2017

The Medical Association for Prevention of War congratulates ICANi for winning the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize. 

The Nobel Peace Prize has just been awarded to ICANi – the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear weapons.  The Nobel Prize Committee said “The organization is receiving the award for its 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.”

The award sends a clear message to the world about the dire threat nuclear weapons pose. Without serious global efforts to eradicate these weapons more and more countries will acquire them. The current situation with North Korea illustrates the urgency.

MAPW are calling on the Australian Government to join with the 122 nations at the UN who grasp the urgency of real disarmament, and sign on to this treaty. The vast majority of Australians support nuclear abolition - the most recent survey last month showing 72% support for a nuclear weapons ban. The Labor party and the Greens support a nuclear weapons ban.

Dr Margaret Beavis, MAPW National President said, “ICAN began in Australia, but the Australian Government has undermined and then boycotted the treaty. It’s time our government was on the right side of history”.

ICANi has worked tirelessly for over a decade, gathering 468 partner organisations in over 100 countries. The International Red Cross have been pivotal to the passage of this treaty, along with many other organisations.

ICANi was founded here in Melbourne by MAPW in 2006. The support of the Poola foundation enabled it to flourish and spread overseas. Associate Professor Tilman Ruff, past president of MAPW and founding chair of ICANi and Dimity Hawkins have worked with so many others to get to this point. Dr Bill Williams, a GP from Torquay and former Chair of ICANi, also played a major role inspiring and galvanising so many people. Sadly, he died last year without being able to witness the passage of the UN treaty this year nor the Nobel Prize award.

For further comment

Dr Margaret Beavis President 0401 99 56 99

Dr Sue Wareham Vice President 0407 924 152