Dear Jo Jonson,
Our very cold week-end has been enlivened by the ceremony awarding the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize to ICAN (the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons), and the inspiring speeches made in Oslo on December 10th. All the speeches were met with enthusiasm by the Norwegian Royal Family and the many international ambassadors and guests who were present.
Unfortunately there was no British ambassador there to report back to the UK Government either the presentation speech by the chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Berit Reiss-Andersen, or the lecture given by the ICAN recipients, Beatrice Fihn and Setsuko Thurlow, so I am sending you a link to their content since their cogent arguments deserve study. https://www.nobelpeaceprize.org/Press/Official-Documents
According to Ms Reiss-Anderson “This year’s Peace Prize follows in a tradition of awards that have honoured efforts against the proliferation of nuclear weapons and for nuclear disarmament. Twelve Peace Prizes have been awarded, in whole or in part, for this type of peace work”. ICAN has been the civil society force behind the adoption of the Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons, (TPNW) on 7th July this year. This treaty, the outcome of lengthy multilateral negotiations and discussions at the UN, bans possessing, testing, using, developing, or assisting with nuclear weapons. It also includes provisions for assisting victims of nuclear weapons use and testing, and environmental remediation.
Berit Reiss-Andersen pointed out that the NPT Review Conference in 2000 stated that the NPT calls for “an unequivocal undertaking by the nuclear-weapon states to accomplish the total elimination of their arsenals leading to nuclear disarmament”. So British people like me, who have been active within ICAN to finalize the TPNW, want our country to be the first nuclear-armed nation to take that undertaking seriously, sign the TPNW and begin the gradual process of meeting its provisions to become nuclear free.
The gift of the Nobel Peace Prize for 2017 recognises the achievement by ICAN in moving world opinion against nuclear weapons. I look forward to hearing from you when you have read the speeches.