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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 21 June 2018

Anti-nuclear campaign ICAN wins Nobel Peace Prize

Nuclear disarmament group ICAN won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for its decade-long campaign to rid the world of the atomic bomb

Aactivists of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) protest against the conflict between North Korea and the USA with masks of the North Korean ruler Kim Jong-un, right, and the US president Donald Trump, left, in front of the US embassy in Berlin, Germany. The group has been named the Nobel Peace Prize winner for 2017. Britta Pedersen / dpa via AP
Aactivists of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) protest against the conflict between North Korea and the USA with masks of the North Korean ruler Kim Jong-un, right, and the US president Donald Trump, left, in front of the US embassy in Berlin, Germany. The group has been named the Nobel Peace Prize winner for 2017. Britta Pedersen / dpa via AP

Nuclear disarmament group ICAN won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for its decade-long campaign to rid the world of the atomic bomb as nuclear-fuelled crises swirl over North Korea and Iran.

"The organisation 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," said Norway's Nobel committee president Berit Reiss-Andersen.

More than 70 years since atomic bombs were used on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and as tensions flare over the North Korean crisis, the Nobel committee sought to highlight ICAN's tireless efforts to rid the world of nuclear weapons.

A coalition of more than 300 NGOs founded in Vienna in 2007 on the fringes of an international conference on the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, ICAN has tirelessly mobilised campaigners and celebrities alike in its cause.

It was a key player in the adoption of a historic nuclear weapons ban treaty, signed by 122 countries in July.

However, the accord was largely symbolic as none of the nine known world nuclear powers signed up to it.

The organisation will receive their prize, consisting of a gold medal, a diploma, and a cheque for nine million Swedish kronor (US$1.1 million), at a ceremony in Oslo on December 10, the anniversary of the death in 1896 of the prize's creator, Swedish philanthropist and dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel.

The Nobel prize seeks to bolster the case of disarmament amid nuclear tensions between the United States and North Korea and uncertainty over the fate of a 2015 deal between Iran and major powers to limit Tehran's nuclear programme.

US president Donald Trump has called the Iran agreement the "worst deal ever negotiated" and a senior administration official said on Thursday that Trump is expected to announce soon that he will decertify the landmark pact.